Song of the Day (Shocktober): Van Halen “Runnin’ With the Devil”
In the fall of 1978 I bought a ticket to see one of my favorite bands at the time Black Sabbath. The show was to be at the local coliseum (the Omni in Atlanta) and the opening acts were the New York punk band The Ramones and an up and coming LA band called Van Halen. I’d heard Van Halen‘s self-titled first LP a few times and liked it but had no idea what kind of live show we were in store for! We arrived as The Ramones fled the stage after a short seven song set before the angry Black Sabbath fans got to them.
After a short break out came Van Halen. They had the crowd from the first notes of “On Fire” and it just got better from there. I remember Eddie Van Halen walking out in front of this huge stack of Marshall amps to play his solos and then David Lee Roth jumping off another set of speakers, while doing a mid-air split, a little later. They were so good that at the end of their set they had to do an encore (very rare for an opening act) or there was going to be a riot. Black Sabbath, the band I’d come to see, couldn’t compete. The song I picked here is one of my favorites from that first album. The car horn sound at the start actually came from horns that were on their cars! Not sure if the song really has anything to do with the devil but that riff would scare up Satan himself.