I was 22 on that cold winter night in February of 1978, when I was "introduced" to Van Halen at a friend's apartment, sitting on a friend's thick carpet, passing a joint around. And the needle dropped on this album, that I was told "I had to hear."
I was not a stranger to great Hard Rock... I was a teen in the 70's, and had already experienced most of the great 70's bands on record and in concert.
But, by the time "ATBL" played, after Eruption, I knew that this was earth shattering and groundbreaking.
"Atomic Punk" let me know what the future of Hard Rock was, and "Little Dreamer" was the cherry on top!
I bought the album the next day, and went to see the band for the very first time that summer at the 1978 Texxas Jam, where they were slotted in for the 11am spot... which is, I am sure, why the Cotton Bowl was 80% full before that hour. (80% of 80,000 is 64,000 in the stands and on the floor).
I saw every VH tour, from their 1978 double bill with Black Sabbath, through to 1984's show at Reunion Arena. I only wish my Jacksons tickets had been the night before, when Eddie Joined them for "Beat It."
I feel numb right now. I don't know what to say, except FUCK can-cer.
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