Runnin’ With The Devil
Noel E. Monk With Joe Layden DEY STREET. £19
A seamy tell-all from Van Halen’s former tour/ personal manager.
“We were monsters. All of us,” writes Monk. He managed Van Halen until the classic line-up’s 1985 demise, and you’ll need a strong stomach for his debauched tour tales and grim glorification of “ultraviolence” meted out upon bootleggers. There’s little about VH’s music here. Instead, we get a darkly compelling character study/ assassination centering upon Monk’s takes on David Lee Roth, a “control freak”, “bully” and natural-born star “who was the smartest guy in the band by a wide margin”, and Eddie Van Halen, a “sensitive and introverted” man-child who would curl-up crying in Monk’s lap, and who, like his alcoholic brother Alex, “came from a monumentally fuckedup family”. Lighter moments include a backstage search for Tony Iommi’s prosthetic finger and Eddie accidentally lumping Journey’s Steve Perry with a bowl of guacamole meant for Dave, but then it’s back to paternity suits, drugfugs, and Alex propositioning Monk’s wife.