Christmas isn’t over yet. Author Greg Renoff has one more gift for Van Halen fans and this one is a biggie.
Renoff (“Van Halen Rising: How a Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal” and “Ted Templeman: A Platinum Producer’s Life in Music“) posted a never before seen video of Van Halen’s legendary headline-making backyard party performance in Pasadena on November 9th, 1974 .
Below is Renoff’s post:
As you can see at the end of the film and read in Renoff’s book “Van Halen Rising” (Chapter Six: The Battle Of Pasadena) the party held at the home of Denis, Debbie and Karen Imler on Padre Street in Pasadena got so out of control the police ended up arresting 21 people.
From “Van Halen Rising”:
The Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, dozens strong in riot gear, trotted down Pasadena’s Madre Street. Ear-splitting music – courtesy of “VAN HALEN,” according to the flyers strewn on the ground – blared out of the well-lit backyard at the end of the long block. As they moved towards the massive party, deputies pushed past scores of wasted teenagers laughing and stumbling down the suburban road, which was lined with cars. Overhead, a police helicopter circled in the cool November air, its spotlight shining down on the property. The pilot, his voice booming through the chopper’s loudspeaker, announced, “Attention! This is an unlawful assembly! Disperse! Failure to do so will result in your immediate arrest!”
When the deputies arrived in front of the ranch home, their commander evaluated the situation from the curb. The house was set back about seventy-five yards from the street. Drunken and stoned kids filled the front and back yards and streamed in and out of the house. He estimated that as many as fifteen hundred people were on the property. Goddamn kinds. Where are their fucking parents?
He looked at his deputies’ faces. They were spoiling for a fight. Like him, they’d grown tired of spending their weekend shifts breaking up big Van Halen backyard parties in unincorporated areas around the San Gabriel Valley. but this was the biggest one he’d eve seen, and it was happening in one of Pasadena’s nicest neighborhoods. It was also utterly out of control. Earlier in the evening, deputies who’d responded to noise complaints faced a barrage of rocks and bottles from the property. Probably thrown by the same fucking kids who flipped over those San Marino police cruisers at that giant Van Halen party back in March. It was time to send a message.
The commander faced his men and ordered them into assault position. They formed a phalanx, their green and gold helmets gleaming under the streetlamps. They lowered their visors, raised their riot shields, and elevated their batons to the ready position. The Battle of Pasadena was about to begin.
Here is the news-clipping from the Pasadena Star-News, also posted by Renoff:
Renoff also posted the flyer seen in the film:
Renoff also answered some questions regarding the film, including whether or not there is more footage and a version with audio available:
Still a gem indeed…
Renoff also gave thanks to Mary S., Karen, Kim, and Debbie for providing him with the film. The Van Halen News Desk also thanks Greg, Mary S., Karen, Kim and Debbie for sharing this rare piece of Van Halen history with the fans!
Renoff has posted current-day photos of the party’s location: