Tag: David Lee Roth

How Badly Do I Want To See Van Halen?

Like everyone else I was stoked when Van Halen finally announced “A Different Kind of Truth“, their long-awaited new album with original singer David Lee Roth. But even more amazing than the first new music with Roth on vocals in 28 years was the bands plan to embark on a tour to support the new record.

I never had the opportunity to see Van Halen with either of its two singers, Roth or Sammy Hagar (I don’t count the Gary Cherone “experiment”). And even though original bassist Michael Anthony would not be taking part I still wanted to hear Eddie shred on Eruption and experience “Jamie’s Cryin”, “Ain’t Talking Bout Love” and “Hot for Teacher”. I mean, let’s face it, Eddie Van Halen is one of the few remaining Guitar Gods. I had to see him and pay homage.

All the while I was consuming myself with the thought of seeing Van Halen for the first time a little voice inside my head was telling me that I had better hurry up and order a ticket. For if the past is any indication, I’m quite certain that it’s only a matter of time before the devil they’ve been running with inevitably rears his ugly head again and breaks up the band again. So time was indeed of the essence.

I was very excited to discover that the band would be making a stop in Philadelphia on March 5th and so I immediately grabbed my credit card and proceeded to the ComCast Tix website to make my purchase.

Since I ‘d be going alone I didn’t really care where I sat. I noticed that the cheapest ticket available online was in the upper bleachers for $49.50. That sounded good enough to me so I added the ticket to my shopping cart and proceeded on to the next screen.

“Uhm… excuse me, is there something wrong here? There must be some mistake.”

I was greeted by a screen that told me that the $49.50 ticket I was about to purchase would also require me to pay a “fee” of $11 and another $5 “order charge”. What these so-called “fee” and “order” charges were wasn’t explained but suddenly my ticket cost had gone up to $65.50 (a 32% increase).

As the blood pressure started to rise I was able to calm myself by singing out loud some possible Van Halen songs I’d hear: “Might as well JUMP! JUMP!”…. “PA-NAH-MA!”…”Daaaance The Night Away!”….That seemed to work although my dogs, which were within earshot of me in the living room, made a bee line for the exits. My confidence had been restored.

I was next asked by the website if I’d like to purchase advance parking for the event ahead of time. “Yes, I guess that makes sense”, I said to myself as I clicked on the link.

My cart was immediately updated and now things were beginning to get a bit out of hand. Parking for the show would be $25 and, you guessed it, that cost did not include another additional $2.25 “fee” bringing the total for my original $49.50 cheap-seat ticket to see Van Halen to a whopping $92.75. Beg pardon Comcast, but you do realize that now I am paying almost double the cost of what my ticket is worth don’t you?

But if you thought it ended there, wait….there’s more!

I had the ticket and parking covered but now the question was: how did I want to receive my one SINGLE paper ticket? My choices ranged from an additional $2.75 just for the opportunity to print the ticket out at home up to a $19 charge for express delivery.

After adding everything together, including the mandatory toll charges to and from the event, I concluded that the cost for me to go by myself to see Van Halen in Philadelphia with a $49.50 ticket was going to be over $100. I clicked “Cancel” on the transaction screen.

The more I think about it, the angrier I become. Not at Van Halen mind you. My issue is with these outrageous parking fees and the Comcast Tix, Ticketmaster and Live Nation sites who are supposed to be doing service to the fans but instead wind up screwing them with fees. It’s frustrating to essentially have to pay double the price printed on a ticket just to see the show.

Worse still, it makes me do something else I’ve never done before besides see Van Halen. It’s made me start to second guess just how badly I want to see a concert.

And shame on these ticket outlet sites and venues for making me feel that way.

Stop Being a Baby

It was recently announced that 75% of the original members of Van-Halen would be releasing a long-awaited new album and embarking on a new tour. In an effort to give some high level members of the media a taste of what’s to come, the band performed a set of songs in New York City at an invitation only event where new songs and classic hits were showcased.

Now I am someone who would have begged, borrowed and stolen to be part of such an experience. But since someone at VH1 dropped the ball and forgot to mail me my ticket I instead voraciously sought out any and every review of the showcase I could find. Hoping to hear not only about the new music but also tid bits of how everyone in the band was holding up physically as well. Because, let’s face it, the members of this band have been through a lot.

Eddie Van-Halen, a revolutionary guitar hero, had been diagnosed and treated for cancer and had recently completed a stint in rehab. I wanted to know how his health was. And then there’s Diamond David Lee Roth. Would he still have the crazy gymnastic moves in his arsenal? And what about the booze? Has the band finally rid itself of the alcohol demons?

So many questions and I wanted them all answered immediately. But alas, the only conclusion I drew while reading these articles was that the ones in attendance at the showcase would have been better suited wearing diapers.

Instead of focusing on one of the most influential bands in the last 35 years and whether this will be their final hurrah, many media reviews I read seemed to focus on the fact that original bassist Michael Anthony wasn’t in the group. “Micheal’s not there, it’s not the same”….was a theme I read often. 

My response? “DUDE, you just saw VAN-HALEN playing in a club atmosphere and this is what you write about? Don’t you know that people would KILL to be in your shoes right now? Stop being a baby!”

Did the people who actually get into this event not know that Michael hasn’t been in that band for over a decade? Or worse still, even if they were already armed with this knowledge, why would they not focus on all the positive and instead bring up only the negative?

These are the same forty somethings who, having now attained their dream job of working as part of the entertainment media, will bitch and moan all day long that THEIR kind of music is becoming obsolete. Yet when given the golden ticket and being able to be part of a unique experience such as an intimate showcase with Van-Halen, still find reason to hate on them.

Here’s a suggestion: Next time you folks in the media get tickets to a VIP event such as this, please allow me to go in your place. At least I’d be able to report on what people really want to know and not why someone who hasn’t been in the band for years couldn’t somehow magically be there that night.

No takers? Hmmm, how about if I throw in a pacifier?