Van Halen kicked off their Fair Warning tour on this day in 1981.
Here’s 5 photos from that very night—at the Halifax Metro Center in Nova Scotia, Canada—along with the local newspaper ad, concert ticket, and backstage pass. Thanks to Eddie Dugan for sharing his photos.
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 pounds 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.
Did you see this tour? Share your memories!
Standard ’81 Set List:
(All songs 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