Monday, May 19, 2008

Van Halen 'Balance'

Again… If you’re just coming into this, you may want to start with Saturday’s entry. Just scroll down and there it is. Then you can work your way back up to this one to get caught up on the subject of mix tapes.

--I’ve always dreamed of putting together a soundtrack for a film. Not one of those crappy soundtracks designed to churn out hits like Top Gun, Dirty Dancing, or Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. I wanted to use dialogue from the films. I wanted to kind of recreate the storyline through the soundtrack. An added bonus for fans of the films… OR… Fans of the music would get turned on to the film.

Take for instance the soundtrack for Natural Born Killers . That joker blew me away. It was doing exactly what I wanted to create in my dreams of soundtrack compilations. It was the perfect soundtrack!

Since it was only a dream… I decided to recreate a film’s soundtrack. I did it the way I envisioned it. The first film up was one of my favorites… Reality Bites.

I stocked in a full case of beer. I made no plans for three days (other than spending time with my ex-fiancée). It took me a full day to watch the film, lift off the lines, and choose the songs. It took me about 2 hours to record the mix onto a cassette tape. I used a turntable, 2 CD players, and a mixer to make it flow almost seamlessly.

While I was in the process of recording it, Susan (the ex-fiancée) called me. She was feeling neglected while I was doing my “stupid” little project. I could hear her voice on the answering machine through my headphones, so I picked up the phone.

I told her that I’d call her as soon as I could take a break because the recording process didn’t and couldn’t stop. Any breaks during the process meant that I had to start over again. I wanted seamless, dammit!

After I was done with it… I listened to her message. It was very humorous and I decided to use it as a tag on the end of the mix. Stamp it, so to speak.

The machine used micro cassettes, but the speed on my micro player couldn’t match how it was recorded. It made her sound like one of the Chipmunks. It made the message even funnier. I can’t remember for sure, but it went something like this…

"Eugene… This is your precious girlfriend… Pick up the phone… I know you’re doing something stupid and it won’t amount to a hill of beans… So pick up the phone… Go ahead… Pick it up… (silence for a few seconds)… PICK IT UP!”

And then I pick up the phone and said, “What are you saying?”

I had her tag the others in the series, but they were staged. Still funny though.

I had my dearly departed friend Rick Talbert create a caricature of me sitting in my recliner with a remote and a bottle of beer in my hands that I used as the cover. He loved the mixes as much as I liked making them. He was the only one that thoroughly enjoyed the Zero Hour edition.

I took the master tape to Dave Barker to burn them to compact discs. I used those to make copies on cassette. Cassette to cassette dubbing would reduce the sound quality and I simply couldn’t have that.

I must have given out 30 copies of that joker to folks all across the country at my own expense. The kudos that I received kept me interested in doing more… I even had one them voted as the “Mix Of The Week” on the Art Of The Mix website.

I still have the master cassettes and the compact discs if you’d like a copy. Just email me…

--And finally! Finally! I have pimped my MySpace page!

I wasn’t impressed with the KISS layouts. I couldn’t find a Cheap Trick or Green Acres layout… So I went with something else representing my personality. Be sure to drop by and let me know what you think.


  1. My favorite soundtrack is pure 80's:
    Pretty in Pink! At the time, I liked a jerk who didn't like me and I played the soundtrack over and over.

  2. I'm gonna tell ya what. That Balance CD was one of my favorites from the Van Hagar era. I love all eras of VH but I think that and 5150 are the best from that era.

    Glad Dave's back but without Mike it's kinda missing something..... too bad too.

  3. Anonymous11:28 AM

    I own the Natural Born Killers soundtrack... E, I totally agree with you it is truely an awsome piece of work...!!! I believe that soundtracks should be more part of a movie than just to be in the background where you only pick out just one tiny segment of a song... J-hot

  4. I'll throw in my two-cents for the Trainspotting soundtrack. A finer slice of Britain circa-mid-90s does not exist. The dance music from clubs, the britpop from the radio and a few classic pieces for good measure. Flawless.