Rock N Roll hall of Fame induction speech
What would we do without music? Music the universal language, Music the soundtrack to our lives, Music can evoke the spectrum of emotions with the first note. Music is a powerful thing. What makes it so powerful is in which the music is playing played. If it’s being played with heart, soul, conviction and passion it will invoke the emotions we feel. Van Halen is such a band that embodies what music should be. Van Halen’s music was the universal language that added one more air guitar hero to imitate. Van Halen’s music the soundtracks of our lives were we all can say where we were when Van Halen 1 came out, When 1984 came out when 5150 came out and when Mach lll came out. Van Halen’s music weather it is played in the traditional sense or with finger tapping it invokes emotion. Van Halen’s music is powerful.
February 2nd 1962 Amsterdam Brothers Alex and Edward Van Halen came to America knowing 4 words yes, no, motorcycle and accident. Starting over in a different country and not knowing English that well turned to the universal language that was prominent in their home. As a twist of fate would have it when Ed had switch his drums with Al’s guitar the music gods had half of their work done. 11 years later The Brothers Van Halen had met David Lee Roth who was born as an over the top front man was now the bands singer. Later Michael Anthony had joined the band to complete a band that would play powerful music. May 1976 Kiss’s Gene Simmons discovers the band but through fate again was passed on being signed. Then a year later Ted Templeman and Mo Ostin rediscovered the band and on February 10 1978 Van Halen 1 was released.
From the opening riff of Eruption and You really got me. Music not only was transformed but was blown out of the stratosphere. With Mike’s thundering bass and distinctive background vocals, Al’s powerful pounding of the drums, Dave’s ringmaster delivery and Ed’s playing that made a sound that put everyone at awe at how a guitar could sound. With songs like Running with the Devil, Jamie’s crying, Ain’t talking about love, And the cradle will rock, Unchained, became the soundtracks to someone’s life. January 4th 1984 More lives were touched with songs Jump, Hot for teacher and Panama. 1984 was the album that was going to launch Van Halen into legendary status but it wasn’t time just yet. With David Lee Roth deciding to leave the nest Van Halen was faced with finding a new singer and starting a new chapter.
August 1985 Fate making another appearance in the form of mechanic Claudio Zampolli suggested to Ed the name of Sammy Hagar. Sammy Hagar a veteran of the music scene as he was in the band Montrose and now having a successful solo career was asked to join the band. Sammy brought poignant lyrics that were sung from the heart without doubt. He would bring to the band the feeling of being one and not 4 separate entities. The band that was riding high with their most successful album to date was going to change singers but would it change the music and the power it invoked. A new version of Van Halen was born my Van Halen. As long as I can remember my music has been a part of my life just listening to the radio letting it become the soundtrack to my life. When the former Van Halen was on the radio I couldn’t wait for the song to be over for the singer was too much for me.
Remembering the video to Dreams, on the way home from a family gathering on Memorial Day 1986 wanting to hear Why can’t this be love and them playing When Love Walks In. 1988 I graduated from High School and OU812 was my send off into the world knowing that there was something about this band that could put one into a place that only music can take one. 1991 I turned 21 and F.U.C.K. Was and is by a nose hair my favorite Van Halen CD With Sammy’s lyrics sung with passion and conviction along with the force and power of Al and Mike and the virtuoso style of Eddie transcending music where very few bands have even come close in attaining. July 30th 1993 my 1st Van Halen show and that night on the way home hearing “The Dream is Over” I knew how powerful music could be in one‘s life. 1995 Balance had come out it was when the period in my life where I was dealing with changes that I’d to go through Don’t tell me and Feelin I found the comfort and strength to move forward. June 1996 was a day that for the fans of the Sammy era in Van Halen were more than disbelief my Van Halen was no more. Hearing Humans Being and thinking what could have been in terms of what direction the band would haven taken but I‘m thankful for the music I have by them.
When I listen to Van Halen I hear the heart of Alex‘s drums, the soul of Mike‘s bass, the passion of Eddie’s playing and the conviction of Sammy’s lyrics. I hear the universal language; remember the soundtrack to my life and the emotions how powerful Van Halen music is. Congrats on your honor to a place were very few people who ever live get to. Now you are among the elite group of musicians who have made an influence not only musically but a difference in a lot of people’s lives. No matter what era of a fan you are Van Halen on March 12th 2007 we as fans stand applaud the music of a band that indeed will always be in a class by itself with their own definition of what music is.