I went to a Van Halen concert last spring. It was a huge letdown after waiting 28 years to see the first incarnation of the band, and I won’t be seeing them again, EVER! If you are not a Van Halen fan that is ok, this is a broader message than just about their music. I have wanted to see The Van Halen brothers with David Lee Roth since I first heard of them as an eleven year old in 1984. I am still not sure how I was able to convince my parents to buy me a cassette tape with a baby smoking on the cover!
The show did not come close to meeting my expectations. Would they have been incredible if I had seen them in late 1984 or early 1985 before they broke up? I have a hunch it would have been amazing. But this is 2012, and it seemed like a job to them, and they “had to be there”. There was no chemistry between David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen, and they seemed to be going through the motions.
The hastily introduced “Jump” as the last song and did not even come out for an encore! News broke a week later that they had cancelled their summer tour. “Allegedly” there is serious infighting within the band. Other reports are now saying that fatigue has been an issue for band members, and the tour will take up to two years. They are taking precautions not to burn out.
Rewind to 2004 when Van Halen was touring with Sammy Hagar once again, and Michael Anthony was still playing bass. It was my birthday, and I had an incredible time. The band was in synch, they were having a great time, and Sammy was signing autographs for the fans in the front row. There were already rumours surfacing that Sammy and Ed were not getting along, but I did not get that sense that fall evening in Edmonton, Canada.
Eddie Van Halen is one of the greatest guitarists ever, but I have never gotten a warm and fuzzy off him. Sammy is not a guitar playing or singing virtuoso, but is an above average musician and vocalist. What he lacks in raw talent, he more than makes up for with passion and love for his “career”, and the fans that have supported him for over 40 years.
Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony have formed a new band named Chickenfoot with Joe Satriani and Chad Smith (from the Red Hot Chili Peppers), and their shows are electric. They are having the time of their lives, and care deeply for those they are performing for.
I had a chance to see the band in Vancouver when my friend was working for them, and I did not go. I am still kicking myself. I hope to see them again in the future. If I had a choice to see Sammy Hagar/Michael Anthony or Eddie Van Halen/David Lee Roth perform one more time in my life, hands down it would be Sammy and Mike. Eddie may play the guitar like no other, but raw talent is not the only criteria where I will spend my hard-earned dollars on. It is on my bucket list to go see Sammy Hagar play in Cabo in Mexico at his birthday bash one year. And that WILL happen. I can’t wait!
How does this all relate to business? You don’t need an “off-the-charts” IQ, or raw talent to achieve massive success. You need to show up regularly though. You have to care about those paying for your products and/or services, and be willing to go “that extra mile” when they need you the most.
The passion that you exude for your audience/customers, the depth that you are willing to go to help them get to where they want, will pay dividends in the long run. I needed Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth to “knock it out of the park”, and they let me down.
- What band’s concert have you attended, or company have you “dealt with” that just blew you away?
- On the flip side, what band let you down at their live show, or company disappointed you, and you will never “deal” with them again?