November 27th, 2022

Since 1987 my wife and I have had a running, playful debate over whether Kiss or Van Halen were the better rock band. I had never warmed to Van Halen. To me they were a silly covers band with a goofball of a lead singer. They weren’t serious or gritty, and they certainly weren’t “cool.” In 1979 I passed the quartet in a small airport once (Madison, WI) and didn’t even stop to look. That is how little awe my 15-year-old self held for them. 

After Eddie Van Halen died on October 6, 2020, I committed myself to listening to the entire Van Halen album catalog. Some of these albums were familiar to me, but most I had never heard before – or even heard of. They were rather awesome! Still not actually Metal, but Eddie Van Halen’s unique guitar virtuosity was mesmerizing. For several weeks, I conceded the argument to my wife.

Until I revisited the Kiss albums of the 1970s….