Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Song #17 On My MP3 Player - Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love by Van Halen

Van Halen's 1978 eponymous debut is required listening for anyone who claims to be a fan of hard rock and heavy metal. The album is solid from start to finish, and you really can't go wrong with the Diamond Dave era of Van Halen. 'Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love' is the seventeenth song on my MP3 player and it is my favorite Van Halen song of all time.

I moved to Southwest Michigan in 2000 and did not know a single person in my community. A few months before moving to Michigan, I quit the band I was playing in, and decided to get together with some local musicians to see if I could get another band together. Flyers were placed in music stores and I received a few phone calls from interested musicians. The first to call was a guy named Ron, and he played guitar. Stu called and he was a bass player, plus he even offered for us to jam in his basement. Harry was a drummer and it seemed that I had a band in the making.

We were to meet at Stu's house on a Saturday night. I arrived first and then Ron arrived. Stu was very laid back while Ron was a tornado of energy. We set up our equipment to jam, and then Harry arrived. I was ready to rock.

When I played in my previous band, the drummer did not need that much time to take down his kit and take it to a gig. I expected the same from Harry, but that was not the case because Harry had every piece of his drum set in individual cases. I'm talking about the bass, toms, snare, and cymbals. Even the hardware needed to put the set together was in cases. The sticks were in a carrying case. It took Harry forever and a day to set up that damn drum kit. I was pissed. This did not go over well with Ron because Ron had been ready to rock since he woke up that morning. Ron was on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

We finally were ready to jam and we needed a song. Ron suggested 'Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love'. Harry knew the song but Stu and me were not familiar. Ron wanted to play lead guitar, so he showed me the rhythm, which was easy. Stu felt confident with improvising the bass lines. We kicked out the song and it rocked.

The night went well, and we played 'Waiting For The Man' by The Velvet Underground. A couple of blues jams were played and cheap beer was enjoyed by all.

That was the only time we got together as a band. Stu told me after we jammed that he didn't want us to use his house as our practice studio. He also decided he didn't want to jam with us anymore. I don't know what happened, but Stu's initial laid-back attitude was replaced by Captain Jackass. Harry seemed interested in jamming again, but Ron told me we'd have to call Harry a week in advance so he'd have plenty of time to set up his drum kit.

I spent a few months jamming with Ron. We'd always play 'Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love' and we'd shout out the "HEY HEY HEY!" part of the song, which was very cool. Ron got himself a woman, and then he disappeared. I have no idea what happened to Ron, but we'll always have Van Halen.

TonyDoug Wright is The Lost Soul of Rock and Roll.

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