I'll always be grateful to Tommy Strazza for inviting me onto his Van Halen tribute show at Berklee in the 90s. Up until then the only VH I knew was "Jump" and the Hagar-era stuff (don't judge). But Tommy's thing was "Nope, just the EARLY SHIT, man!"
I left it to the last minute to prepare, which turned into a mixed blessing: cramming a dozen or so songs in one sitting the afternoon before the first rehearsal and soaking it all up at once, I had one of those deeply profound musical moments of "Ahh, NOW I get it."
I had the same feeling years later when my cousin Joe and I saw the David Lee Roth/Sammy Hagar tour. Hagar was goofy: waitresses onstage and plugging his "Cabo Wabo" tequila, etc. But Roth was all business: just him and a 3-piece band giving the people what they wanted, which was the aforementioned early shit. He played a bunch of deep cuts I didn't know, but again the fervor that cousin Joe and his fellow VH freaks showed for Roth was so deep and infectious that I had to give it up.
What a blessing to create something completely unique, that sounds and feels like nothing that came before it or after it and leads the way for an entire generation.
REMEMBER WHAT'S IMPORTANT