David Lee Roth, the iconic frontman of VAN HALEN, has just dropped a 24-minute documentary that takes us back to the glorious days of the second and final US Festival
Held in the scenic Glen Helen Regional Park in California over Memorial Day Weekend in 1983, this event was like a techie’s dream come true, courtesy of the one and only Steve Wozniak, the genius behind Apple computers. I mean, who else would come up with a festival dedicated to “Unite Us In Song” and then whip out his wallet to create a temporary stage and open-air venue just for the occasion? Wozniak, you rockstar!
Now, let’s talk about the main course of the festival: “Heavy Metal Day” on May 29, 1983 which featured the likes of MÖTLEY CRÜE, OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT, TRIUMPH, JUDAS PRIEST, SCORPIONS, and of course, the legendary VAN HALEN. These rock gods didn’t just deliver jaw-dropping performances; they also raked in some serious dough. David Bowie and VAN HALEN snagged record-breaking paychecks of $1.5 million each.
The US Festival wasn’t just about headbanging and guitar solos. It had a little something for the tech geeks too. Inside those large air-conditioned tents, you could feast your eyes on the US Festival Technology Exposition. Picture this: cutting-edge computers, mind-blowing software, and electronic music devices that would make your head spin. Oh, and let’s not forget the pièce de résistance—the “outdoor rain” installations. Imagine perforated PVC nozzles magically spritzing water to combat the blistering hundred-degree heat. It was like Mother Nature decided to turn on the sprinklers and join the party!
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. Despite its historical significance and killer performances, the festival was a bit of a, shall we say, financial flop. We’re talking about two reported deaths and a whopping $24 million loss for Wozniak and the promoters. Ouch! But hey, setbacks happen, right? At least the memories and the rockin’ tunes live on as a worthy footnote in the annals of rock history.
Believe it or not, the US Festival still holds a special place in pop culture’s heart even after four decades. It’s a testament to the lasting impact of this unforgettable event.
So, sit back, grab some popcorn, and prepare to immerse yourself in “The Road To The US Festival.” It’s time to rock out, reminisce, and maybe even shed a tear or two for the good ol’ days. Thanks Dave!