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Visual Feast: Neil Zlozower's 'Eddie Van Halen'

April 16, 2012

Sage advice has it that getting in at the beginning is far better than getting in somewhere thereafter. Such is the case with IPOs, pyramid scams, and relationships with ingénue bands. Today, Van Halen has been a legendary band for so long that it makes Pearl Jam look like Justin Bieber. But there was a time when Eddie, Alex, Dave, and Michael were just trying to figure out the perfect color spandex to wear with red Nike Airs. And that was when Eddie Van Halen and photographer Neil Zlozower made a fateful connection.

“It was 1978, and people were still listening to disco,” says Zlozower. “Then, I heard ‘Running with the Devil’ and ‘Eruption,’ and I said to myself, ‘This music is so powerful! I have to photograph those guys!’”

Soon, Zlozower began accompanying the band on tour, shooting concerts and portraits, and becoming a close friend. Zlozower’s intimate and extensive access makes Eddie Van Halen [Chronicle Books] a ten-course meal for Van Halen lovers. If you like your rock photos rare, this book sizzles with visceral slices of Van Halen’s power—you get more than 200 images from 1978 to 1986—as well as an antipasto by Slash, and bite-size musings on Eddie’s transformation of rock music from the best guitar players in the business.

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