Christopher L.

I see both sides of the statement Matt made about the VHIII album.  I agree that some of the songs could have gone longer than a 7-minute segment BUT I appreciate your willingness to change it up. 

Matt's comment about "Incoherent babble" hits home on this album.  I think this would have been the perfect Eddie solo album and everyone would have been ok with his statement.  Sadly, I think management pushed the idea that another singer could come in and do the same thing Sammy did.  Edward WAS NOT in a good place.

95 AmBulance tour  which ends in early November(hip surgery and potentially drifting back to drugs and alcohol)

96  The controversy of Sammy and Ed butting heads in early Jan/Feb. "Remember, Humna's Being is the song that broke the camel's back for the band. Ray Danniels convinces Edward and Alex to do the Twister music soundtrack AND include a Van Halen track and Sammy was exhausted. They make a video for Human's Being and Don't even get along on set. Watch the video and you can tell they are not happy even Edward doesn't smile but rather smirk almost. In June they announced a separation from Hagar. Danniels/Warner Brothers bring up the idea of DLR after convincing them to do a greatest hits album and they work on that with DLR.  September 4 is the MTV debacle in NYC which in hindsight should not have been done because it was TOO CLOSE to the separation from Hagar. (It's akin to being married, divorcing, remarrying, and then divorcing your second wife only to turn immediately around and hang out with your first wife and proclaim your love) This sent them down a bad path.

97 Danniels turns around and needs a singer since he has lost both and turns to his band Extreme. He forces the third marriage all while Edward also is still battling health and anxiety issues and alcohol goes in and out. I believe forced sobriety could be a term used for him in 1997. Danniels job from WB is to refocus Edward and convince him Gary is a great partner. Alex is now stuck with Danniels because he played his hand and it has ended in disaster but can't because of Danniels in his family. (Dweezil, certainly correct me if I am wrong about any of this)

1998 for this tour you convince Edward to play more of the early Van Halen because there was such a high of seeing DLR at the music awards and prop EVH up with the marketing of "Who the Fuck is EVH?"  Counter all of this with his flame out of the album sets EVH back YEARS if not a decade.

1999 make another album and it sounds the same as VHIII and suddenly WB wants nothing to do with them beyond previous albums.  Fallout is horrible and EVH retreats to 5150 and begins a downfall.
2000 Nothing

2001 Nothing

2002 Nothing
2003 Glen Ballard circles back around to help keep EVH on target for 3 new songs for WB getting them to do another GH only this time you have Sammy playing 3 songs.
 2004 Reunion debacle tour where EVH begins HEAVILY drinking and is sloppy and unfocused. Danniels needs to blame someone for all of this and he decides to convince Alex that Michael Anthony is the problem because he hangs with Sammy.
2005 Nothing (Is there EVH does the porn films)

2006 Nothing but Michael Ninn-directed adult film Sacred Sin
2007 Get DLR back and bring Wolfgang in to tour to make some money but ultimately "health issues" sideline this again.
2008 Tour continues and Ed goes to rehab for 6 weeks

2009/2010/2011 Recording and creating for ADKOT

All of this to say, Edward did not have a lot of self-esteem. Greg Renoff's book documents this over and over.  Ted Templeman, for all the bad press, was able to channel EVH and stay focused. EVH ultimately didn't like nor understand what Ted did.  VHIII is THE example of a band without a leader. It's Raw, it's different, and as Blues said, is incohesive. 

Shane P.

Y’all are being way too harsh on vhIII.  

Shane P.

F.u.c.k is my favorite vh album 

Michael M.

Got a chance to listen to both episodes on the plane. 

The Balance one is great and Andy Wood is an absolute monster player with an infectious energy for this period of EVH. Not only does he nail the tone but also the playing and the impromptu Cliffs of Dover was incredible. While not one of my favorite VH albums, it did make me go back and listen.


The VHIII one was bittersweet. The production is a mess and I have to believe Eddie's mental state was not good. There is a great episode on Matt Pinfield discussing the album in its entirety which is worth a watch. 

Michael Anthony is uncomfortable as is Gary throughout the whole episode though interestingly, it seems like Eddie put Music to the words versus the other way around which is what I would have believed. Without You, One I Want and Fire in the Hole could have been much better but the production is terrible. Gary (who I absolutely love in Extreme) is screaming way too much through the whole album. I remember being so pumped when Gary joined but I agree with your guests that this was a letdown with a lack of focus.

I'm so glad they came back with Me Wise Magic and A Different Kind of Truth which is a really great album and shows that when Eddie is focused and sober, he is untouchable musically and creatively.


Great stuff!!



Jay P.-P.

in reference to III, I remember reading an interview that coincided with the release and Ed seemed to be very happy with a newfound sobriety, being in therapy and having a new love.

all things mentioned during From Afar, by y’all.

I always joked that I was one of 11 who liked this record. I think it was all about the timing of hearing it, which is so important to the music we like.  I’m in agreement with all the points you bring up about production and  and meander and lack of focus, but I’ve listened to it so much I still like it.