Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Alex Van Halen’s drum kit enters Rock Hall Of Fame Museum

Alex Van Halen’s historic drum kit is the latest acquisition of Cleveland’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame And Museum.

The set, which was used on more than 100 shows during Van Halen’s 1980 World Invasion Tour in support of the “Women and Children First” album, is now on display at the Cleveland site.

Alex, with the assistance of drum manufacturers, custom-designed many of his elaborate drum sets and this white Ludwig kit is one of them. Featuring two articulated bass drums (each more than five feet long), an assortment of floor toms, tom-toms, a gong and a myriad of cymbals, this is a “sight to behold.”

Howard Kramer at the RRHOF points out on his blog that, as Van Halen grew in popularity, so did the production quality of their stage show. It wasn’t just about percussion; this kit was a visual art form.

Here’s Howard’s report:

Van Halen burst on the rock scene in 1978 like a larger-than-life, hard rocking, non-stop party, and channeled that energy into a seminal debut. Ostensibly, the band had two frontmen: leonine lead vocalist David Lee Roth and volcanic guitarist Edward Van Halen. Both possessed the charisma and talent to be the focal point of a solid rock band, but together, they created an undeniable dynamic that quickly captivated legions of loyal fans. Anchoring the unit was the powerhouse rhythm section of bassist Michael Anthony and drummer Alex Van Halen, Eddie's brother.

By the time Van Halen arrived in the studio to record their debut, they had honed their skills honestly, playing nightclubs, parties and high school gymnasiums across Southern California. It was during those formative years of touring that the band learned the value of showmanship – and how to win audiences all over the world with it.

As Van Halen grew in popularity, the production quality of their stage show followed suit as an increasingly flamboyant rock and roll spectacle. Alex Van Halen used the drum kit not only as a percussion instrument, but also as a visual art form. Working with various drum manufacturers, Alex custom-designed enormous and elaborate drum kits that reflected the group’s musical sensibility, and provided Alex the platform to shine.

After many years of planning, we are finally bringing one of Alex Van Halen’s historic drum kits to be exhibited in Cleveland at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; the 1980 kit is exhibited on the Museum’s lower level.

Many thanks to Alex Van Halen and his drum tech John Douglas for all their help and dedication in bringing this tremendous item to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Van Van Halen

Van Halen – You Really Got Me / And the Cradle Will Rock…
RockPop - German TV – June 21, 1980

See also:

Van Halen: David Lee Roth joins Twitter and Facebook
Van Halen autograph forger pleads guilty in Missouri
Van Halen switches labels after 35 years, album due next year
Van Halen: Ke$ha raves about David Lee Roth
Lita Ford: Eddie Van Halen is the Les Paul of today
Van Halen trying to ban Jump cover
Van Halen top the hennemusic Hot 10
Van Halen: New album update
Angus Young: Eddie Van Halen is an innovator like Jimi Hendrix
Van Halen: New single due next week?
Van Halen to tour Australia in 2012?
Van Halen: Soundwave Revolution fest cancelled
Van Halen top the hennemusic Hot 10 for 2nd week
Van Halen: Ted Templeman talks about how he ended up on ‘Unchained’
Jul 31: Van Halen top the hennemusic Hot 10
Eddie Van Halen a little nervous about new album
Sammy Hagar says Chickenfoot III is best record he’s ever made
Van Halen: Sevendust drummer raves about new album
Van Halen: World Tour rumored to start in November
Van Halen producer says band is ‘on fire’ with new album
Van Halen, Bruce Springsteen named Top American Rock Bands of All Time by Gibson
Van Halen: New music update
Michael Anthony: Chickenfoot vs. Van Halen
Alter Bridge guitarist hears new Van Halen album
Eddie Van Halen interviewed by Smithsonian magazine
Van Halen mixing new album, says Slash
Eddie Van Halen photo book due in October