Strider Posted May 29, 2012 Author Share Posted May 29, 2012 (edited) Post #14: Van Halen and The Mumps @ the Whisky a Go Go DATE: Saturday May 28, 1977 Having lain low for most of May since the somnambulant Pink Floyd show...Bad Company with Dave Edmunds @ the Forum was one show I passed up going to, as well as Jethro Tull I think...my interest was, however, piqued when I saw Van Halen was returning to the Whisky for a three-night stand May 27-29. The opening band was The Mumps, one of the many bands that sprung up in the wake of the New York Dolls, Ramones and the whole nascent punk scene. As I wrote earlier in this thread, my first time seeing Van Halen back in January at the Whisky was an eye-opener. So I wanted to see them again to confirm if my first impressions of them held up and if they really were as fresh and exciting as I thought. I most certainly wanted another peak at the guitar player...I don't think at this time I had remembered his name yet. I do recall he played like he had 20 fingers. I recruited the same buddies I went with the first time I saw Van Halen. The show we attended was Saturday night's on May 28. There were tons of people of course...it's funny, before I saw Van Halen I hadn't really given their name a second-glance when it appeared in club ads. But after that January show, all of a sudden I started noticing how many shows the played everywhere around town. They had buzz for sure. I was somewhat surprised by the turnout and enthusiasm shown The Mumps. They were certainly an energetic band, which helps when you're opening for Van Halen. Most of the members gamboled athletically or spastically around the stage, creating quite a glam-punk type racket. It wasn't until I saw them that night that I found out that the leader of the Mumps was none other than LANCE LOUD! If you're asking 'who the Dickens is Lance Loud?', you're obviously not gay nor have you ever seen the landmark 1973 PBS documentary "An American Family"...the first reality show. Google it. The Mumps weren't bad...in fact, they were better than some other punk bands of that era; bands that did get record contracts. For whatever reason, though, the Mumps never got signed and soon split up. Van Halen was the headliner, however, and all thoughts of the Mumps were banished once their set was over. The crowd and anticipation was building for Van Halen...and remember, they STILL didn't have a record or even a single out. I don't think they were yet signed to Warner Brothers at this point. But their reputation as THE party band of Southern California had obviously spread far and wide. When Van Halen took the stage and began playing, it was like a bomb going off. LOUD, uncouth, raw, powerful yet also ridiculously catchy, they immediately confirmed my initial impressions were correct. This was a band that gave me hope hard rock wasn't dying and there was still room for PERSONALITY in the face of such faceless corporate FM rock as Foreigner, Styx, Kansas, Chicago. Again their set was covers interspersed with some originals. What was noteworthy was that the originals were often better than whatever ZZ Top, Zeppelin or Aerosmith cover they played. Somebody on another thread asked if Van Halen ever played the Deep Purple song "Maybe I'm a Leo"? I'd love to be able to answer definitively yes or no, but to tell you the truth, I wouldn't have recognized the song if they had played it. You see, by 1977, Deep Purple was one of those bands I had tossed aside...I was bored with them. So on the slag heap they went, along with Grand Funk Railroad, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Uriah Heep, Elton John, Alice Cooper, Black Oak Arkansas, and other bands I thought had grown stale. So while I would have recognized any Zeppelin or Aerosmith cover, I didn't have a clue what "Maybe I'm a Leo" sounded like, so wouldn't have noticed if Van Halen played it. What was noticeable to me, seeing Van Halen a second time, was that the current crop of hard rock acts were put on notice. It seemed it was only a matter of time before Van Halen would get a record deal and soon have an album out. Bands like Aerosmith, Nazareth, Boston, Ted Nugent, Bad Company, were going to have to step up their game or get buried. One more thing...after this second time seeing Van Halen, I never forgot the guitar player's name again...Eddie Van Halen was permanently imprinted on my mind. Jenny Lens was a girl who photographed tons of shows back then, especially of the early punk bands. The following photos were taken by her. I still see her at various events and shows...she's quite a trip. The guy with David Lee Roth is Lance Loud of The Mumps...not Joe Perry as many people mistakenly assume. That's The Mumps in front of the Whisky in the other photo. Edited May 29, 2012 by Strider Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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