Video: 35 Years Ago, Van Halen Kick Off Their First Headlining Tour

Thirty-five years ago last week, on March 25, 1979, Van Halen kicked off their first headlining tour following the release of their second album, Van Halen II.

Their first world tour took place a year earlier, when they opened for Journey and Black Sabbath.

Van Halen News Desk adds:

"The 1979 World Vacation tour stage setup featured 33 tons of equipment including a 22-ton 10,000-watt sound system and 10 tons and 444,000 watts of lighting. The road crew consisted of a 24-person technical team and a personal security team.

"The band used two custom coaches, a Lear jet and three 44-foot semi-trucks to move the production from city to city. The World Vacation kicked off in the Selland Arena in Fresno, California. Thanks to D.L. Johnson, who smuggled in his 8mm video camera, as well as his stereo audio recorder, we are able to re-live this night."

The footage shows Eddie playing his snake-biting dragon Charvel Destroyer guitar, which was carved by John Sterry. The guitar appears on the cover of the January 1981 issue of GW, which is pictured above.


  • 01. On Fire
  • 02. Bass Solo
  • 03. Feel Your Love Tonight
  • 04. Aint Talkin’ `Bout Love
  • 05. Guitar Solo
  • 06. D.O.A.
  • 07. You Really Got Me

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