After years of playing gigs everywhere from suburban backyards to dive bars, Van Halen — led by frontman extraordinaire David Lee Roth and guitar virtuoso Edward Van Halen — had the songs, the swagger, and the talent to turn the rock world on its ear. The quartet's classic 1978 debut, Van Halen, sold more than a million copies within months of release and rocketed the band to the stratosphere of rock success. On tour, Van Halen's high-energy show wowed audiences and prompted headlining acts like Black Sabbath to concede that they'd been blown off the stage. By the year's end, Van Halen had established themselves as superstars and reinvigorated heavy metal in the process. Based on more than 230 original interviews — including with former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and power players like Pete Angelus, Marshall Berle, Donn Landee, Ted Templeman, and Neil Zlozower — Van Halen Rising reveals the untold story of how these rock legends made the unlikely journey from Pasadena, California, to the worldwide stage.
Acclaimed journalist David de Sola follows the members from their inauspicious beginnings at a warehouse under the Ballard Bridge through the history of the band, charting:
- The local hair metal scene in Seattle during the 1980s.
- How drugs nearly destroyed the band and claimed the lives of Staley and founding bassist Mike Starr.
- Jerry Cantrell's solo career and Mike Starr's life after being fired from the band.
- The band's resurrection with William DuVall, the Atlanta singer/guitarist who stepped into Layne Staley's shoes.
Based on a wealth of interviews with people with direct knowledge of the band and its history, many of whom are speaking on the record for the first time, Alice in Chains will stand as the definitive Alice in Chains biography for years to come.