A new, incredible Van Halen book is being released – Edward Van Halen: A Definitive Biography.
This is it! The definitive and very detailed biography of the most famous and influential living guitarist. VanHalenStore.com proclaims this book to be one of the few MUST-HAVE books on Van Halen!
In July of 1984, Edward Van Halen was the most popular musician in the world in the most popular band in the world—the band that to this day bears his own surname. As a 12-year-old, author Kevin Dodds experienced his first Van Halen concert, and it changed his life.
In this biography, Dodds takes a comprehensive look at the life of Van Halen, examining Eddie’s early years growing up in the Netherlands; his life with his mother and musician father; the family’s immigration to the United States; his lifelong trials and tribulations; and his remarkable music career. For more than a year, Dodds delved into more than a thousand different sources to compile Edward Van Halen: A Definitive Biography, the story that captures the life of a man with complex personality and character traits whose life and times has played an important role in American cultural and musical history. Dodds has also woven his personal experiences with Van Halen into this story, providing a unique perspective in the field of rock-and-roll biographies.
Kevin Dodds has been an avid follower of Edward Van Halen’s career since 1979. Dodds is a writer, semi-pro guitarist, and rock and roll historian.
Softcover, 420 pages. Size is 6″ x 9″.
Here’s a short preview:
It is July of 1984. He is the most popular musician in the world in the most popular band in the world, the band that bears his own surname. The Summit in Houston is sold out not for just one night, but for three nights in a row.
It’s the first night of the stand. The rockabilly opening act has come and gone without notice. The house lights have gone down and the lighters have gone up. The crowd roar is simply unbelievable—constant and deafening. Thirty to forty seconds go by with swirling white spotlights streaming up from the stage’s edge. And then I hear it. A scream—a scream from a guitar. I know that scream but my brain is laboring in disbelief. “Is this really happening?” And I wasn’t sure it was. This was bigger than Christmas, bigger than a thousand Christmases. The guitar dive bombs on the low E and a few choice licks come pouring out of the sound system.
The spotlights continue along with the butanes. I still haven’t grasped the reality. I feel like I’m dreaming because it’s dark and the lights are trancelike. It continues: the crowd roar, the wailing guitar, pounding drums, the spotlights rotating. The stage announcer steps up, sounding like a WWF wrestler, and delivers the classic Spinal Tapesque “I give you…the mighty…VAN HALEN!” Edward then immediately kicks off the show with “Unchained.” I am still in disbelief because I can only hear it and can only barely see it. Ed is backlit, silhouetted in a tight white spot. The introduction of “Unchained” continues and the opening pattern is repeated twice before the drum fill followed by the entire band kicking in. And when it does—the lights explode, and the first thing you see is Dave at the peak of his “splits” jump coming off the drum riser. It was like sleeping and being awakened by being shoved out of an airplane. The wave of applause that followed the opening hit of the lights was simply thunderous and permanently unforgettable.
The microsecond that my mind admits it—“Okay, you are at the Van Halen concert”—my eyes immediately scan the stage in search of my idol. There he is in a white shirt, patched jeans, a bandana around his neck, and red shoes. And he’s playing a red, black, and white striped Kramer guitar.
“It’s true,” I thought. “He does exist. He’s real. I can see him with my own eyes.” He is a comic book superhero and here he is saving us, 15,000 people at a time. If the roof of the Summit had caved in, I would not have been surprised if Edward were to hold it up with one hand while continuing to play with the other. Honestly, that probably would’ve just been incidental to the concert.
Within a week, my best friend Mike and I started a band. The first three songs we learned as a band were “Runnin’ with the Devil,” “You Really Got Me,” and “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love.” My buddy and I still play together to this day. This all really means something to me. Edward inspired me so greatly, I absolutely had to get to the bottom of what makes him tick. My peers demanded I do it. “You were born to do this” and “If anyone was cut out to do this, it’s you” and “You should do it because…”
Edward is one of only a handful of legitimate musical geniuses of the past 200 years. Genius is a blessing, but sometimes a curse. And the two are, unfortunately, intertwined.
Order the book now at Van Halen Store for just $19.95 and save $5 off the list price.