RIP Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen, whose pressing inventiveness lofted him among the all-time elite guitarists and whose life epitomized both the aspirational American dream and the rough-and-tumble of rock ’n’ roll, died Tuesday after battling cancer. He was 65 years old. He was the main songwriter and lead guitarist of the American rock band Van Halen, which he co-founded in 1972 with his brother, drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist Mark Stone, and singer David Lee Roth. He was well known for popularizing the tapping guitar solo technique, allowing rapid arpeggios to be played with two hands on the fretboard. In 2012, he was voted number one in a Guitar World magazine reader’s poll for “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”A self-taught musician, Mr. Van Halen popularized the two-handed tapping technique of playing with both hands on the neck of the guitar. The style, which showcased how blindingly fast he could pick out a melody, helped make “Eruption” what is widely considered among the greatest guitar solos of all time. With his brother he formed the basis of Van Halen, the band that made hard rock’s comeback in the 1980s.

Born in Amsterdam to a classically trained clarinetist, saxophonist and pianist father, brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen got an early taste of stage life, playing piano with the band aboard the ship on which the family immigrated to the U.S. Eddie, then 7 years old, had started learning piano at age 6, and continued lessons after the family settled in Pasadena, Calif. He placed in local competitions, but never read music, instead learning by watching and listening. He quit and began playing the drums; his brother, Alex, the guitar. According to Mr. Van Halen, he would find Alex playing his drums and thought his brother more talented so he took up the guitar instead. By the early 1980s, Van Halen was one of the most successful rock acts of the time. The album 1984 went five-times platinum a year after its release. The lead single “Jump” became the band’s first and only number-one pop hit and garnered them a Grammy nomination.

The band won the 1992 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocals for the album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. In 2019, the band ranked 20th on the RIAA list of best-selling artists with 56 million album sales in the United States and more than 80 million worldwide. Additionally, Van Halen charted 13 number-one hits in the history of Billboards Mainstream Rock chart; meanwhile, VH1 ranked the band seventh on a list of the top 100 hard rock artists of all time and, in 2007, Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Individually, Eddie received acclaim for his guitar work in the band.

Eddie engaged in several projects outside of his eponymous band, including solo work and partnerships with his brother on film soundtracks (such as The Wild LifeTwister, and a pornographic film) as well as musical collaborations with Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, Nicolette Larson, Michael Jackson, Brian May, Sammy Hagar, Black Sabbath, Roger Waters, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, and LL Cool J. In addition, Eddie made cameo appearances in the music video for Frank Sinatra’s “L.A. Is My Lady” and an episode of Two and a Half Men. Eddie was also an inventor on three patents related to guitars: a folding prop to support a guitar in a flat position, a tension-adjusting tailpiece,and an ornamental design for a headstock.

Eddie used custom equipment throughout his career. His original choice of guitar was a Gibson Les Paul, which he replaced the original P90 pickup on the bridge with a humbucker in order to sound like Eric Clapton. He is most associated with the Frankenstrat, a custom guitar he built from parts. The ash body and maple neck cost $130, while the body was bought for $50 as the wood had a knot in it. The tremolo arm was originally taken from a 1958 Fender Stratocaster, and was later replaced with a Floyd Rose arm. The guitar had a single Gibson PAF (patent applied for) bridge pickup from a Gibson ES-335, which he enclosed with paraffin wax to prevent feedback. The Frankenstrat was originally painted black, but was recoated with Schwinn red bicycle paint in 1979. For Van Halen’s 2012 tour, and early 2015 television appearances, he used a Wolfgang USA guitar with a black finish and ebony fretboard. For the 2015 tour, he used a white Wolfgang USA guitar designed by Chip Ellis, featuring a custom kill switch.

In 1980, Van Halen met actress Valerie Bertinelli at a Van Halen concert in Shreveport, Louisiana. They married in California a year later and had one son, Wolfgang. In 2005, Bertinelli filed for divorce in Los Angeles after four years of separation. The divorce was finalized in 2007. The following year, Eddie proposed to his girlfriend, Janie Liszewski, an actress and stuntwoman who was Van Halen’s publicist at the time. The two married in 2009, at his Studio City estate, with his son Wolfgang and ex-wife Bertinelli in attendance. Van Halen struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse. He began smoking and drinking at the age of 12, and he stated that he eventually needed alcohol to function.

He entered rehabilitation in 2007, and later shared in an interview that he had been sober since 2008. Van Halen underwent hip replacement surgery in 1999, after his chronic avascular necrosis, with which he was diagnosed in 1995, became unbearable. He began receiving treatment for tongue cancer in 2000. The subsequent surgery removed roughly a third of his tongue. He was declared cancer-free in 2002. n 2012, Van Halen underwent an emergency surgery for a severe bout of diverticulitis. Recovery time required due to the surgery led to postponement of Van Halen tour dates scheduled in Japan.

