On this day in 1978, Van Halen played the Amsterdam Paradiso, their third European show of their first world tour, after playing Poperinge (Belgium) and Delft (Holland).
At this show a lot of the brothers’ Dutch family were present. It was the first and only time their parents returned to Holland after their emigration in 1962.
Below, enjoy photos and an audio recording from the Paradiso concert!
The following is a recollection from the band’s then-manager Noel Monk about Van Halen’s trip to Amsterdam in 1978, from his book, Runnin’ with the Devil:
“The week had been a been a whirlwind of traveling and performing, of behaving like a tourist one moment and a native son returning home in the next. We had played the famous Paradiso in Amsterdam on May 6, a gig that was unique not only because patrons were allowed to purchase weed and hash from a concession stand – like soda or beer in the United States – but because it was the first time that Edward and Alex Van Halen had ever performed in their native country. Van Halen, of course, had quickly became enormously popular in the Netherlands, and the brothers were treated as hometown heroes every time we visited; the band’s records reached gold and platinum status in that part of the world faster than almost anywhere else.
“In the dressing room after the show, there was quite a large contingent of Van Halen relatives, but I noticed that they weren’t exactly the closest of families. The Dutch relatives of their father, Jan, stayed on one side of the tiny room, while Eugenia’s Indonesian relatives remained on the other. The tension was palpable, but did not seem to surprise Edward or Alex, who had long since grown accustomed to such familial strife. In general, they both seemed thrilled to be back in their homeland, and to be experiencing it as adults. I remember walking with the brothers through Amsterdam’s red light distract on our day off, and seeing them marvel at the openness of the Dutch culture. There were coffee houses in which hash brownies were served alongside espresso, and brothels in which prostitutes, in varying stages of undress, wriggled and writhed in the windows – and it was all perfectly legal.
“Alex and Edward walked through the neighborhood slack-jawed and bug-eyed, as you would expect of a pair of red-blooded American males who have never been outside the country. You could almost read their minds:
Man … why did we ever leave this place?“
Listen to five songs from the show below…
Thanks to VHND contributing writer Michel Schinkel for compiling these photos and writing the intro for this article.