Luke and Koop


Subject: I have seen the future !

It’s not "NEW"

It’s fucking VAN HALEN!!

I was invited to a loose rehearsal for the new tour last night. It was NOT the "fab: dress rehearsal, it was one where in a big arena they were rehearsing for the upcoming tour. Now Ed and Al are dear friends of mine for alomost 30 years, same "valley" upbringing as me, and I have always loved VH and the music, but also more cause I really love these guys as friends. Our kids grew up together, we live near each other etc..

Fuck all that.

I saw and HEARD REAL ROCK N ROLL! It took me back.. I had a fucking tear in my eye. They are Baaaack! If this ain’t the rock n roll event of the year then I fucking will be your septic tank salesman!
Ed KILLED, Alex, never better (dig the drum solo!). Any doubts about Wolfie are laughable, he played and sang all the high parts and made Alex’s groove more deep than ever in the history, 16 years old, look out for THIS kid!, and I gotta say, Dave brought it! I admit, I was a bit "Oh fuck I hope this is good" but fucking A if Dave didn’t deliver! (even thought there were maybe 100 people hangin out watching)..

I brought my 20 year old son who is a HUGE fan.. the sound and vibe of this band brought me back to 1978 and like a fine wine tasted better than ever! The SET LIST?? It’s gonna KILL YOU!
GREAT production but it’s ALL about the band not flashy images of bullshit artsy fartsy crap, it’s the BAND and Dave is really the cat that can front VH. He sang his ASS off and was really cool. No cheese here guys, this is filet Mignon!

If you don’t see what I saw last night, and that’s WITHOUT a massive arena crowd that will tear the roof off..well then you might as well be dead! Nothing fake here guys, nothing shallow or jive… just the best rock n roll band that the USA has got! Whatever they are charging go see it !

They were having FUN! There was some humour but not in a cheesy way, VH way. Damn, there IS hope yet!


From: Al Kooper

Yo Bob (you misogynist you )

In 2003, I started up with iTunes. Prior to that I had been ignorant of the top ten for close to thirty years because of nausea induced by listening to the radio. I had shut it off for decades. Having been an active member of the music business as an artist, producer, label owner (briefly), songwriter, I had my fill of participation by 1989. I can tell you some basic pretenses that you’ve left out of your rants:

The most important one is this:

Record companies have strived for decades to build a new music for each generation. The success of that construction is based on a few precepts..

a) they will sell more records if the music differs radically from the new generation’s parents’ music. i.e. it must be SO different, that parents must DESPISE it !

If that happens then that new generation has its own voices – created by the record companies to sell records and infuriate parents.

As I gew up, I was subjected to Perry Como and Nat King Cole, Eddie Fisher and Patti Page; artists my parents REALLY enjoyed listening to. I wonder if my parents went to the Paramount Theater in NYC to see the Dorsey band back up teen idol Frank Sinatra. When Elvis hit the scene, I was already into doowop. The babysitter turned me on to that. But here was music that my parents could NOT understand; music that SPOKE to me and finally when Elvis appeared, I had a role model. Clothes, hair, food, and most of all MUSIC. My parents hated that stuff. Later, the first time I played Bob Dylan’s first album in my room on my phonograph, my mother came in and pulled the tone arm off the record. "TURN THAT OFF !!! IT SOUNDS LIKE FINGERNAILS ON A BLACKBOARD!!" If Columbia Records knew that then, they would have made John Hammond Jr. CEO instead of calling Dylan "Hammond’s Folly!"

In 1968 when I was peaking as an artist, an interviewer asked what I thought music would be like in 20 years.

I thought for a moment, "Basic, like maybe just drums – very jungle oriented.." I conjectured. When rap first took hold, I thought back to that answer and marvelled. I hate rap and hiphop.

I’m supposed to.

I’m a parent

That music is not addressing ANYTHING in my thoughts – it’s ANOTHER generations music. That’s why.

Britney Spears, Madonna, Ashley Simpson, get outa town !!! I had fights with my friends in Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers ’cause they defended Guns N Roses when they first came out. I couldn’t get past the original drummer.

When I randomly heard Lynyrd Skynyrd in a bar in Atlanta in 1972, I understood, as a record producer, that any 15 year old boy would want to put on Free Bird, lower his head, and race into the nearest wall. That’s all I had to know. Fortunately, for me, they were great musicians, great songwriters, and a great hang at the time.

Someone said in the 80’s, only sign a band if you feel they will be inducted into the RR Hall of Fame in 25 years, I TRULY believed that Skynyrd would.


Speed ahead to 2003. I started rummaging hrough the new releases in iTunes, and I heard great music again after thirty years of garbage IMHO. Not just a band or two, but a LOT of great music from new artists. As a fan, I was thrilled!

I had new music to finally listen to.

None of the artists I coveted became giant acts. No matter, I LOVED THEM and began to support them. I downloaded their music, listened to it constantly and started listing it on my website. Every month I started adding a list of all the good music I felt I had downloaded that month. Soon I started getting thank you notes from these bands. This astonished me. Why was some twenty year old musician looking at MY website???

They weren’t !

It was word of mouth that had gotten back to them.

I started going to their gigs when they passed through my town.

I’d go backstage to meet them, see what they were about – after all, I was an unmitigated fan.

Soon they’d come back to the house, we’d hang, listen to music, eat meals together and I had new friends who, IMHO were the next generations best musicians.

Is this a beatiful country or WHAT????

Each of you can do the same as I did.

Unfortunately, the P2Ps (if you go that way- I don’t) have no NEW RELEASE sections. THAT IS what attracts me to iTunes – it was in 2003, a NEW ARENA for new music to appear in. And if you went to the trouble of going through all the new releaseses, there were gems aplenty. I stopped buying CDs immediately (except for old music I couldn’t find on iTunes) and had no interest in going back to the radio; terrestrial or extraterrestrial.

So here I am, four years later, with over 4500 purchases on my computer and iPod, musically happy as a clam.

Now don’t get me wrong – there are mostly rotten new bands coming out, but at least for the last four years, I have gotten to hear tracks by some really good ones.

At 63, I’m delighted to have lived long enough to possibly witness the death of the major record companies who have ALL cheated me for the last 49 years. I hope I can attend every single funeral b4 I expire.

And now back to YOU, Bob

Al Kooper

This is a read-only blog. E-mail comments directly to Bob.