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Van Halen Post-Game

By Tony Hicks
Sunday, December 23rd, 2007 at 9:26 am in Uncategorized.

I love it when I write an entre post and, forgetting to save it, accidentally hit some two-button combination that makes the whole thing disappear.

I’m going to take a couple deep breaths now, NOT pick the computer up and throw it through a window, and try to remember what the hell I just wrote. Then I will hit save after every word I write.

Oh yeah – so I went to Van Halen in Oakland last night, about three weeks after seeing them in Sacramento. The shows were fairly comparable; the sound in Oakland wasn’t always so great, the set list was about the same and the band didn’t quite interact as much as in Sac. But the crowd in Oakland was far superior, screaming and losing its collective mind over every one of Dave and Ed’s facial tics. And Dave still looks happier than a hyperactive kid on Christmas morning about being back in the band.

Having Dave back in the band brought a buzz to the night not seen at a Bay Area Van Halen show in decades. The stars were out – at least in one section. Billie Joe Armstrong (sporting a beard, flannel and trucker’s hat) and Tre Cool from Green Day were there. I talked with Billie Joe for a couple minutes before the lights went down – he was clearly stoked (enough to bring his son to the show). They were in the same row as Tony La Russa and his family. Tony loves guitar rock – he showed up for an interview with me last month wearing a Tesla shirt. Brad Gillis was there, but backstage. His former Night Ranger bandmate Alan Fitzgerald handles Van Halen’s keyboards on the side of the stage. I offered to be part of Brad’s entourage last week, but he wasn’t biting.

In the parking lot before the show, where I was hanging with a bunch of my buddies with whom I’d seen Van Halen shows going back to high school, a guy got out of his truck and approached me, asking my name. I told him, and he smiled triumphantly back toward his truck. Apparently he and his wife had a bet over whether the foolish man parading around in someone else’s purple wool hat (I swear it wasn’t mine – this was Jim Harrington’s doing) was that columnist-guy from the Times. I asked him what they bet, but he didn’t even have to say. The wolfish grin he aimed back at his wife told me all I needed to know.  

Hey, anytime I can help a guy out …

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4 Responses to “Van Halen Post-Game”

  1. RoadKing Says:

    we were there too, great show!

  2. Vinnie Ballgame Says:

    How did that purple dye work on that squirrel-skin hat, Tony? I haven’t gotten your thank you note in the mail yet but figured it wouldn’t hurt to dash off a note and see if you like it.

  3. Tony Hicks Says:

    Thanks Vinnie. We had to dye it to make the blood stains vanish. And thanks for sending along the squirrel bacon as well. My young’uns enjoyed it immensely.

  4. Vinnie Ballgame Says:

    Mmmmmm. Bacon. Oh yes.