Van Halen is an American hard rock band from Pasadena, California. The group's guitarist, Eddie Van Halen, of Dutch origin, quickly became famous for his technical prowess and his musical sensibility. He especially inspired a new current of "guitar heroes" through the popularization of the "tapping" technique. Their lead vocalist David Lee Roth has also established himself as a true showman.
From 1978 to 1998 the band released twelve albums, all in the top 20 of the Billboard 200. The band has more than 75 million albums sold worldwide, and several Grammy nominations. Van Halen is ranked in the Guinness Book of Records as the group with the highest number of hits in the Billboard Mainstream Rock List. In 2007, the group entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Van Halen family emigrated in 1962 from Nijmegen, The Netherlands, to Pasadena, California, USA. The mother of Eddie and Alex, Eugenie van Beers (1915-2005), is from Rangkasbitung, Indonesia. Their father Jan Van Halen was an accomplished saxophonist and clarinetist. Jan and his clarinet play in the song Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now) of the album Diver Down published in 1982. Jan early on encouraged his sons' passion for music, so Alex (the oldest Van Halen brothers) and Eddie both received classical piano education as children. When they got older, Alex started taking flamenco guitar lessons and Eddie became interested in the drums. According to legend, Eddie worked as a newspaper delivery man to buy his drums. While Eddie was working, Alex was training on drums. When Eddie heard his brother play the drums solo of the song, Eddie decided to give up the drums for the guitar. The musician who influenced Eddie most is Eric Clapton (of the Cream group) while Alex was influenced by Ginger Baker (also from the Cream group) and John Bonham (drummer of the Led Zeppelin group). In elementary school and middle school, Eddie and Alex formed different groups at different times with names such as "The Trojan Rubber Company" , "The Broken Combs" and "The Space Brothers" .
The group that later evolves into Van Halen, was originally a trio known as "Mammoth" touring in many places around Los Angeles, in the USA. The band then included Eddie on guitar and vocals, Alex on drums and Mark Stone on bass. In 1974, Michael Anthony replaced Mark Stone on bass after an audition in front of the group. After that, Eddie Van Halen and Anthony sang in turn. Over the years, Mike got the nickname "Cannon Mouth" because he sang louder than the singers. In 1973, David Lee Roth, a local entrepreneur and singer of a rival band from Los Angeles rented his sound equipment in Mammoth. But Eddie and Alex got tired of paying the "sound reinforcement fee" to Diamond Dave (David Lee Roth), so they got him into the band in 1974 as a singer. Shortly after, they discovered that another group in Los Angeles was also called "Mammoth" . On a suggestion from Roth, they changed their name to "Van Halen" (passing on the name "Rat Salad" ) >. Roth explains in his autobiography that the name of "Van Halen" was like the name Santana, and that it gave an impression of power>. The band became popular on the Sunset Strip in the mid-1970s, playing in clubs like Whiskey a Go Go>. In 1976, Gene Simmons of hard rock band Kiss noticed a Van Halen concert and decided to finance their first demo tape. This tape, known as Gene Simmons Demo , contains unfinished or different lyrics from Van Halen's early songs; however, Kiss's management did not sign with the group>. It was with Mo Ostin, a Warner Bros. executive, that the group signed >>>. Ted Templeman , who was previously the producer of several hits for The Doobie Brothers , became the pr