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14. Van Halen: From Garage Band to Superstardom
Van Halen is to Rock ‘n' Roll as
is to automobiles. It is one of the
popular bands ever to perform in the country,
is still going strong 40 years later. It
known as one of the best bands ever
come from a garage-band background. Founded by brothers
and Alex Van Halen in their home in
, California in 1972, the band was one of
top rock acts in the country, and is
popular today as it was then.
is considered one of the best lead guitarists
the history of music by many of his
, while Alex was a superior drummer. Together, they
the nucleus of the popular band that also
bass guitarist, Michael Anthony, and vocalist, David Lee
. The brothers were born in the Netherlands, and
to the United States when they were children.
two were inseparable, and developed an interest in
in the mid-60s. They formed the band in
, using the name Genesis. They later changed the
to Mammoth when Eddie discovered Genesis was already
use. Eventually they renamed the band Van Halen.
to popular legend, Van Halen was discovered by
Simmons of the rock band Kiss, while they
performing at Gazzarri's on the Strip, a popular
for heavy metal rock bands in the 70s.
continued to play at gigs throughout Southern California
they released their self-titled debut album Van Halen
1978. The album peaked at No. 19 on
Billboard list, and the band never looked back.
Halen's greatest commercial success was from 1978 through
, but their albums continue to sell. It has
a cult-like following from several, younger generations of
Rock ‘n' Roll fans.