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Van Halen: Monsters of philosophy

At the peak of Van Halen’s popularity almost 30 years ago, few people considered the band to be artists, much less philosophers. Van Halen was just a rock ’n’ roll band: a guitar-riffing, hard-drinking, skirt-chasing quartet known for huge hits, catchy hooks, and one pouty-lipped, big-haired front man, David Lee Roth.

Roth became something of a media darling at the dawn of the video age—a one-man quote machine in spandex and tattered shirts. If founder Eddie Van Halen was the band’s quiet guitar hero, Diamond Dave was the vaudevillian clown.

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