Let’s talk Van Halen….again


In a land before time…there were record stores, racks of magazines, radio stations that played real music, and rockstars who were like gods to us. Gods shining bright from Olympus, inaccessible to us mere mortals.

Like a tornado raging across the plains Van Halen took their place on high.

I was instantly floored and in love with their music, and style. I fancied myself in the same ilk as David Lee Roth. I had the long blond hair, I wore bandannas like him, and I was loud and boisterous like him. It wasn’t a party without me and when I entered a room, everyone there knew it.

David Lee Roth to me was the end all to be all. The force of David Lee Roth, Michael Anthony, Eddie and Alex Van Halen was out of this world.

I look back now and have to ask myself “What the hell was I thinking?” I can now say David Lee Roth was not the great vocalist I thought. But, at that time, he was the vocalist we all wanted.

Now we find ourselves older and wiser, well some of us any way, and Van Halen is once again on the minds of everyone.  Van Halen 2015 is, to me, an eight cylinder engine running on only six. Sure the music still sounds good but we are missing those outstanding backing vocals and the stellar stage presence of Michael Anthony. And David Lee Roth has become a parody of himself.

I have such a hard listening to the new live stuff coming out now. I cringe with embarrassment at the attempts to reclaim their status in the rock world. I will always love Van Halen now and forever, but it’s time to retire their jerseys….



it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

-the Hellion

Bleach Bangs Radio discusses Motley Crue, AC/DC, and Van Halen and should they hang it up?

bb hangups

Well, like that irritating rash, WE’RE BACK!!! We at Bleach Bangs Radio are exploring out options to infiltrate your ear holes and burrow into your brains. This time we decided to discuss some bands and their lifespans. Should they pull the plug? Should the defibrillators be hooked up to them? Check out the show right here:

     Afterwards let us know your thoughts. Pay attention as well because you just might have your chance to participate in an upcoming Bleach Bangs show yourself!!!

     -Bleach Bangs crew

Van Halen….again



1978- Who doesn’t remember when you first heard “Eruption”? Myself and my local group of ne’er do wells were stopped dead in our tracks when we did. It was a sonic assault unlike any we had heard before. How could this be a guitar? Who could be behind this? And when it lead into “You Really Got Me” (being a Kinks fan I knew the track very well.) their rendition blew me away. I finally got my hands on a copy of this tasty piece of vinyl and proceeded to wear it the hell out. The raw power and swagger of this band was unbelievable. I found my self lost in the music and fancied myself a DLR clone. I mustered up as much swagger as I could and failed miserably, there was only one David Lee Roth.

Throughout the years I caught them every chance I could (Van Halen today remains the band I have seen live the most) and was never disappointed. The albums changed and the music evolved as did the members of Van Halen.

Things started going south for me with the 1982 release of Diver Down. Some of the tracks were incredibly awesome, and others left me scratching my head in bewilderment. What was going on here? I sucked it up however, and remained a loyal fan.

1984- WTF?!?!? What happened to my band of badasses? “Jump” really? As much as I tried to like this record it never really happened for me. And then, the king of swagger was gone David Lee Roth was no longer a part of the mighty Van Halen.


I had been a fan of Sammy Hagar for quite a while when I heard the news of his replacing DLR. I thought to myself “this should be interesting with Sammy being quite an accomplished songwriter and guitarist. I waited in anticipation for the results.

When 5150 hit the stores I snapped it up eager to see what direction they were taking. While not the dangerous “you’re gonna go to jail if you hang out with those guys” band they used to be, it was good. Different but good. Van Halen had become a more mainstream act and it seemed stronger song writers. I found myself at that point in my life more mature as well, and I enjoyed the music. The four studio albums with Sammy gave some great songs and the memories that went a long with them .


And then, like a bad dream, Sammy was out and Gary Cherone (really guys, I thought to myself) from Extreme was in. it was 1998 and was a 34 year old family man now but still a loyal rocker. I put aside my misgivings and entered Van Halen III with an open mind. I actually found this record quite good, a departure from the VH sound but good. And then, again, Gary was out and so was Michael Anthony.

Van Halen then kind of faded away in the eyes and ears of most people. They remained ever present in the rotation of music that I played, never far from my ears. Rumors and stories abounded but never came to fruition.

A couple of Reunions with Hagar and Roth came and went and rumors of new album with Roth began. In 2012 we finally got A Different Kind Of Truth and learned that Wolfgang Van Halen was now the bassist for Van Halen. It was through this record I realized my precious Van Halen was no more.

I had been there though it all: Van Halen, Van Hagar, Extreme Van Halen, and now Van Halen3 plus Dave.

In the past few days Van Halen has been asplash on the internet with their appearance on Jimmy Kimmel. I watched with baited breath hoping to catch a glimpse of my heroes of old. Alas, I was disappointed and a little embarrassed for them. While Eddie as usual had killer tone and chops, and Alex still brought the thunder, Young Wolfgang was no Michael Anthony, and David Lee Roth, well, let’s just say sometimes it’s better to leave on a high note. I will not speak of the current Sammy project because this was about me and Van Halen and I want to keep it that way.

I will always love and respect the music Van Halen has given me throughout the years and yes I will buy any and everything they release, I just feel that it’s time to move on for them….



