Van Halen were a Hard Rock band formed in the 1970s as a result of 1 guitar playing brother Alex deciding that he wanted to have a go on his brother Eddie's guitar kit. Causing Eddie to pick up his brothers guitar, the rest is face melting history.
As said above Van Halen were a Hard Rock band formed in the 1970s as a result of 1 guitar playing brother Alex deciding that he wanted to have a go on his Brother Eddie's guitar kit. Causing Eddie to fly into a psychopathic rage and pick up his brothers guitar, the rest is face melting history.
They were joined in their quest for international musical acclaim and awesome rockin' tits by a series of fat singers who liked boobs just as much as they did but couldn't hold a note live on stage. Nobody cared too much about that as they all really came to listen to Eddie play, they could sing along themselves... like the world's most awesome karaoke.
With David Lee Roth in tow as a lumbering hairy ball of noisy sex they had some success in the late 70s and early 80s mainly with tracks that featured Eddie in classic ridiculous mode such as Eruption. Their debut album become a fast favorite despite having literally a 2 minute show off piece originally put in their demos to show that Eddie was l33t gu1tar5aur. Despite this 2 minute public display of masturbation at the front of the album they still debuted at #19 in the billboard charts and got to go on tour with Black Sabbath.
True commercial success did not really come until 1984 with the album... 1984. Despite having a name that was probably not inspired by George Orwell but rather by the fact that they were high and it was the easiest fucking title in the world to come up with!!
This album spawned almost all of Van Halen's classic tracks including the 1 song that everybody knows "Jump" as well as a host of other's like "Panama" and "Hot For Teacher" the video for which caused everyone who still actually in school when they saw it's balls to drop.
Despite the amazing commercial success the band was having during this period David Lee Roth decided to record a solo album as a side project. Eddie wasn't happy about this when he found out. This would usually be a good reason to fall out with your singer if he goes behind your back and records an album. The fact that he was told this was going to happen but was so narcoleptically drunk all the time that it took him several months to realise is an entirely different issue...
Depending on who you believe it was the fact that the rest of the band was apathetic and drunk most of the time OR the fact that Roth had jammed so much coke up his nose that everyone else appeared to be moving in slow motion that caused the split.
Given that it was 3 to 1 in favour of the sitting around getting drunk vs. knocking out an album in about 4 weeks, going on tour, making a load of cash and starring in some movies (yes that was Roth's plan... Roth the actor *shudders) it is no surprise that Roth was given the boot.
Without Roth holding back Eddie's desire to try and shove as many pop keyboard sounds into the songs as possible, work on finding a new singer and recording a new album began. Hagar was actually introduced to Van Halen through Eddie's mechanic, who was also Hagar's mechanic. The fact that Eddie needed some advice on finding a new singer can be evidenced by his original first choice replacement Patty Smyth... who was Eddie's ex-wife. Eddie was so up to date on other musicians that the only suitable replacements he could think of were his ex-wife and some bloke who his mechanic knew.
As it turned out the bloke his mechanic knew was actually a musician (of sorts) and not his overdressed mate who like to go do karaoke a lot.
The resulting album 5150 was a huge commercial success and signaled the start of Van Halen's best period of commercial (if not critical success). The formula of cheesy keyboard riffs with Hagar's blues influenced vocals combined with ridiculous guitar solos and even more ridiculous lyrics seemed to strike a chord with the late 80s/early 90s public. 5150 spawned the hit single "Why Can't This Be Love?" as well as several other hits.
All 4 studio Albums recorded with Hagar went to #1 on the billboard charts ensuring that the members could all drink themselves slowly into oblivion for as long as it took. They also somewhat surprisingly considering the direction they had taken musically won the Grammys for Best Hard Rock Performance and Vocals in 1991.
However things were once again not well behind the scenes. Hagar became, as Roth before him had, increasingly frustrated with the band's lack of effort towards writing more original material. He was especially annoyed when work on a new Van Halen album was sidetracked by soundtrack work for the movie Twister and compiling a greatest hits collection. Eddie meanwhile saw that Hagar was developing into more of cartoon character of a rock star, a position exemplified by Hagar writing lyrics for a song that even Eddie found "too cheesy".
Hagar left the soundtrack recording and went to Hawaii to graze upon the natives in the hope to satisfy his insatiable lust for blood. He was promptly fired on Father's Day 1996 by Eddie, who claimed that Hagar actually quit by going off to Hawaii and refusing to record in the middle of the work.
Later years to follow...later