‘Runnin’ with the Devil’ by Noel Monk and Joe Layden – Book Review

Runnin’ with the Devil: A Backstage Pass to the Wild Times, Loud Rock, and the Down and Dirty Truth Behind the Making of Van Halen by Joe Layden and Noel E. Monk…now that is a mouthful for a book title.  The book takes you on the journey of the David Lee Roth era of Van Halen and for some the true era of Van Halen.  The story is from the point of view of their Tour Manager and later Manager Noel E. Monk.

Before we get in to it, if you want to read a much better review of the book, go see my friend Deke at his blog as it was his review that made me get this when Amazon offered on the Kindle for only $2 (or was it $3)…either way it was cheap and worth that price.

The book picks up with Noel coming in as their tour manager for the tour supporting their incredible debut album ‘Van Halen’.  We don’t get any insight into the making of that album or really any album for that matter as Noel didn’t go to the studios while they were recording (or rarely ever did). We also don’t get any information on their forming or even their time with Gene Simmons which would have been nice, but again, this is not a band member telling the story and I had to get over that fact.

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Bob Rock – Producer Extraordinaire #4

We are now on our 4th Producer Extraordinaire in this series.  We have seen Robert John “Mutt” Lange, Brendan O’Brien and Bruce Fairbairn so far, and now it is time for Bob Rock.  Bob Rock actually got his start as a recording engineer and mixer under the great Bruce Fairbairn so he learned from one of the best.

Bob’s musical career started back in 1979 / 1980 when he started engineering from Bruce as well as joined the band Payola$ who had a big hit in 1980 called “Eyes of a Stranger”. They were pretty successful in Canada and won a Juno Award in 1983 for Single of the Year.  However, Bob’s real talent (or at least to me) is his ability to work with bands and produce amazing albums.

METALLICA:

Bob Rock has worked with some of the biggest bands in the world, but they don’t get bigger than Metallica.  Bob was selected as the Producer for the band’s biggest album they had ever done, however, at the time they did not know it would become so big. “The Black Album” as it is commonly known made Metallica cool in the mainstream world as well as the Thrash world.

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Tuesday’s Memes – Van Halen

I keep seeing news clips about possible Van Halen reunion stories from either Sammy and then Dave and then Sammy and I actually don’t care anymore.  If it happens, it happens.  Until then, shut the f##k up about it and let’s just celebrate the good and bad about Van Halen with these memes.  Enjoy!

Everyone argues about Roth or Hagar…We are going to settle this once and for all…

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The Debut: Van Halen – ‘Van Halen’

For my third installment of The Debut, I have decided to take on the daunting task of discussing on what is regarded as one of the best debut albums in rock history, Van Halen’s debut simply called ‘Van Halen’.  Why is it daunting? Because so many people have written about this album that there really is nothing I can add to the discussion other than my opinion which is probably no different than what has already been said.

We will start off with some general information about the album.  The album was released on February 10th, 1978.  I was only 9 at the time.  It was produced by Ted Templeman who was famous for producing The Doobie Brothers, Van Morrison and Montrose (early Sammy Hagar connection).  The album reached as high as only #19 on the charts and did sell over 1 million copies in its first year.  It has now been certified Diamond Status with sells well over 10 million copies.

The band was originally discovered by Gene Simmons from the band KISS.  Gene worked with the band and they did some demos, but nothing materialized as Gene headed back out on tour with his band.  The ended up playing a lot of live shows around Hollywood including the Whiskey A Go Go and the Starwood.  It was at the Starwood that they came to the attention of Mo Ostin & Ted Templeman with Warner Brothers Records.  They later signed with Warner and went on to record their debut album.

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My Favorites Mix by Apple Music

Each week Apple Music creates a playlist for me of songs they feel I will like called “My Favorites Mix”.  This week they did a really great job of picking those songs.  There were 25 songs and 1 hour & 32 minutes of magic.  Here are the songs:

  1. “Parasite (feat. John 5)” by Ace Frehley – Origins Vol. 1
  2. “You’re In Trouble” by Ratt – Out of the Cellar
  3. “Tobacco Road” by David Lee Roth – Eat ‘Em and Smile
  4. “My Woman in Black” by Scorpion Child – Acid Roulette
  5. “Outta My Way” by Talisman – Cats and Dogs
  6. “Monster You Made” by Pop Evil – War of Angels
  7. “Under and Over It” by Five Finger Death Punch – American Capitalist
  8. “Fiddler’s” by John 5 – Songs for Sanity
  9. “We Could Run Away” by Needtobreathe – The Heat
  10. “Rudebox” by Robbie Williams – Rudebox E.P.
  11. “Stay the Night” by James Blunt – Some Kind of Trouble
  12. “No Apologies” by Bon Jovi – Greatest Hits – The Ultimate Collection
  13. “Professor Satchafunkilus” by Joe Satriani – Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock
  14. “Lighter Shade of Green” by Alcatrazz – Disturbing the Peace
  15. “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones – The Complete Collection 1971-2013
  16. “Something More” by Train – Drops of Jupiter
  17. “Invisible Touch” by Genesis – Invisible Touch
  18. “Run to You” by Bryan Adams – Reckless
  19. “Bring It On Home” by Dread Zeppelin – Un-Led-Ed
  20. “One Thing Leads to Another” by The Fixx – Reach the Beach
  21. “Suicide Blonde” by INXS – The Best of INXS
  22. “Sure Know Something” by Kiss – Dynasty
  23. “Save A Prayer” by Duran Duran – Greatest
  24. “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie – Best of Bowie
  25. “Hollywood” by Collective Soul – Afterwords

When I gave this a listen the first time, this playlist put me in a great mood.  I hope the new playlist coming up on Wednesday is as good as this one.  Go to Apple Music and give it a listen at this link.