Van Halen had long been the King's of the Southern California club and backyard party circuit years before their first album hit store shelves in February of 1978. A month after that release they embarked on their first World Tour in support of Journey (that included a stop at Boston's Paradise Theater) and later, Black Sabbath.
Despite being green on the global scale of Rock Stardom, they brought the house down every show they played with the youthful exuberance that only some early 20's rockers on the rise could. Unfortunately, not too much film exists from these early tour dates. That was until recently, when this 8mm footage popped up on youtube of a 25-minute set at the Selland Arena in Fresno, Calif., from Sept. 22, 1978, Although there were some clips floating around, this marks the first time the entire show had been posted. Well, strike that, some of the footage is missing as you'll see with some still shots mixed in, but we get an idea of how the early shows went. (that involved routinely giving the headliners a run for their money every night). Just a few months later they would already become headliners themselves and cementing their legacy in Hard Rock's Pantheon. Ed's early touring rig (guitar, amps and effects board) is currently on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC for the "Play It Loud" Exhibit. You can see it below.
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