Fan Of These Bands

Back in 2007 I had written a post about the number of years that I had been a fan of my favourite bands. 2007 is such a long time ago now and it’s time to see how may years have I been a fan of the artists that I enjoy listening to so much. My list of songs & albums and decided that it deserved a post. So here it is, in descending order, the bands that I have been a fan of (I’m not including bands that have disbanded but artists who have died are included, provided that they have a considerable amount of recorded material) :

Band / Artist No. of Years Year which I first heard them

  1. Bon Jovi – 34 – 1986
  2. Europe – 34 – 1986
  3. Scorpions – 33 – 1987
  4. Van Halen – 33 – 1987
  5. Deep Purple – 33 -1987
  6. Bryan Adams – 32 – 1988
  7. Def Leppard – 32 – 1988
  8. Neil Young – 32 – 1988
  9. Eric Clapton – 32 – 1988
  10. Deep Purple unsecured payday loan – 32 – 1988
  11. AC / DC – 32 – 1988
  12. Aerosmith – 32 – 1988
  13. Guns n’Roses – 31 – 1989
  14. Metallica – 31 – 1989
  15. Alice Cooper 31 – 1989
  16. Warrant – 31 – 1989
  17. Poison – 30 – 1990
  18. Iron Maiden – 30 – 1990
  19. Jeff Healey – 30 – 1990
  20. Queensryche – 29 – 1991
  21. Megadeth – 29 – 1991
  22. Rush – 28 – 1992
  23. Pearl Jam – 28 – 1992
  24. Joe Satriani – 28 -1992
  25. Yngwie Malmsteen – 28 – 1992
  26. Steve Vai – 27 – 1993
  27. Alice In Chains installment loans poor credit – 27 – 1993
  28. Crash Test Dummies – 27 – 1993
  29. Ugly Kid Joe – 27 – 1993
  30. Barenaked Ladies – 22

These are the longest that I can think of. There are other bands that I like, but I either own just a few songs (like Ozzy, Judas Priest) and or never bought any of their albums (Led Zepplin).

What Is On Your Music Playlist Right Now?

Mostly the same bands and artists that I usually listen to. The classics are always great. Most bands that I currently listen to I have been listening to for a long, long time. Bands from the 70s, 80s & 90s and a few from the 2000s. There are a few artists that I listen to a bit more now than previously. Like Slayer – I barely listened to them for so long but recently, since the past 2 years, I have been playing them on Youtube a lot more.

One band that I have started listening to are Greek Black Metal band formed in 1987 and their first album came out in 1991 but I only started listening to them last year and they blow me away. I have also been watching/listening to some cover bands, The Classic Rock Show and the Lexington Lab Band, that are a class above (meaning about as good as top class rock bands but these guys only play covers) a lot on Youtube since they do really fine, almost updated, covers of some of my bands songs and bands.

Other than that ofcourse I listen to my fav bands – Rush, Barenaked Ladies, Pearl Jam, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Alice In Chains, Queensryche, Def Leppard, Deep Purple, Dream Theatre, Bryan Adams, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, etc etc a lot.

Prompt from 30 Days Of September Writing Prompts at The SitsGirls

RIP Frankie Banali

Frankie Banali, who played drums on Quiet Riot’s best-selling albums and kept the band going for nearly four decades, died Thursday at the age of 68. He had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer last April. He is best known for his work with multi-platinum heavy metal band Quiet Riot and was the only member remaining from the band’s classic lineup. He had been the band’s manager since 1994. He played drums in the heavy metal band W.A.S.P., as well as with Billy Idol. Banali was briefly a touring drummer for Faster Pussycat and Steppenwolf.

Frankie Banali was born on November 14, 1951, in Queens, New York City, New York, to Italian immigrants, Jack and Martha Banali. In 1975, he moved to Los Angeles, where he spent four years playing drums with various bands, including Steppenwolf with Nick St. Nicholas and Goldy McJohn. In 1979, Banali, along with bassist Dana Strum, was in secret rehearsals with then Quiet Riot guitarist Randy Rhoads and Ozzy Osbourne as the latter was looking for a guitar player to launch a new band.[2] In 1980, he joined forces with Kevin DuBrow and formed DuBrow with a revolving door of musicians, before settling with former Snow guitarist Carlos Cavazo and bassist Chuck Wright.

Banali joined Quiet Riot in 1982, one year before the band released its blockbuster breakthrough album, Metal Health. The singles “Cum On Feel the Noize” and “Metal Health (Bang Your Head)” featured Banali’s hard-hitting drumming, and the group’s mixture of tough heavy-metal riffs and glam-rock sensibilities played well at radio and on the newly launched MTV. By 1989, Quiet Riot disbanded after touring in support of their self-titled album, which was released in October 1988. Around the time of recording their self-titled album, he also played drums for W.A.S.P.’s The Headless Children album. After Quiet Riot disbanded, he rejoined W.A.S.P. to tour in support of the album. In 1990, Banali was called in by Faster Pussycat to replace the fired Mark Michals, during their tour in support of their 1989 album Wake Me When It’s Over.

