|When I heard Van Halen on
the radio in 1978,
I rushed out and bought their debut
album immediately. I played the record again and again, trying to learn the lyrics, trying
to copy the guitar on a cheap acoustic, Van Halen's music just made me want to somehow,
play along. After a few-hundred spins of the record I managed to figure out a few
notes, but it was pretty tough. I was thirteen years old, and had never picked up an
instrument before in my life. When I finally got frustated enough with trying to play
along with the guitar, I decided to stripe it! I put duct tape, electrical tape,
scotch tape and whatever paint I could find to make that old nylon-string acoustic guitar
look cool like Eddie's. Too bad I couldn't play it!
The day Van Halen II came out, I was at the record store, before it opened, with my paper route earnings tightly clinched in my fist. The album was a perfect follow up to the debut. I liked VH II so much I painted a huge red and blue VH on my bedroom wall. A year later I painted another one!
When Women and Children First was released, I bought a cheap Les-Paul copy guitar and cheap amp and practiced away, but playing guitar didn't come easy to me. I was no Eddie Van Halen!! I was pretty bad!
|In 1982 I was a Junior in high school, and I finally got to see Van Halen live. It was the Diver Down tour. The lights, the wall of amplifiers, those crazy sounds....it was completely over the top!! I remember how much FUN the band was having, how LOUD the crowd was, and how CRAZY the chicks were! It was then and there I realized somehow, some way I was going to be on a stage performing.|
|A few weeks later a friend of mine from school invited me to his band's rehearsal. I sat down behind the Drumset and it was all to natural. I could PLAY! The band knew I was a huge VH fan, so they broke into Aint Talkin 'bout Love and I played the whole damn song !! As soon as THAT was over they broke into You Really Got Me, and I played along again with a huge smile on my face...I could DO IT!|
After a week of pleading, I talked my parents into letting me get a drumset. I was the proud owner of a used CB700 set with cymbals and stands! I played along with my VH records almost everyday, and got better and better. My main influence: Alex Van Halen.
While practicing one day, in-between songs I heard a knock at the window. I thought it was another neighbor with a noise complaint. It was a guy from down the block that played guitar. I knew he was in a kick-ass cover band, and I knew they did a LOT of Van Halen. I tried to contain myself when he asked if I wanted to join his band "LYCK".
The other guys in the band were a lot older and had more experience than me, but I fit in just fine. I stayed with Lyck playing local clubs and parties for about 2 years. The singer and I eventually quit to form "BACKLASH", an original/cover band. In the years to follow I worked with several other bands playing just about any kind of music you could think of. I appeared on one album, a CD by an up-and coming singer/guitarist, and recorded demos with several other projects.
In 1990 the San Fransisco Bay Area saw the birth of several tribute bands. In 1991 I joined Rhoads to Ozz, a Tribute to Ozzy and the late great Randy Rhoads, and eventually joined San Jose's VH tribute, the Atomic Punks. Click below for sound samples recorded Live at Cheer's in Sunnyvale, California.
|Live w/ San Jose's Atomic Punks Van Halen Tribute|
Van Halen has always been my main influence, and any time I play a Van Halen song, It reminds me of all the fun I had growing up and listening to them. I'm not currently in a band, but I get together and jam with other musicians, several I met through the Van Halen Mailing List.
When I do decide it's time to commit to another project, I gaurantee it will be something with "A little bit of Van Halen" in it........