Today, January 26, 2021 would have been Eddie Van Halen’s 66th birthday, but sadly this is the first one to pass without him here. As a radio guy I was aware of the date, so I thought I’d dig around and look back on the history of Van Halen a bit.
Did you know that Gene Simmons of KISS refuses to say that he “discovered” Van Halen? That’s right, Gene says that it’s “false information” that he discovered the band and he has no interest in the claim.
Did you know that the demo that the band recorded with Gene Simmons was the same demo that got them signed to Warner Brothers Records? That’s right, when Gene couldn’t get KISS’ management to do something with Van Halen, so he tore up their contract with him and handed them their demo masters… a very classy and ethical thing to do on Gene’s part. The debut Van Halen album released through Warner would go on to sell over 10 million copies. You can check out 10 of the songs Van Halen recorded with Gene below… make sure to check out the early version of Runnin’ With The Devil at the 10:24 mark.
Since the release of their debut album February 10,1978 (43 years ago next month) Van Halen have sold over 80 million records world wide… not bad for a band that KISS’ management team said would never “make it”. Eddie Van Halen’s legendary guitar playing will live on as “the best” for years to come.
Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go listen to Van Halen II at an ear bleeding volume.
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