The show’s three hosts, Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson, and Jim Florentine, where accompanied by four special guests: Alter Bridge‘s frontman and guitarist, Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti, singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson, and Trixter axeman Steve Brown who was taking the show in and out of commercial breaks with some serious riffing.
Here’s a transcription of the Van Halen Throwdown. (Be sure to check out all our links below, which take you to our killer album and song pages):
Dom: In one corner is a chart smashing debut that gave birth to an army of guitar tapping virtuosos. In the other corner, it’s the followup that had enough songs about women in love that your mom worried about what you were doing in that room with that Farrah Faucet poster. Two of Van Halen’s heavyweights stand tall, but only one will be calling for a doctor in the Throwdown.
Mark Tremonti: Van Halen I.
Myles Kennedy: Van Halen I.
Matt Nathanson: Van Halen II.
Eddie Trunk: (sigh) Both masterpieces, I’m going I.
Jim Florentine: My favorite Van Halen record… I’m going II.
Dom Jamieson: I’m gonna say this. The songs on the first album or better. It had more of an impact because it was the first one. But I got a skip about five songs on it, so I’m going to go with Van Halen II also. It’s because of the hits. I can’t hear You Really Got Me anymore.
Eddie: But Dance The Night Away. That’s like a poppy thing…
Jim: It starts off with You’re No Good, which is a weird cover…
Jim: Somebody Get Me A Doctor!
Steve Brown: Van Halen 1 without question. But I will say…
Ed: Just think about the opening to that record. The [horns] swell, into the [bass] BUM, BUM, BUM… the insanity!
Matt: Yeah. [But] I like II better.
Matt: To me, Van Halen II starts getting cabaret and wacky and a real cool way – in the way that becomes Van Halen more…
Dom: Now you’re changing my mind to Van Halen 1! (laughs)
Matt: Van Halen II feels more diverse to me. It just holds up.
Then they take it to the audience, who break the tie with an much louder cheers for Van Halen 1.
There were three Van Halen references before the before the throwdown. Early on, Matt Nathanson confessed, “I worship at the altar of Van Halen. So much so, that Van Halen III is in my iPod.”
Later, during the “Put It on the Table” segment, the hosts asked Matt, “If you could be in any other band, what would it be and what would you play?” He answered with, “I’d go back in time, put a vice grip on my nuts, put sand in Michael Anthony’s car, and take his place in Van Halen.”
They also mentioned Wolfgang Van Halen, and Tremonti confirmed that Wolf is indeed a full band member of Tremonti. He also related a funny story when Eddie Van Halen attended a Tremonti show a year ago. “We did a show in Kansas City where we had about 50 people standing in front of us for soundcheck and none of them knew Eddie was standing right behind them. There’s a picture from the side of the stage with a big group of people [crowded near the stage] and Eddie [all alone, standing behind the crowd] just, “Hey.” [Waving to camera].
After the show aired, we talked to Steve Brown (who’s a huge VH fan and avid VHND reader) about his vote during the Throwdown. Steve clarified, “The only thing is, I never got to say WHY I chose Van Halen I. You see, both I and II are the two best hard rock records ever made, but I simply had to chose I because it had the guitar sound and the playing that changed the world forever.”
So, what do YOU think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.