Here’s a ton of INCREDIBLY COOL Van Halen photos this day in 1981! Van Halen’s mind-blowing performance at the Sam Houston Coliseum in Texas is captured in these many photos by Rockin’ Houston. This Texas show was the last show of the third North American leg of the Fair Warning tour, after which, the band was able to enjoy a two week break before the fourth leg began in Phoenix, Arizona on Sept 28th.
The Fair Warning tour kicked off in Nova Scotia, this 10-month opus (also dubbed the “W.D.F.A. Tour”, for “We Don’t Fuck Around”) was then considered the largest continental tour in rock and roll history and grossed more than $10 million. The 75-man crew was made up of a large number of Vietnam veterans who managed 175,000 tons of equipment. The stage show featured 90,000 watts of sound and over 1.5 million watts of lighting. The band frequently trashed the stage routinely covering it with amazing amounts of confetti, trash, streamers, and even blow-up sex dolls. Out of the 82 shows, 79 of them were sold out making this one of the most successful Van Halen tours.
Once again, the band got creative with their hotel check-in identities. David Lee Roth was sometimes known as “Ray Dio,” Mike as “Captain Crash,” and Al as “Bigus Dickus.”
One interesting feature of this tour (which may have also been in effect on earlier tours) was the “Bounty System.” The “Bounty System” was yet another creative backstage pass idea concocted by Roth. For every show, each roadie was given a number of passes with his initials marked on them. The overall concept was quite simple: every female fan who spent “time” with the vocalist that evening wearing a pass with initials on it, earned the appropriate roadie a monetary reward, normally in the amount of $25 per pass.
The first 9 photos are a wild and booze-soaked radio station appearance by Alex Van Halen and Michael Anthony that day. And then we’ve got a whopping 41 pics from the show that night! You can almost hear the band blazing and the roar of the crowd!
SET LIST (all song titles are links):
Hear About It Later
So This Is Love?
Runnin’ With The Devil
Dance The Night Away
Sunday Afternoon In The Park
Everybody Wants Some!!
Ice Cream Man
Feel Your Love Tonight
You Really Got Me
Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love