Van Halen is a hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California in 1972. They enjoyed success from the release of their self titled debut album in 1978. As of 2007 Van Halen has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide and have had the most number one hits on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. During the 1980’s they also had more Billboard Hot 100 hits than any other hard rock, heavy metal band of the decade. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Van Halen is the 19th best selling band/artist of all time with sales of over 56 million albums in the USA and is one of five rock bands that have had two albums sell more than 10 million copies in the USA.
In addition to being recognized for success, the band is known for the drama surrounding the exits of former members. The (multiple) exits of singers Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth were surrounded in controversy and mass press coverage with various contrasting press statements between them and the band. More recently, founding bassist Michael Anthony was kicked out of the band for controversial reasons. Following their 2004 concert tour the band was on a hiatus from the public until September 2006, when new bassist Wolfgang Van Halen’s place was confirmed and Roth-reunion rumours began to re-surface coinciding with the band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction on March 12, 2007. After years of speculation, Van Halen began a tour with Roth in late 2007 across North America, which has been extended into 2008.
The Van Halen brothers first started playing music together when Eddie took up the drums and Alex the guitar. However, after some time with this set up, the two switched places.” In 1972 the Van Halen brothers formed a band called „Mammoth” which featured Eddie as lead vocalist/guitarist, Alex Van Halen on drums and Mark Stone on bass. They initially rented a sound system from David Lee Roth but decided to save money by letting him join as lead vocalist even though he had previously auditioned unsuccessfully for this. By 1974 the band decided to replace Stone. Michael Anthony, bassist and lead vocalist from local band „Snake” was auditioned. Following an all night jam session he was hired for bass and backing vocals.
Mammoth discovered in 1974 that their name was already being used and changed to „Van Halen”. According to Roth, this was his idea. They played backyard parties and on a flatbed truck at Hamilton Park. Van Halen played clubs in Pasadena and Hollywood to growing audiences, increasing their popularity through self promotion: before each gig they would pass out fliers at local high schools. This soon built them a major following.
Sursa foto: http://www.van-halen.com
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