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For me, it was hearing the symphonic punch of "Jump" at every NHL hockey game I saw on TV in 1984. For you, it might have been dancing to "Dreams" with your friends at the high school prom. Or turning up the volume when "Poundcake" came on the car radio as you sped down the Interstate one day after work. Or waving your arms frantically in a packed arena as "Unchained" exploded from the speakers and the lights blazed on to ...
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For me, it was hearing the symphonic punch of "Jump" at every NHL hockey game I saw on TV in 1984. For you, it might have been dancing to "Dreams" with your friends at the high school prom. Or turning up the volume when "Poundcake" came on the car radio as you sped down the Interstate one day after work. Or waving your arms frantically in a packed arena as "Unchained" exploded from the speakers and the lights blazed on to reveal four laughing, wild-eyed guys making magical sounds.
Wherever and whenever you first heard the music of Van Halen, it's an experience few of us will ever forget. Just one song can evoke many questions: "How does he play the guitar like that? How does that singer do his incredible scream? Is that an earthquake or a rhythm section? What planet is this band from anyway? And why does their music make me feel so GOOD?"
As a fan, it gets even more intriguing when you discover that guitarist Eddie Van Halen, drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist Michael Anthony, and vocalists David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar, and Gary Cherone are as colorful a cast of characters as have graced any concert stage from Beethoven to the Beatles.
Since the late 1970's, these California hard rock titans have inspired thousands of people to lock themselves in their rooms and play guitar all night, or just leap into mid-air for no apparent reason. They've redefined rock 'n' roll good times with their musicianship and unstoppable energy. They've given us some of the most famous songs, albums, tours, and offstage controversies in rock history. And they continue to provide the soundtrack to the lives of millions of avid fans from Amsterdam to Panama.
Van Halen inspired me to write this book with one thousand, nine hundred and eighty-four trivia questions about the greatest rock band in the world today.
1984: The Ultimate Van Halen Trivia Book tests your knowledge of the classic material Van Halen has committed to record and videotape: lyrics and titles, album covers, recording techniques and equipment, engineers and producers, vocal and instrumental oddities, and much more. Just how closely have you been paying attention? What do you know about those legendary Van Halen concerts? Check if you can recall quotations from band members and what others have said about them. There's also trivia on the musical tributes and critical tongue-lashings they've received over the years.
Some questions put Van Halen in historical context, as you test what you know about the personal backgrounds and hobbies of band members and the day-by-day history of the band. Questions on the solo careers of Van Halen alumni round out the mix. You'll find that Van Halen pops up in places you'd scarcely expect. You will learn things about the mighty VH which you wouldn't find anywhere else.
Now here's fair warning (allusion intended) on a few matters. First, everyone who has ever been in Van Halen is referred to as a "member of Van Halen" throughout, even if he's not part of the current lineup. Only a few questions refer specifically to "current" members. Band members are mostly cited just by their first names to save space. The terms "Dave-era" and "Sammy-era" denote the periods when those two singers were recording studio albums with the band (1978-1983 and 1986-1995 respectively), and "solo song" means a song performed as a solo artist.
Second, the answers to some questions can give you clues to other ones. Some back-to-back questions are linked as well. It's probably best to read through the book from start to finish and cover up the response below each question with your hand as you try to answer. But hey, no rules and no schools, right? If it sounds good, it IS good! So do whatever you feel like.
Third, I've made every effort to ensure the information in 1984: The Ultimate Van Halen Trivia Book is as accurate as possible. If there are differences of opinion about the answer to a certain question, I've tried to indicate that too. And why the title of the book? Well, as the band makes the transition to its third era with Gary, it seemed right to name this book after a record which marked both a glorious finale and a new beginning.
You say you don't know? You won't know until you begin.
About the Author:
Lucas Aykroyd is a Master's student in English at the University of Victoria in Canada. In 1996, he graduated with a First-Class English Honors B.A. from UVic. His music reviews, articles and creative writing have appeared in journals across North America. Among other projects, he is completing a suspense novel entitled The Mahdi of Zimbabwe. He composed and recorded the official song of the UVic Student Alumni Association, "We Are UVic Now." His hobbies include endurance sports-he has walked a treadmill for 24 hours nonstop and run 62 miles in one day-as well as reading, singing, working with computers, and following Van Halen. His personal Van Halen highlights include seeing the band live at B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver in 1991 and translating "Jump" into French for a class assignment in 1995.