The musician that walked out on Van Halen

Van Halen

The California rock scene was beginning to look a lot more mellow by the end of the 1970s than it had in the 1960s. In comparison to the emergence of punk and new wave half a world away, acts like the Eagles and Linda Ronstadt brought a specific lackadaisical sound to their music. California was still a major music powerhouse. But Van Halen was about to turn the music world on its head with the release of their debut album.

Eddie Van Halen, on the other hand, was opposed to California’s program from the start. Being a die-hard fan of hard rock guitarists like Eric Clapton, Eddie was focused on bringing a heavy spin on his favorite tunes. It often included piling on loads of effects and inventing his way of tapping both hands on the fretboard.

The group’s fortunes began to change around their local scene when they discovered a young superstar from Indiana named David Lee Roth. He provided the heartbeat on drums. After serving time in Red Ball Jet and renting out his PA system to the Van Halens, the brothers decided it would be cheaper to bring him into the band. It helped them earn one of the most well-known frontmen of all time.

The band settled into their original moniker, Mammoth. Their original bass player was becoming increasingly out of step with the rest of the band. Being a school friend from their early days, Mark Stone was the original bass player for the group. He learned different covers by outfits like The Kinks and Led Zeppelin before deciding it was time to walk out on the band.

Stone left just as they were about to break into the mainstream. He stated in The Van Halen Story, “I was a straight-A student. And I was kind of split between these two things. I couldn’t keep up with them.” Eddie was not exactly heartbroken to hear that he had left by the time he had quit.

Eddie remembered that when Stone was in school to become a pharmacist, he would show up to rehearsal. He did not remember who arranged how many songs. The band lacked a bottom end. However, they were able to find a one-of-a-kind replacement in Michael Anthony from the band Snake.

With a strong sense of rhythm, Anthony also possessed a distinct high voice that would become an essential part of the band’s vocal sound. It added a massive high end to the choruses. While everything was in place, Roth had one minor suggestion for the group’s name.

Roth realized that Mammoth was not going to work. So, he suggested that the band change their name to Van Halen. He believed that it had a much better ring to it whenever they performed live. Mark Stone left just as the band was about to explode. But there’s a good chance Van Halen would not have succeeded if the core four members hadn’t been present for their debut.

Leave a Reply

You May Also Like