After his mother’s death in November 1990, Banali regrouped and formed a band called Heavy Bones with guitarist Gary Hoey. They released only one album in 1992, before disbanding. In 1993, Banali rejoined Quiet Riot after Bobby Rondinelli left the band to join Black Sabbath. In 1994, he also took over as the band’s manager, overseeing the band’s business decisions. After three albums and more lineup changes (including the reunion of the classic Metal Health lineup from 1997 onwards), Quiet Riot disbanded in 2003. Banali and DuBrow reformed Quiet Riot in October 2004 with bassist Chuck Wright and new guitarist Alex Grossi. They released one album with the lineup, Rehab in 2006, before the untimely death of DuBrow in November 2007. Banali announced the dissolving of Quiet Riot on January 14, 2008.

In mid-2010, Banali had an online fundraiser via Kickstarter with his then fiance Regina Russell Banali for the seed money for production of a documentary about the band, titled Quiet Riot – Well Now You’re Here There’s No Way Back, a film she both produced and directed. The final amount raised was nearly $24,000, The film premiered at the Newport Beach Film Festival on April 29, 2014. On January 18, 2017 Frankie was inducted into the Hall of Heavy Metal History for his contribution to Heavy Metal drums. In October 2019, Banali whose father also died of cancer, revealed that he was diagnosed with stage-IV pancreatic cancer on April 17. He died from the disease on August 20, 2020, at age 68. This left Banali as the second member of the classic Metal Health-era Quiet Riot lineup to have died, following Kevin DuBrow in October 2007.

RIP Peter Green

Peter Green, the dexterous blues guitarist who led the first incarnation of Fleetwood Mac in a career shortened by psychedelic drugs and mental illness, has died at 73. A law firm representing his family, Swan Turton, announced the death in a statement Saturday. It said he died “peacefully in his sleep? this weekend. A further statement will be issued in the coming days. Green, to some listeners, was the best of the British blues guitarists of the 1960s.

Green also made a mark as a composer with Albatross, and as a songwriter with Oh Well and Black Magic Woman. He crashed out of the band in 1971. Even so, Mick Fleetwood said in an interview with The Associated Press in 2017 that Green deserves the lion’s share of the credit for the band’s success. Indeed, Green was so fundamental to the band that in its early days it was called Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac.

Peter Allen Greenbaum was born on 29 October, 1946, in London. The gift of a cheap guitar put the 10-year-old Green on a musical path. He was barely out of his teens when he got his first big break in 1966, replacing Eric Clapton in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers — initially for just a week in 1965 after Clapton abruptly took off for a Greek holiday. Clapton quit for good soon after and Green was in. In the Bluesbreakers he was reunited with Mick Fleetwood, a former colleague in Peter B’s Looners. Mayall added bass player McVie soon after. The three departed the next year, forming the core of the band initially billed as “Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac featuring (guitarist) Jeremy Spencer.”

Fleetwood Mac made its debut at the British Blues and Jazz festival in the summer of 1967, which led to a recording contract, then an eponymous first album in February 1968. The album, which included Long Grey Mare and three other songs by Green, stayed on the British charts for 13 months. The band’s installment loans poor credit early albums were heavy blues-rock affairs marked by Green’s fluid, evocative guitar style and gravelly vocals. Notable singles included Oh Well and the Latin-flavoured Black Magic Woman, later a hit for Carlos Santana. But as the band flourished, Green became increasingly erratic, even paranoid. Drugs played a part in his unraveling. Green Manalishi, Green’s last single for the band, reflected his distress.

Beginning with “Man of the World”‘s melancholy lyric, Green’s bandmates began to notice changes in his state of mind. He was taking large doses of LSD, grew a beard and began to wear robes and a crucifix. Mick Fleetwood recalls Green becoming concerned about accumulating wealth: “I had conversations with Peter Green around that time and he was obsessive about us not making money, wanting us to give it all away. In some of his last appearances with the band, he wore a monk’s robe and a crucifix. Fearing that he had too much money, he tried to persuade other band members to give their earnings to charities. While touring Europe in late March 1970, Green took LSD at a party at a commune in Munich, an incident cited by Fleetwood Mac manager Clifford Davis as the crucial point in his mental decline. Green left Fleetwood Mac for good in 1971.

In his absence, the band’s new line-up, including Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, gained enormous success with a more pop-tinged sound. Green was confined in a mental hospital in 1977 after an incident with his manager. Testimony in court said Green had asked for money and then threatened to shoot out the windows of the manager’s office. Green was released later in the year, and married Jane Samuels, a Canadian, in 1978. They had a daughter, Rosebud, and divorced the following year. Green also has a son, Liam Firlej. In 1979, Green began to re-emerge professionally. With the help of his brother Michael, he was signed to Peter Vernon-Kell’s PVK label, and produced a string of solo albums starting with 1979’s In the Skies. He also made an uncredited appearance on Fleetwood Mac’s double album Tusk, on the song “Brown Eyes”, released the same year.

Green returned to performing in the 1990s with the Peter Green Splinter Group and released 9 low interest unsecured loan solo albums. In 1998, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with other past and present members of Fleetwood Mac.