In that great musical debate about the preferred lead singer of Van Halen, I suppose I’m in the David Lee Roth camp, rather than the Sammy Hagar camp. It is only because my one and only VH album, 1982’s Diver Down, features Roth. “From 1974 until 1985 the band comprised guitarist Eddie Van Halen, vocalist David Lee Roth, drummer Alex Van Halen [Eddie’s brother] and bassist Michael Anthony.” That’s the group I remember watching in the early days of MTV.
Eddie played the blistering guitar solo on Michael Jackson’s hit single Beat It [LISTEN], #1 for three weeks in 1983.
LISTEN to: all charting info from the Billboard (US) charts.
From Van Halen II:
Dance The Night Away, #15 in 1979
From Diver Down:
Oh, Pretty Woman, #12 in 1982. This is one of five covers on the album, this one originally recorded and co-written by Roy Orbison.
Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now (Is Sweet William Now), which was written and first recorded in 1924. Jan Van Halen, Alex and Eddie’s father, plays the clarinet.
Happy Trails. The theme song of that singing cowboy of movies and television, Roy Rogers, written by his wife, Dale Evans.
Jump, #1 for five weeks in 1984.
When Michael Anthony left/was booted out of the band in 2006, coinciding with Roth’s second return, the new bassist was Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie’s son with his former wife, actress Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time, Hot in Cleveland).
Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. But at the time of the induction ceremony, Eddie Van Halen was heading for rehab. As it turned out, only Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, both ex-members of the band, showed up.