Album: Van Halen II
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I guess one good analogy to Van Halen’s popularity would be a TV show like Breaking Bad, which wasn’t initially popular, but at some point, a switch seemed to be flipped, and suddenly it was on everybody’s minds.
For Van Halen, that switch seemed to be flipped sometime in late 1978, so when Van Halen II came out in March of 1979, everybody was ready. How ready? Here’s one measurement: as I mentioned before, the first time I saw Van Halen was at Selland Arena in Fresno, September, 1978, and they were the opening act. The second time I saw Van Halen was at the same venue a scant six months later, and they were the headliners.