The pop culture website Far Out Magazine has given Van Halen some love for their cover of the Kinks song “Where Have All The Good Times Gone”.
As Far Out‘s Tyler Golsen points out in his article, Van Halen played up to six different Kinks songs in their early club days. Their cover of the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” would be the single that helped break the band in 1978 but it wouldn’t be their last Kinks song to land on a record. The band’s rendition of the Kinks’ “Where Have All The Good Times Gone” would end up being the lead track on Van Halen’s 1982 album Diver Down.
Here’s some of the Far Out article:
“When we came off the Fair Warning tour last year , we were going to take a break and spend a lot of time writing this and that,” Eddie told Guitar Player in 1982. “Dave came up with the idea of, ‘Hey, why don’t we start off the new year with just putting out a single?’ He wanted to do ‘Dancing in the Streets.’ He gave me the original Martha Reeves & the Vandellas tape, and I listened to it and said, ‘I can’t get a handle on anything out of this song.’ I couldn’t figure out a riff, and you know the way I like to play: I always like to do a riff, as opposed to just hitting barre chords and strumming. So I said, ‘Look, if you want to do a cover tune, why don’t we do ‘Pretty Woman’? It took one day.”
The band’s cover of Roy Orbison’s ‘Pretty Woman’ was indeed a hit, reaching number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. Instead of spending time to write new material, the band re-entered the studio and cut a number of other covers, including The Kinks’ ‘Where Have All the Good Times Gone’ from The Kink Kontroversy album. Van Halen admitted that “the solo was more sounds than lines. I ran the edge of my pick up and down the strings for some of those effects. I think I used my Echoplex in that song.”
Read the rest of Golsen’s article at Far Out Magazine’s website HERE.
Listen To Van Halen’s “Where Have All The Good Times Gone”