Original Band Members:
Eddie Van Halen - guitar, keys,vocals
Alex Van Halen - drums
Michael Anthony - bass, vocals
David Lee Roth - vocals
Brothers Alex and Eddie Van Halen were born in The Netherlands. The Van Halen is basically a Californian band though. After the family moved there, Eddie began studying classical piano and Alex took up the guitar. By their early teens, it was Eddie who was playing guitar and Alex had switched to drums.
In 1974, the Van Halen brothers, bassist Michael Anthony and vocalist David Lee Roth began playing local gigs as the band “Mammoth”. When they discovered that another Pasadena band was already using that name, Roth suggested the group take the name Van Halen. The brothers didn't like it at first, but when no one came up with a better name, they went along with it.
In 1976, Van Halen was getting regular work playing clubs on Los Angeles' Sunset Strip. It was here that they came to the attention of the band “KISS” frontman Gene Simmons, who was so impressed with the band that he paid for their first demo tape. In 1978, their self-titled debut album was released, becoming one of the most successful debut albums ever and bringing hard rock into the musical mainstream.
Over the next 20 years, the Van Halens and Anthony remained the core of the increasingly influential and successful band. They had almost 11 albums all of which reached the top 20 charts! Roth left the group in 1985, primarily because of disagreements with Eddie Van Halen. Sammy Hagar, (ex- lead singer for Montrose), replaced Roth. The “Van Hagar” era lasted until 1996. However, Eddie performed a solo concert in Los Angeles in July last year. He was also named as one of the greatest rock guitarist in Rolling Stones magazine! When Roth was there, the band was possibly the most critically acclaimed, but it was in the era of Sammy Hagar that the band was successful commercially. The band's debut album propelled high-energy hard rock into the commercial mainstream. The Van Halen is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the band with the most number one hits on the Billboard Mainstream Rock List. Eddie Van Halen's guitar solo, "Eruption" earned widespread acclaim for its technical achievement, and served as a model for a generation of guitarists. For hard-rock fans, the band's debut album is 'Van Halen'.
Popular Songs to listen to: "Runnin' With the Devil", "Jump” “I can't stop loving: you” and "Dance the Night Away”
Compiled by Shamma M. Raghib
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