Runnin' with the Devil

A Backstage Pass to the Wild Times, Loud Rock, and the Down and Dirty Truth Behind the Making of Van Halen
Narrated by: Fred Berman
Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,333 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The manager who shepherded Van Halen from obscurity to rock stardom goes behind the scenes to tell the complete, unadulterated story of David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen, and the legendary band that changed rock music.

Van Halen's rise in the 1980s was one of the most thrilling the music world had ever seen - their mythos an epic party, a sweaty, sexy, never-ending rock extravaganza. During this unparalleled run of success, debauchery, and drama, no one was closer to the band than Noel Monk. A man who'd worked with some of rock's biggest and most notorious names, Monk spent seven years with Van Halen, serving first as their tour manger, then as their personal manager until 1985, when both he and David Lee Roth exited as controversy, backstabbing, and disappointment consumed the band.

Throughout Van Halen's meteoric rise and abrupt halt, this confidant, fixer, friend, and promoter saw it all and lived to tell. Now, for the first time, he shares the most outrageous escapades - from their coming of age to their most shocking behavior on the road; from Eddie's courtship and high-profile wedding to Valerie Bertinelli to the incredible drug use that would ultimately lead to everyone's demise. Sharing never-before-told stories, Monk paints a compelling portrait of Eddie Van Halen, bringing into focus the unique combination of talent, vision, hardship, and naiveté that shaped one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time - and made him and his brother vulnerable to the trappings and failings of fame.

Runnin' with the Devil is manna from rock heaven no Van Halen fan can miss.

©2017 Noel Monk (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

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Van Halen ❤️

Written by Noel Monk, band manager from the beginning of the band through the last days of DLR, this book documents the rise and fall of one of the best pop rock bands ever (yes that's my opinion). What makes Van Halen so rad? The energetic blend of great guitar, David Lee Roth's screeching vocals, harmonies, sexy fun dance party tunes & a laid-back So Cal attitude that I grew up with... I can practically smell the beach & feel the sun in each song... yes it's my guilty pleasure.
Before Van Halen, Noel was the US tour manager for the Sex Pistols so when he met VH he was a seasoned veteran of debauchery. He guided the band through bad contracts & merch deals to mega million $ success. He was there for the entire ride (he considers the end when DLR left & Sammy Hagar took over - & so do I). In this book he details the humble beginnings (not that they were humble dudes) from a backyard party band in Pasadena to becoming one of the most popular and successful rock bands in the world. They ruled the late 70s - early 80s rock world. Who remembers: VAN HALEN ROCKS KLOS!??? They rocked me from Jr High - High School. Even as a punk rocker I couldn't give up VH.
This bio sheds light on the distinct and often difficult personalities in the band. DLR was the alpha male & resident egomaniac while Edward Van Halen was the musical genius that pulled it all together. Those crazy personalities brought fun & spunk to the band. I knew DLR was a force of nature but I had no idea just how crazy & narcissistic he was... and the rest of the band's drugs & girls & pranks & drugs & girls... amazing they're still alive to carry on. It goes through each phase, album, and tour explaining growth and meltdowns. From a rider indicating no brown m&ms to a guarantee that no one was paid more than them at the US Festival it is fascinating stuff!
I did find it funny that, as this is told through the band managers eyes, he seemed to have the perfect solution in any event no matter how big, crazy, or illegal. Really? Or is it just that time makes all things look better in the end? I also liked getting to understand the individual members, their contributions to the band, and their personal stories... some good, some really bad, but always entertaining to read. Noel is a good storyteller.
I came away from this having a deeper understanding of VH and they're still bright and shiny to me... a must read for any big VH fan... ROCK ON!

10 people found this helpful

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A Must Read!

I love this book! It was well written and very informative with insight to the DLR Van Halen years. If you're a fan of that era, what are you waiting for? Listen Now!

7 people found this helpful

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A must read if you are or were a VH fan!

Wow, if you grew up listening to Van Halen, you need to listen to this book. Extremely well written from first hand accounts by Noel Monk, who was the band's road manager for a handful of years. I actually remember some of the events that happened during the DLR days such as when they cancelled a couple of shows because Eddie hurt his hand in New York. I had tickets to see them in the Meadowlands and remember the disappointment when I heard over the radio that the show was cancelled. Anyway, really enjoyed the book, it was a great listen, it was read brilliantly by Fred Berman.

