Overnight Success

This Van Halen motivational 4K video is about the myth of overnight success. There is no overnight success. When you think someone has overnight success and you go back and look at them, they had a long working struggle to make it. No band or artists pops out of nowhere to make it.

You don’t want overnight success. To make it, you need that struggle and to climb up step by step. If you get there too quick, you will fall just as quick.

We are going to look at Van Halen as our example of “overnight success.”

Van Halen has sold over 100 million albums, it didn’t just happen for them. It was a grind and struggle to make it.

I’m talking about the original Van Halen lineup of Eddie Van Halen on guitar, Alex Van Halen on drums, David Lee Roth on vocals, and Michael Anthony on bass.

Originally Alex played guitar and Eddie played drums, but they soon realized that they needed to switch instruments. Guitar came to Eddie quickly and easily. After school while most kids were out playing, Eddie and Alex would go home to practice music.

In 1971 Eddie and Alex formed the band, The Trojan Rubber Company. This was before Roth and Anthony joined the band. They would play backyard parties and schools playing covers of Cream, Aerosmith, and Black Sabbath.

Eddie would sit there for hours trying to emulate Clapton. Eddie said that Clapton was the only guitar player that ever really “touched him.”

A year later they changed the band name to Genesis, with Mark Stone on bass. They soon learned that about real band called, Genesis, and they changed name to Mammoth.

David Lee Roth had a band called, Red Ball Jet. Roth’s uncle owned Cafe Wha in New York and Roth saw and was influenced by greats such as Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan.

One summer, Mammoth and Red Ball Jet played against each other at a Battle of the Bands in Hamilton Park, Pasadena.

After their PA blew up, Mammoth use to rent a PA from Roth. During this time Eddie played guitar and was the lead vocalist. Eddie and Alex realized that even though they loved 3 piece bands like Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, bands like Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones were gaining more success with a lead singer.

Eventually they asked Roth to join the band because they needed a lead singer and so they wouldn’t have to rent his PA anymore.

After joining the band Roth suggested changing name to Van Halen.

In 1974 Van Halen started playing in Hollywood and got a residency at “Gazzarris.” In the meantime Michael Anthony was going to Pasadena College and in a band called “Snake.”

Van Halen met Michael Anthony when both bands played at Pasadena High School. Again Van Halen’s PA blew up and Michael Anthony let them use his. They thought Anthony was great and asked him to join the band.

Van Halen played tons of clubs including the Starwood, Whiskey, and Troubadour and began to mix in more of their own material. They rehearsed everyday and played 4 nights a week.

“Set your own goals to work your ass off, all the time, every time” – David Lee Roth

One night at the Starwood Gene Simmons saw them and helped them record a 13 song demo in New York. Due to the success of Kiss, Simmons believed he could get Van Halen a record deal. Although Simmons didn’t get them a deal he did get the demo in the hands of Marshall Borough, which later became their first manager.

Van Halen signed a record deal with Warner Bros in May 1977.

On February 10th, 1978 – Van Halen I was released. The album went platinum within a few months and sold over 2 million copies. The album included such great songs as Runnin’ With The Devil, Eruption, and You Really Got Me.

On their first tour they opened for Journey. Next they toured with Black Sabbath in England. Ozzy said Van Halen blew Sabbath off stage every night

Van Halen II was released on March 23rd, 1979, followed by Woman and Children First in 1980, Fair Warning in 1981, and Diver Down in 1982.

In 1982 Eddie played the guitar solo on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

In 1983, Van Halen headlined the US festival, masterminded by Steve Wozniak, which included other bands like The Clash, David Bowie, Stevie Nicks, Stray Cats, Pretenders, and U2. Van Halen got $1.5 million for 1 hour 55 minutes = $13,000 a minute (Genis Book of World Record)

In 1984 they released their last album with the original lineup, 1984. The album was recorded at Eddie’s 5150 Studios, went #2 on the charts, and had a #1 hit with the song, Jump.

David Lee Roth soon left the band to pursue his solo career and Van Halen continued with a few other singers, most notably, Sammy Hagar.

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Music by Per Kjeller http://www.perkjellermusic.com

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