Are you ready to get down one more time? We give you THE MIGHTY VAN HALEN!
Forty years ago today, May 29th, 1983, Van Halen headlined the US Festival in San Bernardino, CA. Billed as “The Musical Event of the 80s,” the ’83 US Festival was like a gift from the heavens. Throughout four days, music lovers would flock to Southern California’s Glen Helen Regional Park, enjoying everything from Oingo Boingo to Ricky Skaggs.
Apple Computers wizard Stephen Wozniak, who put together the previous year’s show, organized the ’83 event. He was determined to make the ’83 event the biggest show in history. Capitalizing on the latest technology, he hoped to draw over one million people to the 500-acre site. Two large video screens would afford spectators unobstructed views of the 300 x 67-foot stage. Their eardrums were sure to be assaulted by 400,000 watts of power, and there was no better band to make the most of every watt than Van Halen.
Wozniak made history by offering Van Halen $1.5 million to headline “Heavy Metal Day.” The Guinness Book of World Records even created a category for VH’s big paycheck: “The artist or band receiving the most money for a single performance.”
A few years ago, the YouTube channel Rock Remastered remastered the video and audio of Van Halen’s complete set, using three video sources, including the Italian TV broadcast (Raitre channel), for the best viewing and listening experience possible. As you will see and hear, the hard work paid off. It’s certainly worthy of sharing with Van Halen fans on the 40th anniversary of what is arguably the most publicized concert in Van Halen history.
The lights just went down, and the audience of 3000,000 are up and on their feet. It’s showtime!