3 people found this helpful

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Great reader. Great book about VH's Roth years.

Sex, drugs addiction, ego's, immaturity, power grabs, rock and roll from their managers perspective. Was in a rock band from 86-94. it was a pain in the butt except for being onstage. Endless hours of getting on each others nerves. Work a real job.

6 people found this helpful

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Completely captivating story on VH and Noel.

This book is probably the closest I will come in my life to knowing any member of VH. While I thoroughly enjoyed the book and Noels story telling abilities, a little part of my heart was crushed. Loving VH all of my life and not really knowing what happened to the original band has always been a mystery to me. Noel takes you through every minute (so it seems) of the history of VH. Being a so cal girl they have always been my all time favorite band. Noel keeps you completely engulfed in the boys, their struggles with fame, drugs and women and how it all ultimately ended for Noel. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to escape as Noels stories and Freds voice keeps you totally on edge for more.
The only thing is I WANT MORE!!!!

2 people found this helpful

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70% Noel Monk, 30% Van Halen

Very heavy on the Noel Monk stories, with Van Halen almost peripheral characters. I don’t know a great deal about Van Halen’s collective intellect, but the brothers, particularly Eddie, are presented as imbeciles. This reads as though written by someone with an axe to grind right from the start. Disappointing.

1 person found this helpful

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Painfully AWESOME!

As a fan it was an initially thrilling journey that never slowed or deviated from the enlightening hurtful collision with reality. Well written, read, & exercised...screw Alex!

1 person found this helpful

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good listen

learned a lot I didn't know about VH and the dynamic between the brothers and Dave and each other. Micheal Anthony reminds of the saying " good guys finish last"

1 person found this helpful

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Amaze-balls!! Awesome narrator!

Such an amazing story!! Fred Berman is the best narrator that I've ever heard. 10 stars!!!

1 person found this helpful

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Outstanding!

A detailed account on the making of one of the greatest bands ever. I am a HUGE Van Halen fan and was floored by all the fantastic revelations about the original bands demise. Sharp and witty, with a great narrator to boot!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Damian T
  • 12-09-17

Great audiobook, and great performance

Overall I personally like rock bands rockstars biographies, if you like van halen this is a must, this is another version of the story from a third point of view from management but nevertheless very important, I couldn’t stop listening, definitely you will be hooked.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Iain Black
  • 02-06-20

a fascinating insight, great to relive our youth!

good to have the real story from the horse's mouth! rock n roll history. it would have been good to have some info on the other bands they played with

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  • diamond dave
  • 03-09-19

fantastic band . Good book.

You can see the band changing and understand why the album's you listened to were so diverse and and the reasons they were. Funny, interesting and informative. Well read and although a little sad it answered a lot of questions regarding the problems that took over and became the end of a GREAT band.

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  • rich
  • 03-08-19

Engrossed

Wow what a great true story, the albums suddenly sound a whole lot better! fantastic insight to life on the road of rock stardom..i am a musician myself and can relate! i was hanging on to every word! The manager seems a great guy but its only his side of the story!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Financespod
  • 01-08-18

Rock and Roll

Great tale, well told.
Can’t help but feel that the writer was a little bitter as his exit.

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  • PeterB
  • 09-04-17

The Truth is (now) Out There

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The narrative certainly explains an awful lot about how and why the music evolved and devolved - from VH1 to Women & Children First (in my view one of the best albums). How it grunged with Fair Warning then imploded into the disgrace that was Diver Down. Finally exploding and burning up with 1984.

If you like Van Halen - but have many unanswered questions about why such a truly unbelievable band disintergrated in such a few short years - then this book is for you.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-24-17

Fascinating insight into Van Halen

If you love Diamond Dave era Van Halen then this book lifts the lid on how messed up that period was. Sex, drugs and rock n roll. This has it all. Riveting stuff!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jonathan Killeen
  • 06-29-17

...revenge is a dish best served cold...

This is most likely a book for the non Van Halen fan or a fan of rock 'n' roll excess. Lots of stories based on 1 to 1 conversations with band members who famously say nothing in clarification . Hard to take for the diehards with bitterness from the author coming across more that anything.

There are better books on the band's rise to fame particularly 'Van Halen Rising' which is joyous without being too reverential...

Great audio performance....shame about the content...

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-28-19

Half fun rockstar anecdotes, half anticlimaxes

Author shits on all four members at various points, but taken lightheartedly, an enjoyable history.