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Van Halen

You Get What You Expect, More or Less

Last Saturday, I went to the Van Halen concert in Toronto. This was a big event because they had just released their first album of new material in twenty-eight years and had not been on tour for the last four.

I loved the show; it was everything I had hoped it would be and more. The band was more relaxed and tighter than their 2007 show and it felt like a celebration of their songs and long history. 

The newspaper reviews agreed that Eddie Van Halen is still a virtuoso guitarist but were mixed about David Lee Roth: He was described as “an ultimate showman,” “interesting and charming,” “ragged vaudevillian huckster,” and “hokey carney.” I wondered how the same performance could evoke such a wide range of perceptions. Perhaps each reviewer was guided by his or her expectations and their views reflected whether they were higher, the same, or lower than reality.

 I know expectations will influence how people perceive my book. Someone once said that expectations equal experience plus hopes minus fears. If the reader doesn’t know me, his or her expectations will be set by reviews, title, cover and introduction. It’s my job to shape high expectations and exceed them. Phil

Expectations of David Lee Roth?

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