Watch Some Electrifying Live Footage of Van Halen in 1978 via Newly-Surfaced 8MM Video

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Guitar icon Eddie Van Halen passed away on Oct. 6 after a “long and arduous” battle with cancer, according to his son, Wolfgang Van Halen.

Losing an irreplaceable legend such as EVH is truly a tragic circumstance for the rock and roll community, his death prompting a wealth of remembrances, condolences and sad posts across social media.

But while Eddie Van Halen may be gone, another legend taken by the scourge of cancer, his playing lives on — and some newly-unearthed VH live footage from 1978 showed up online this week, fully capturing the band in its purest, most explosive live format.

Featuring audio from a show in Fresno on Sept. 22, 1978 paired with 8mm video taken from a show in Portland six days later, this footage is a real treat, capturing VH slamming through an electrifying rendition of “I’m the One,” among other material:

Here’s a slightly grainier and fuzzy — but with crystal-clear audio — footage of Eddie shredding “Eruption” at what looks like that same Fresno gig:

Eddie had a stage presence unlike any other, and it comes through with these epic archival performance clips.

For another salute to EVH, here’s the final Van Halen concert, from the Hollywood Bowl in 2015:

And, finally, click here to read writer Steve Rosen’s affectionate 2014 Behind the Curtain piece on his friendship with Eddie over the years. A choice passage:

When Edward Van Halen unleashed his devastatingly beautiful tonal fury on the first Van Halen album, guitar players around the globe realized they’d just heard the death knell for everything they ever knew. The architecture of guitar playing was forever changed February 10, 1978 when Van Halen was released. No longer could you simply lay your left or right hand on the fretboard — you now had to use both hands in what would become known as tapping.

Edward had raised the bar. Rewritten the book. Changed the game. Broken the rules. Kicked every guitarist in the ass.

Well, I didn’t know any of that when I first met Edward Van Halen sometime early 1978. I was at the Whisky to see Eddie Money when Michelle Myers — the club’s booker — grabbed me by the arm and said, “There’s somebody you have to meet. He’s Godhead.” Godhead was Michelle’s way of saying, “This is the greatest thing you will ever hear.” I had known Michelle for a long time and she knew I loved guitar players and wrote about them. She pulled me across the room while up on the Whisky stage Money was singing about paradise and holding onto something.

I had heard and knew about Ed — at that point everyone in Hollywood had their radar up for Van Halen — but strangely I had never seen him play. Though I’d been attending shows at the Whisky and Starwood virtually non-stop for the past four years, I had never seen Van Halen perform. It was odd.


  • Rikko says:

    Edward did not have a “strange” stage presence. Edward had a great stage presence in tune–pun intended with an Introvert blessed with virtuoso guitar skills.

    RIP Edward.

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