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Van Halen Rising: How a Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal Kindle Edition
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"Renoff's book is a thoroughly entertaining read that will appeal to every hard rock fan." -- Publishers Weekly
"Let us guess - you're one of those people who thinks they know everything about Van Halen, right? You don't. At least not until you've read Van Halen Rising: How a Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal, the forthcoming book by historian and self-proclaimed Van Halen diehard Greg Renoff." -- Van Halen News Desk
"I had a blast reading Van Halen Rising. Throughout my teen years, there were few things that meant as much to me as the first six Van Halen albums and the original line up of the band. Greg Renoff takes us back to the beginning of all that, to how Dave, Eddie, Alex, and Michael came to form the group, to what the rock world looked like at the time, and to that grit and commitment it took for them to break through. He also puts us right there in Pasadena, at the backyard parties where the big rock sound was born. If you are a Van Halen fan, a real Van Halen fan, this book is a must read." -- Brian Koppelman, screenwriter of Rounders and Ocean's Thirteen, director of Solitary Man, and podcaster at The Moment
"I thought I knew a lot about Van Halen, until I read this book. It's exceedingly rare to find such a comprehensive portrait of any band's pre-history, even for canonical groups like the Beatles and Led Zeppelin. So to stumble across this level of research about the early days of VH is like hearing studio-quality demos of songs you did not even know existed." -- Chuck Klosterman, author of Fargo Rock City and Killing Yourself to Live
About the Author
He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with his wife and two daughters, and enjoys connecting with readers via vanhalenrising.com and twitter.com/GregRenoff
- Publication Date : October 1, 2015
- File Size : 24958 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : ECW Press; 1st Edition (October 1, 2015)
- Print Length : 402 pages
- ASIN : B00VXGDEGM
- Language: : English
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Page Numbers Source ISBN : 1770412638
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #29,903 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Now, having read this book, I realized what set them apart from so many awful clones: They worked their asses off for years before hitting it big, against the crazy tide of commercial music that hated what they represented. It seems like most bands since Van Halen want fame immediately and are unwilling to put in the work to build their name up. Having read this book it is absolutely NO WONDER they exploded within a year of their debut album hitting the stores. I absolutely loved the stories from the "big" bands at the time for whom Van Halen opened -- Black Sabbath, Journey, etc. -- regretting having to follow these young upstarts. Van Halen were starving by the time they landed a tour, and were primed and ready. The big bands at that time -- and no disrespect is implied here -- hadn't seen anything like them and were on automatic pilot, it seems. (Such a kick that Sabbath were supporting an album called "Never Say Die" when they were clearly dying a slow death night after night.)
Probably the biggest thing I came away with after reading Van Halen Rising was a deep respect for David Lee Roth. Look, you either love him or hate him. I've vacillated between one or the other in the years of being a VH fan. I now can say I love the guy. He's taken his licks since Day One when he took voice lessons in school. No one has ever praised VH for vocals the way one praises Led Zeppelin, Journey, etc. But without a doubt were it not for his style, incredible DRIVE, and an unfathomable amount of faith and hope (and those aren't just the names of a couple of strippers in Vegas) Van Halen as we know it would not exist. He changed their look and broadened their soundscape. He compensated for his vocals with incredible charisma. The man is smart and savvy, and I can tell he knew he was lucky when Ed and Al let him into the fold. They no doubt knew they were lucky to have a guy fight so hard to help them become a best-selling act.
The interviews are well-sourced. I loved hearing Ted Templeman's stories, including that he wanted to replace Roth with Sammy Hagar but relented when he heard Roth's lyrics. To this day that's one of the biggest differences between those two iterations of Van Halen. Good to hear from Michael Anthony -- who I felt sorry for when I saw the pics to the clothes he had to wear the first concert he played in -- and good to hear from Mark Stone, the guy he replaced.
I'm giving this 4, not 5 stars for aesthetic reasons only. This looks like a vanity press, self-published book. I know it is not endorsed by VH, I get it. But the ink on some of the pages were lighter than others and at times somewhat difficult to read. I would have loved for this to have been published by a better publisher, and certainly in hardcover. It was clearly written by a fan who took it upon himself to fill a void that many of us wanted filled, but the quality/presentation of the book FELT like it was written by a fan, if that means anything. I'm that specific kind of book nerd. So sue me. Of course most of the photos in here were not professionally done -- probably taken from a friend at the party, but as a rock bio fan I would have killed for a middle section of some color photos.
But I hope you hear from this review that the quality of the story itself is very satisfying and made me appreciate Van Halen more than ever. I read that the author is considering a sequel. I would LOVE to read about the rest of the Roth years in similar detail.
Thanks Greg Renoff for taking the time to write this book.
Greg Renoff has done a great book job with this book and for someone like me it’s perfect. I would like him to write a book about the next chapter of their career - the studio recordings and what took place in the studio and during this time with as much detail as he has this first book. I know he’s writing a book about Van Halen’s producer, Ted Templeman, who I’m also a huge fan of. So I’m really looking forward to that book.
I have been following the band since I moved to L.A., and my youth was formed around the music scene there since 1978 to 1985.
The book provides me some refreshed memories of backyard parties and auditorium gatherings where bands played live. I wish I had seen the mighty Van Halen in its formative years but this book takes you back in time.
I have my memories of what bands I saw but now I can certainly see where all the luster and bluster for hard rock comes from. I just saw them in concert this year and was glad that the book plus the tour made the summer even more special for me, as a fan.
In researching the young Van Halen's youth, particularly bringing us in to their teens years, you can learn so much about who they are today.
Especially their relationship as brothers, as band mates to each other, and their relationship with one David Lee Roth.
I am glad Greg Renoff put this well written story of my favorite band together.
I am on my second re-read and much like Dave's Crazy from the Heat, I cannot put it down.
If you love music, and if you love success stories with great background I strongly recommend Van Halen Rising!
Top reviews from other countries
Some books you forget, others you feel the absence when you close the cover for the last time - this is the latter.
Looking forward to Van Halen Ruling now. Lets hope Greg Renoff is writing it now.