Van Halen I love you guys (all of you) now and forever

-the Hellion



Revolving Vocalists- How does changing a front man affect a band?

In the world of Rock N’ Roll sometimes band members come and go. It’s in the nature of the business. Drugs, money, egos, and sometimes death can alter a band. We all know bands that have changed members so let’s look at a few and see the results.



BON SCOTT 1974-1980


AC/DC was on the rise of US success with the August 3rd, 1979 release of HIGHWAY TO HELL when tragedy struck. Bon Scott and AC/DC were in the process of developing the album which would become BACK IN BLACK when the unthinkable happened. On 19 February 1980, Scott, 33 at the time, passed out after a night of heavy drinking in a London club called the Music Machine (currently known as the KOKO). He was left to sleep in a Renault 5 owned by an acquaintance named Alistair Kinnear, at 67 Overhill Road in East Dulwich, South London. The following afternoon, Kinnear found Scott lifeless, and alerted the authorities. Scott was rushed to King’s College Hospital in Camberwell, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Pulmonary aspiration of vomit was the cause of Scott’s death, and the official cause was listed as “acute alcohol poisoning” and “death by misadventure”. The band thought about hanging it up for a while but, after a visit with the parents of Bon Scott, decided to carry in his honor. Angus Young later recalled, “I remember the first time I had ever heard Brian’s (Johnson) name was from Bon. Bon had mentioned that he had been in England once touring with a band and he had mentioned that Brian had been in a band called Geordie and Bon had said ‘Brian Johnson, he was a great rock and roll singer in the style of Little Richard.’ And that was Bon’s big idol, Little Richard. I think when he saw Brian at that time, to Bon it was ‘Well he’s a guy that knows what rock and roll is all about.’ He mentioned that to us in Australia. I suppose when we decided to continue, Brian was the first name that Malcolm and myself came up with, so we said we should see if we can find him.” The rest, as the world knows, is history as AC/DC has carried on to become icons on the world of Rock. In my own opinion they are two different bands (I take this opinion of several other bands as well). I like them both but I feel they were a harder, darker, and more dangerous band with Bon. With Brian they are more of a friends band at a keg party type of band, just my opinion. AC/DC continues to this day.  Let’s compare Bon and Brian:

“Highway to Hell” – Bon Scott: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_5kv8QeBBc&feature=fvst

“Highway to Hell” – Brian Johnson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7svqfVu468&feature=related



DAVID LEE ROTH  1972-1985

Van Halen came on the scene like gangbusters and were moving up and up riding the wave of success and then Dave was gone. Egos, drug use, and too much too fast were the apparent reasons for David and Van Halen splitting up. David went on to record several successful solo records and Van Halen moved on.

SAMMY HAGAR 1985-1996

Eddie invited Patty Smyth of Scandal to replace Roth but she refused. Eddie was then introduced by way of a mutual auto mechanic to Sammy Hagar, formerly of 1970s band Montrose. This was the shot in the arm Van Halen was looking for. Van Halen went on  to stellar success with Sammy writing some fantastic music along the way. But all was not perfect with this line up either. Fired or quit, Sammy was out of the band in 1996.

GARY CHERONE 1996-1999

Gary Cherone known for being the singer of the band Extreme was tapped to be the next VH vocalist. Van Halen III was recorded and sad to say didn’t take off. Let’s give a listen to the three vocalist of Van Halen:

“Unchained” – David Lee Roth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2Qatc4K85A

“Unchained” – Sammy Hagar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=185roOKaUuQ

“Unchained: – Gary Cherone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oygJouHFnsk

Van Halen continues on today welcoming back David Lee Roth back to the fold. Sadly original bassist Michael Anthony has been replaced. New record, new bassist (Wolfgang Van Halen) new world tour, let’s see where it takes them. My opinion is with each vocalist we got a new band, same name, but new band.



I know there were other members of Sabbath but we are just going to look at the Ozzy/Dio versions.


Ozzy and company rose to stardom with their dark and doom laden music. Like so many others before them success also got to them. The reckless lifestyle Ozzy  was living led to his dismissal in 1979.


Ironically Sharon Arden (later Sharon Osbourne), daughter of Black Sabbath manager Don Arden, suggested former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio to replace Ozzy Osbourne in 1979. Dio officially joined in June, and the band began writing their next album. With a notably different vocal style from Osbourne’s, Dio’s addition to the band marked a change in Black Sabbath’s sound.

Let’s look at some differences:

“War Pigs” – Ozzy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3K0PvO2Dr4

“War Pigs” – Dio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IG1lEiOUclc

I am going to stop at three bands. I know there are several more to discuss, maybe a part 2 blog. I also plan to discuss replacing musicians within a band as well. Some of the singers discussed here have left us may they Rest In Peace:

Ronald Belford “Bon” Scott (9 July 1946 – 19 February 1980)

Ronald James “DIO” Padavona (July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010)

While others, OZZY, David Lee Roth, have rejoined to band mates. What is your take on replacing singers? I feel like they become a “different” band. Let me know!

Thanks to my best friend, my love, and my partner in crime, my wife Dani for this idea!

the Hellion