Van Halen’s ’5150′ VS. David Lee Roth’s ‘Eat ‘Em And Smile’ – Great Rock Debates


From Ultimate Classic Rock and roll history is rife with intra-band family feuds, but perhaps none received quite as much publicity or caused a bigger fan base rift than Van Halen’s ugly divorce from singer David Lee Roth in 1985. Certainly, this was the battle royal of ‘80’s hard rock! After all, no other American band did […]

This Day in 1986: Van Halen’s First Concert With Sammy Hagar


28 Years ago Today: Van Halen performed their very first concert with Sammy Hagar as frontman. Here’s the little-known story about that concert and the days that led up to it. (Including some exclusive quotes from Sammy Hagar). As the first scheduled concert with their new frontman drew near, Van Halen’s new album wasn’t even finished […]

Rare 1986 Pro-shot Footage: “Why Can’t This Be Love”


We’ve all seen Live Without a Net, filmed in 1986 in New Haven, CT, during Van Halen’s first tour with Sammy Hagar. This is not from that release. This is something most fans haven’t seen, as it was only aired outside the U.S. back in the ’80′s. This live performance of Van Halen’s #2 hit single, […]

1986: EVH on “5150” vs. Vai on “Eat ‘Em And Smile”


From Premiere Guitar: How Van Halen’s split broadened the musical landscape of the mid-’80s. I remember the days of running down to the mailbox to see if the latest of many guitar magazine subscriptions had arrived, always hoping for one of two players to be on the cover: Eddie Van Halen or Steve Vai. Nothing […]

Abom Goes “Inside” for 25th Anniversary of Van Halen’s 5150


On this day in 1986 (March 24th), Van Halen released “5150″ – their first album with vocalist Sammy Hagar! From Ain’t It Bale News: “Hello, bayyyyyy-beh!” Sammy Hagar was riffing on 1950s disc jockey-turned pop star Jiles “Big Bopper” Richardson when he let out the banshee wail kicking off one my favorite rock records of […]

Interview with Les Paul and Eddie Van Halen from 1986


Back in 1986, Edward Van Halen and Les Paul had the pleasure of meeting each other at the opening of Guitar Center in Los Angeles. Thankfully, the long talk that they had together that night was recording and transcribed. Enjoy. From Rock Chronicles. 1980s: Les Paul By Steven Rosen In 1986, Guitar Center opened […]

Bocephus on his video with Van Halen


Back when Sammy was a new member of Van Halen, the VH boys would get good and crazy pretty often. They called their good-old boy humor together “Bocephus mode,” in honor of country star Hank “Bocephus” Williams, Jr, who they considered the craziest mofo on the planet. When Hank got wind that they were using […]