I Respect His Fandom

Confession: I never had a Van Halen phase.

This is weird, because it seemed like every guy around me in middle school and junior high was a fan.
I definitely had a run where I thought KISS was the best thing ever, but am kind of drawing a blank from the late 70’s until I heard Murmur.
I probably listened to lots of Top 40, with a touch of Devo.
Anyway, Mr. Nicolai is one of Austin’s finest. Rock on, EVH.

4 Replies to “I Respect His Fandom”

  1. My knowledge of Van Halen is confined to whatever got played on the radio, so no full albums. They came on the scene in ’78, a year after the annus mirabilis of punk. Those of us into the Pistols, Clash, Ramones et al. hated them. To Kinks obsessives, their cover of “You Really Got Me” was sacrilege. But as time went on and more singles came out from subsequent albums, I caught myself liking some of their songs, which annoyed the crap out of me. Funny how music snobbery works, or really any snobbery: when facts contradict your biases, you tend to shoot the messenger rather than question your assumptions. Why the hostility? I guess because they seemed like a throwback to early 70’s, unabashed cock rock that was so passe to people who beleived themselves too cool for it. But rabid musical partisanship just seems ridiculous years after the fact. As teenage and young adiult snobs come to blows over competing genres, the younger are absorbing them all and have no trouble liking both.

    So none of that matters now. They could obviously play, and EVH came up with some great riffs, although I still think he was too showy. Some of their songs have good hooks. As for David Lee Roth, he’s obviously funny and clever, but I never cared for his singing or stage persona, which he copied from Jim Dandy of Black Oak Arkansas, a band I once had the misfortune to see opening for a triple bill with Free and the Faces.

  2. I’m going to have to deep dive Jim Dandy, thank you – and I just came across this great article on the early stages of the band. Fascinating. I didn’t realize that the same guy who signed the Kinks was instrumental in their first contract.

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