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Eruption ready to explode

Van Halen cover band returns Whistler after two-year break

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WHAT: Eruption

WHERE: The Boot Pub

WHEN: Aug. 20

TICKETS: $7 at the door

According to music industry sources Van Halen is still going strong, just taking a well-deserved break after their triumphant 80-city, 2004 reunion tour.

But according to some diehard fans, Van Halen really ceased to exist on April 1, 1985 when frontman and self-professed gigolo David Lee Roth left the band citing artistic differences.

Some fans stuck with Van Halen through the fast-driving Sammy Hagar years, and a few even gave former Extreme singer Gary Cherrone the benefit of the doubt when Hagar himself quit over more unspecified artistic differences. Hagar replaced Cherrone again in 2004 for the reunion tour, but not before rumours could start to circulate of a possible reunion with David Lee Roth.

While the history of Van Halen might read like the plot of a Mexican soap opera, for almost a decade under Roth’s influence Van Halen was one of the biggest and most influential bands on the planet. And for good reason – rippin’ guitar solos, heavy beats, and the kind of tunes that reverberate in your head for days.

That’s why the David Lee Roth years are the only era that B.C.’s own Eruption, a Van Halen cover band with more than 10 years on stage, is interested in playing.

"Sometimes people will be yelling ‘play some Sammy tunes’, but the singer doesn’t like that because he’s a David Lee Roth fan, and yells back ‘this ain’t no Van Hagar show’," laughs Bart Ings, drummer and founding member of Eruption. Ings is also part of the Whistler heavy metal band Crepetus, along with Creekside Phil.

"Not that there’s anything wrong with Van Hagar," adds Ings, "We just decided to stick with the David Lee Roth years, which was when we really discovered the band and it’s the era we know the best. There’s definitely no shortage of good tunes to pick from those days."

And what days they were. Between 1978 and 1985, Van Halen produced six awesome records – Van Halen, Van Halen II, Women and Children First, Fair Warning, Diver Down and 1984 . During that time the band created an entire new hard rock sound, heavily influenced by Eddie Van Halen’s original and revolutionary guitar style.

Ings personal favourite song to play live is Unchained, from the very underrated Fair Warning LP, although as the band’s drummer he’s also partial to Hot for Teacher from 1984 with its frenetic popcorn drum solo intro. Released for Christmas of 1983, 1984 remains one of the top selling albums of all time with more than 10 million copies sold. The only album in 1984 to sell more copies was Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

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