The first time I heard You Really Got Me was on the radio in Febuary 1978. The record had just come out.I thought the song was totally cool.I had no idea it was a Kinks tune.A guy at school had the 8-Track.He told me the entire record was Great !!
I was already into music,I’d been taking piano lessons for years. My mom could sing and play piano. She had the radio on all the time mainly 70’s AM pop/Rock. I was into those AM radio hits. I had bought more than a few albums with my own money. I had Elton John’s Greatest Hits,BTO 2, a couple Zeppelin albums.Everyone had Frampton Comes Alive.Foreigner,Boston,Foghat just to name a few. When Ronnie Van Zant died in a plane crash in October of 77 I was crushed.
My friend and I rode our bikes to Tower Records. There it was right when you walked in the door with all the other new releases. The album cover jumped out at me.It is still my favorite cover of all time. Wait ?? What is this guy on the back of the album doing ? He’s completely bent over backwards with the coolest platform shoes i had ever seen. I had no idea when i got home and dropped the needle on Van Halen’s debut album what it was going to do to me.
Hearing the opening song Runnin’ with the Devil was mind blowing. This singer can scream like I’d never heard before.I couldn’t turn the stereo up loud enough. This is Amazing !! Then Eruption comes on and i can even describe what happened.Thats the Greatest guitar jam I’d ever heard. Then the song I new from the radio You Really Got Me. It sounded even better on my home stereo. I was hooked !!
I listened to the album day and night. I looked at the album cover and sleeve a million times. It was like all the other albums and songs i heard on the radio didn’t matter anymore. Van Halen was my band !!
That summer i got my first job. I got my first sports car a 75 Chevy Camaro, i got a girlfriend and Van Halen was the the sound track to my youth.