Mojo (UK)

Runnin’ With The Devil

- James McNair

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.

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