Six years in the making, this is the first book to reveal the debauched details of the bands early years, from gonzo backyard parties to neon nights of rock glory on the Sunset Strip. A book that solely focus on Van Halen's rise during the '70s!
A MUST-HAVE. Trust us — and trust ALL the reviews out there — this book is absolutely loaded with details on Van Halen's beginnings that even the most knowledgeable fans have never heard.
PHOTOS: Over 30 never before published photos dating back to the days of Mammoth and Red Ball Jet. All from the mid to late '70s.
Drawing on more than 230 original interviews—including with former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and power players like Pete Angelus, Marshall Berle, Donn Landee, Ted Templeman, and Neil Zlozower—Van Halen Rising is the first book to tell the untold story of how these rock legends made the unlikely journey from Pasadena, California, to the worldwide stage.
377 pages, Paperback, 5.5" x 8.5".
Van Halen Rising: How a Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal traces VH’s transformation from a backyard party band to a stadium act that captivated the rock world in 1978.
After years of gigging everywhere from suburban backyards to dive bars, Van Halen — led by frontman extraordinaire David Lee Roth and guitar virtuoso Edward Van Halen — had the songs, the swagger, and the talent to turn the rock world on its ear. The quartet’s classic 1978 debut, Van Halen, sold more than a million copies within months of release and rocketed the band to the stratosphere of rock success. On tour, Van Halen’s high-energy show wowed audiences and prompted headlining acts like Black Sabbath to concede that they’d been blown off the stage. By the year’s end, Van Halen had established themselves as superstars and reinvigorated heavy metal in the process.
If you've ever wondered what it was like to see Van Halen play a massive backyard party, host a rowdy wet-t-shirt contest, perform on the legendary Sunset Strip, and blow rock legends Black Sabbath off the stage, this is the book for you.
About the Author: Greg Renoff earned his Ph.D. in American history from Brandeis University and is the author of The Big Tent: The Traveling Circus in Georgia, 1820-1930. He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with his wife and two daughters.
“I thought I knew a lot about Van Halen, until I read this book. It's exceedingly rare to find such a comprehensive portrait of any band's pre-history, even for canonical groups like the Beatles and Led Zeppelin. So to stumble across this level of research about the early days of VH is like hearing studio-quality demos of songs you did not even know existed.” — Chuck Klosterman, author of Fargo Rock City and Killing Yourself to Live
“Renoff’s writing is consistently punchy and compelling, like Van Halen at its finest. If you’ve got it bad, got it bad, got it bad for Van Halen, get Van Halen Rising.” — Martha Quinn, original MTV VJ, Sirius XM host
“Renoff explores in depth Van Halen’s reluctant journey from back yard band to superstardom and, in particular, the role of David Lee Roth’s ambition and entrepreneurial skills.” — Forbes
“Renoff’s book is a thoroughly entertaining read that will appeal to every hard rock fan.” — Publishers Weekly
“Let us guess – you’re one of those people who thinks they know everything about Van Halen, right? You don’t. At least not until you’ve read Van Halen Rising: How a Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal, the forthcoming book by historian and self-proclaimed Van Halen diehard Greg Renoff.” — Van Halen News Desk
“This prehistory is usually glossed over in accounts of the band, but in Van Halen Rising, author Greg Renoff devotes an entire book to it. It’s the tale of hardworking kids with nothing in common learning to fuse pop and heavy metal into a new sound that completely changed the music world. It also vividly shows that the personality clashes that would later destroy the band were there from Day One.” — Rolling Stone
“Most Van Halen fans have heard about the notorious, alcohol-soaked backyard parties in the Pasadena area that the band played as they built a loyal following — but never knew the details. This is where Renoff’s exhaustive research and meticulous attention to detail truly pays off. Readers are treated to extensive accounts of these bashes. . . . they can almost feel as if they were actually there. . . . a book that’s as entertaining as it is informative.” — Examiner.com
“Greg Renoff’s fantastic, immersive new book devotes 350 or so pages to [Van Halen’s] early years. . . Van Halen Rising is one of the best rock books to be published so far this year. Even if you aren’t a big Van Halen fan, it’s fascinating to read.” — AL.com
“It’s a rollicking roll through the life and times of a group that mowed through more groupies and drugs than could possibly be good for a young fella. . . a fascinating read.” — Pasadena Star News
“Renoff’s book has garnered rave reviews since its release earlier this month, and it illustrates just how long and hard the road to success for Van Halen actually was.” — The Canton Repository
“I had a blast reading Van Halen Rising. Throughout my teen years, there were few things that meant as much to me as the first six Van Halen albums and the original line up of the band. Greg Renoff takes us back to the beginning of all that, to how Dave, Eddie, Alex, and Michael came to form the group, to what the rock world looked like at the time, and to that grit and commitment it took for them to break through. He also puts us right there in Pasadena, at the backyard parties where the big rock sound was born. If you are a Van Halen fan, a real Van Halen fan, this book is a must read.” — Brian Koppelman, screenwriter of Rounders and Ocean's Thirteen, director of Solitary Man, and podcaster at The Moment
“I really loved reading Van Halen Rising. I couldn’t believe the insight Renoff has into the production process behind the making of Van Halen’s debut. He truly gets it! The book is fantastic.” — Ted Templeman, Grammy-winning music producer for Van Halen and David Lee Roth
“Fascinating (even for non-VH fans) . . . A book almost anthropological in its level of detail.” — Vulture
"This is a thoroughly engaging book and will fascinate and astound even those fans who thought they already knew everything there was to know about Van Halen." — CurledUp.com
“Reading it is like finding some lost demo tape every bit as awesome as Fair Warning, or stumbling on a bitchin' Camaro time machine kegger where Jeff Spicoli shows up with his hand in the back pocket of Kim Kelly’s bell bottom jeans.” — The Weaklings
“Great quotes and stories abound. . . Greg Renoff penned one hell of a fun read.” — AllMusicBooks
“VH fans should be sure to grab Van Halen Rising — the book is absolutely loaded with details on Van Halen’s beginnings that even the most knowledgeable fans have never heard.” — The Van Halen News Desk
Customer Ratings & Reviews
Would recommend this product.
Would recommend this product.
Date: February 7, 2020
This book provided me with more insight into my favorite band. Lot of interesting history and the way it was written, I felt like I was in the 1970's experiencing their journey.
MUST HAVE for the Classic Van Halen fan!
Location: Chicago area
Date: September 28, 2017
I thought I knew quite a bit about the vintage-era Van Halen--until I read this book. Turns out there's a LOT more I didn't know.
This is one painstakingly well-researched book!! The incredible attention to detail really transports the reader back to Southern California of the mid-70s.
An incredible read!
Date: September 27, 2017
Granted, I'm a huge VH fan, but any casual fan would love this book too. Really great writing from Renoff and he certainly did his homework in researching the band's early days. The end of the book is kind of a bummer since it stops in 1979; you want him to continue on through the rest of the band's career! Highly recommended!
Date: September 27, 2017
I purchased this stbook and a good look behind the scenes. Great read for every VH fan.