A Van Halen story…

Since this is shaping up to be a Van Halen week, I thought I would share a humorous, brief story that happened a few months ago…

MC and I had been going to a weekly trivia thing, meeting up with a group of friends at a local hang-out spot, to compete as a team against other people (also as teams) answering random trivia questions. Among our group of about eight regulars at the time (and, among our group in general), I clock in at the oldest – now a whopping 36. I have also become the go-to person for most music trivia questions, especially if they start getting into 80’s music, hard rock or classic rock, and a few other contemporary things (example: one week a question was “Which pop singer’s second album was titled “FutureSexLoveSounds”? One of the folks at the table, still in their late twenties answered, “Meat dress girl?”, and nobody else at the table knew it was Justin Timberlake. Another one was, “Which classic British rock band made it’s American Television debut on the Red Skelton show?” First, the only other person at the table who had a clue who Red Skelton was was Mary Catherine. Second, everyone else was wanting to answer with the Beatles. I was quick to shoot that one down – since they hit on the Ed Sullivan show.  MC and I were the only ones to connect with the Rolling Stones.  You get the idea.)

So, on this particular night, our regular hostess and question asker was on her last night (she was only going to be working the Sunday night sessions, which we hadn’t usually been attending). She had with her on this night, a “new guy” who was in training to take over the week night sessions from her. He spent most of the night observing, and working the spreadsheet to tally scores, but at one point she handed him the microphone to ask one of the questions.

How it was supposed to be read: “Which Van Halen lead singer is older: David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar?”

How it was actually read: “Which Van Helsing * lead singer is older: David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagger *?”

Now, at the points above marked with “*”, those were the points when almost everyone in the place was yelling back at him the correct pronunciations, and generally giving him crap. What really frosted most of us was how he responded. The sensible thing, the calm, cool, collected thing, would have been to just say, “My mistake” or something similar and move on. What he responded with, “Sorry, I wasn’t born in the 70’s.” Neither were my nephews, and they could tell you it’s pronounced Van Halen (not Helsing)…

That was the only question he asked that night. MC and I took a little hiatus from trivia after that night, and we were told later that there was someone different the following week. That guy’s not been seen since.

And for the record, Sammy’s the oldest. Which I guessed simply because I knew he had already been a solo recording artist by the time Van Halen’s first album hit the scene.

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