Come the late '70s, the rock music landscape was littered with the bloated carcasses of bands who partied too hard, burned out, or became complacent in success. The door was open for something fresh, wild, and enrapturing. Enter Van Halen. Made up of two Dutch-born brothers, one on drums and the other whose guitar was an extension of his very being, a bass player with a golden throat, and a frontman who made up for his lack of traditional singing ability with attitude and gravity-defying acrobatics onstage, they were unlike anything ever seen before.
Alex and Edward Van Halen, Michael Anthony, and David Lee Roth put a cap on one decade and exploded into the next with a brand of music not quite punk, not quite metal, and not at all subtle. They went from headlining backyard keggers to top billing at the US Festival in front of three hundred thousand people within five years. Then, right when it looked like there wasn't an obstacle created to slow the Mighty Van Halen ascent, the group imploded from the inside out, only to rebound stronger than ever with ex-Montrose howler Sammy Hagar leading them to four consecutive number one albums.
Van Halen: The Eruption and the Aftershock tells the story of how one of America's greatest bands weathered arguably the most dramatic soap opera in rock and roll history with songs that would weave themselves into the fabric of every musician who heard them, alongside an incendiary and unrivaled live show. Featuring exclusive interviews with insiders, fans, and artists who were there to witness the rise, the tumult, and the making of legends, it's a story that has to be read to be believed.
"Amazing book. Only a few people will get Van Halen's insides." -Stephen Pearcy, Ratt
"It's an explosive legacy. It's cemented. They kicked every ass that was in front of them." -Philip H. Anselmo, Pantera/Down
"I was part of Van Halen's PR team at Warner Bros. in the late '70s. I cried and I laughed out loud more than a few times while reading this book, recognizing occurrences I hadn't thought about in decades. The Van Halen I knew is on these pages, and Michael has painted a brilliant portrait of them." -Heidi Ellen Robinson-Fitzgerald, HERFitz PR
"There's only one Van Halen, and they were really, really good." -Tony Iommi, Black Sabbath
Michael Christopher is a journalist and music historian. He is the author of Depeche Mode: All That's Left to Know About the World's Finest Synth-Pop Band. A senior writer for the online music magazine Vanyaland, where he was a founding member and later managing editor, he contributes regularly to Ultimate Classic Rock, Loudwire, and LA Weekly. He also has a music and lifestyle column in the Daily Times, a newspaper in the Philadelphia metro region. His work has appeared in the Boston Phoenix, Boston Magazine, Rockpile, and Diffuser. He lives in Boston, building a respectable vinyl collection.