This week in 1978, Van Halen performed in Paris, France, for the first time. We have a funny story about their trip to Paris, some rarely seen photos of the band posing by the Eiffel Tower, and an audio recording of their entire concert at the Theatre Mogador, where they perform “Voodoo Queen,” (an early form of “Mean Street”), Eddie Chochran’s “Summertime Blues,” (also know from covers by The Who and Blue Cheer) and a blistering instrumental of (part of) Black Sabbath’s “Symptom Of The Universe.” Great stuff!
By the time the band reached Paris on their show day (May 10th), they were in rare form. Three months on the road had done nothing to wear them out. Quite the opposite – they were just getting warmed up. Their album had been selling well in France, and on May 10th, at Le Theatre Mogador, they faced “a foaming mob of the hardest core rock fans you could dream of,” which is how David Lee Roth described their European fans to a reporter.
After the concert, the band had a rare few days off before they would head to the UK, so an idea spring up to do a photo shoot in front of the Eiffel Tower – with each member dressed as Napoleon! View that photo, above.
At one point during their mini vacation in France, Michael Anthony approached the rest of the band on the hotel’s patio after a hard night of partying. His face showed concern and confusion, and he eventually led the band up to his hotel room. The chandelier that was supposed to be hanging above his bed wasn’t hanging there anymore. Rather, it was neatly arranged on his floor, completely taken apart, in pieces. Michael’s artistic side showed – each piece was perfectly positioned in the exact shape of the chandelier. Mike joked about not knowing how he did it, but was obviously quite proud of his work.
This is just one little example of how the young band members would get pretty creative with all of their shenanigans in the early days of the band.
AUDIO: Van Halen’s Paris Concert!
Listen to the audio of the complete show, embedded below. It sounds GREAT for an audience recording. They play “Voodoo Queen,” an early form of “Mean Street.” For their first encore, the covered Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues,” with a blistering instrumental outro of (part of) Black Sabbath’s “Symptom Of The Universe.” Great stuff!
Le Theatre Mogado, Paris, France, May 10, 1978
1) On Fire 0:00
2) I’m the One 3:24
3) Bass Solo 7:53
4) Runnin’ With The Devi 9:18
5) Feel Your Love Tonight 13:25
6) Atomic Punk 16:50
7) Little Dreamer 20:35
8) Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love 24:08
9) Voodoo Queen 28:03 (Unreleased)
10) Ice Cream Man 33:26
11) Guitar solo 38:24
12) You Really Got Me 42:22
13) D.O.A. 45:42
14) Summertime Blues 50:00 (The Who cover)
15) Symptom Of The Universe 53:40 (Black Sabbath instrumental cover)
16) Bottoms Up! 55:42