The interviews keep comin’, the devil keeps runnin’.
Noel Monk continued his recent run of interviews by appearing on Sirius/XM’s “Trunk Nation” with Eddie Trunk Thursday afternoon to promote his new book“Runnin’ With the Devil: A Backstage Pass Into the Wild Times, Loud Rock and the Down and Dirty Truth Behind the Making of Van Halen”. Monk, yet again, provided fans with more amusing, interesting and revealing stories of the iconic band he managed from 1978-1985.
From that point on Monk knew Van Halen was destined for greatness and the numbers backed that claim early on when the band drew bigger and bigger crowds during their first tour in 1978 to support Journey and Montrose.
“Our ‘ten day’ [report], which is a sales report, was doing so well. Van Halen took off like a rocket because they were brilliant! One of the absolute best stage shows I’d ever seen,” said Monk.
Monk hopes his book will clear up decades-worth of rumors and misinformation regarding Van Halen. One thing he didn’t dispute, however, is that the caliber of Van Halen’s live shows was as good, if not, better than advertised even when they were supporting acts for bands like Journey, Montrose, Ted Nugent and Black Sabbath in ‘78.
“I would say nobody could follow us and be comfortable,” commented Monk. “Ted Nugent had us on for one show and afterwards we heard that he would never have us open for him again. He was totally blown off the stage. Ozzy [Osbourne and Black Sabbath] could carry his own but we were a brilliant stage act; always were through our whole career.”
Monk also shared some amusing stories like the one that occurred on the night Black Sabbath had to cancel a show after Osbourne went missing.
“They’re hypothising that he was kidnapped, murdered. I knew Ozzy long before that tour. You didn’t mess with Ozzy. No one was gonna grab Ozzy,” said Monk. “Ozzy was a tough English kid so I figured he crawled up in a corner somewhere and went to sleep. About five o’clock in the morning Albert (the band’s road manager) called and said, ‘Noel, Ozzy’s missing.”
It turned out Osbourne fell asleep in the wrong hotel room. By the time Osbourne woke up it was far too late for Black Sabbath to go on stage. According to Monk, the venue’s promoter asked him if Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen and Michael Anthony could go up on stage and perform while the promotor went out and announce that Black Sabbath was not showing up. In an attempt to appease the promotor Monk agreed to it but quickly went back to the dressing room and told the band members to get their clothes and leave.
“I really wanted to break [the promotor’s] neck. We went back to the hotel [instead],” said Monk.
Monk also talked about some of the more legendary Van Halen stories like the “no brown M&Ms” contract rider demand plus the one which involved Monk and David Lee Roth fabricating a claim that Roth acquired paternity insurance worth $1 million. To this day there are fans who still believe it is true.
Adding to the discussion of Van Halen myths and urban legends, Trunk (a huge KISS fan) asked Monk if there was any truth to the rumor that Eddie Van Halen once wanted to leave his band to join KISS sometime in the early 80s. Monk quickly refuted that rumor with an impassioned response.
“I’ve heard all that bullshit. It never crossed my desk,” said Monk. “Eddie might have said to somebody wasted, ‘Aw I’m gonna go to KISS.’ All that bullshit I never heard at the time and I heard about everything. [It’s] the same bullshit as David has his paternity insurance.”
Amidst all the wild stories of Van Halen the band Monk took the time to praise the loyal Van Halen fans.
“We had the greatest fans and still do! Without our fans, no Van Halen,” said Monk.
You can hear the entire interview below:
You can hear Trunk Nation on Sirius/XM’s “Volume” channel (Channel 106) https://www.siriusxm.com/volume) every weekday from 2-4 p.m. Eastern. Visit EddieTrunk.com (http://eddietrunk.com/) for more info.
By VHND contributing writer, Eric Senich