Noel E. Monk – Runnin’ With The Devil

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This is how every single book should be written and presented to the readers. This is how every music-related text should be structured in order to achieve the best possible result which is no other than pure reading enjoyment! I had read only rave reviews about “Runnin’ With The Devil” so it was really a no brainer decision for me to order the book and found myself captivated by it thus I couldn’t put it down. The sheer excellence of the book lies in its well-balanced way of presenting the events in the Van Halen saga. Monk chooses some fascinating episodes; actually he merely presents the true events in a really vivid way without losing any of the edge that every rock biography should possess!

For those who are not aware of Monk’s relationship to Van Halen, let me tell you that he was the guy who helped them become the biggest band in America in the late 70s/early 80s. He started as their tour manager and he became the band’s manager from 1979 up to 1985. He left (or more accurately, he was fired) a few months before Roth’s unavoidable exit from the band. In “Runnin’ With The Devil”, Monk shares light to the truth and nothing but the truth in the wild -and at points nasty- story of Van Halen. This was a band led by an incredible frontman and a guitar genius. David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen were the undisputed leaders of the band although Alex Van Halen had an equal say with the others (despite his lack of talent…nevertheless, he was quite an accomplished drummer). The rock n’ roll cliché of sex and drugs dinds almost another definition with Van Halen as this was a band that did it all in great quantities! This addiction was really one of the main reasons of the fallout between Monk and the Van Halen brothers with Roth.

It would be a mishap if we didn’t point down that “Runnin’ With The Devil” serves also as a great indicator of how the music industry worked in the late 70s and 80s. Monk was an integral part of it and this book is not only the proof an amazing time for rock music but also a “tell-all” tale about a band that we didn’t know many things…up to this point! A must have!