Eddie Van Halen turned down the Tone Zone
Lots of random updates to share from the past week.
Since publishing the post on Growth, I’ve received a few updates. Jeremy Foster tweeted that the song doesn’t always fade out on the newer vinyl editions. It fades out on the 2009-2010 Chris Bellman remastered vinyl, but doesn’t fade out on the 2015, 2019-2020, and 2022 vinyl releases.
I also received an update from a trusted source about whether Growth really was supposed to followed up on Fair Warning. The source, who would know, believed that the idea was for the track to be continued on the next album, which backs up the quote from Eddie Van Halen in Guitar World.
Steve Lukather Interview
I watched the new Steve Lukather interview from Sunset Sound. He backs up what’s been stated many times in the past: he performed background vocals on Sammy-era albums. He specifically said he sang on “Top of the World” on For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and he performed on an unnamed prior album (I assume he means OU812). Within the VH community, it’s been assumed for a long time that he’s made many more appearances than these two, but I’d really have to do more digging to find definitive quotes.
Steve also talked about helping to choose the bridge pickup that would end up on the Eddie Van Halen Ernie Ball Music Man signature guitar. Eddie couldn’t make up his mind between two pickups presented by Larry DiMarzio. Steve told Eddie to choose the one that he (Steve) liked, and Eddie agreed. I’d heard that story before, but what I didn’t know was what happened to the pickup they turned down. It didn’t go to waste. According to popular guitar YouTuber Phil McKnight, Larry DiMarzio told him that the pickup Eddie and Steve turned down became The Tone Zone®. DiMarzio also told Phil that the pickups Eddie chose are still being used today by Music Man.
I went on the Bogus Otis podcast, the Van Hagar-specific podcast, to talk about some Sammy-era trivia and tease the post here on Growth. After that post, I went on Johhny Beane Live to go deep into the history of the Van Halen Encyclopedia and show off the new EVH 5150 Natural guitar.