By Hayden Wright
If you want an up-close-and-personal account of a band’s backstage antics, just ask their manager. If you want to dial the crazy anecdotes up to 11, just ask their former manager—or more specifically, ask him to write a tell-all book. Noel Monk, former Van Halen manager from 1978 to 1985, wrote Running with the Devil, a memoir about his years with the band that debuts July 13. According to his publisher, the tome promises to lift the lid on the excess and hijinks that defined Van Halen’s run to stardom.
“During this infamous run of success, debauchery, and drama, few people were closer to the band than Monk,” writes Dey Street Books in a statement. “Lifting back the curtain on one of the great untold stories of rock music, he details the most outrageous escapades from his time as confidant, fixer and promoter, from hotel-room destruction, outrageous backstage behavior, Eddie Van Halen’s high-profile marriage to Valerie Bertinelli, to the incredible drug use and drinking that would ultimately fuel the conflict between the band members.”
The book also explores underlying issues that prompted David Lee Roth’s departure.
“[Monk] goes behind the legend of Eddie Van Halen, bringing into focus the unique combination of talent, vision, hardship and naïveté that not only shaped one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time, but also made him vulnerable to the trappings of fame,” the publisher continues. “Monk also sheds light on a breakup long shrouded in rumor and animosity, telling the story of Roth’s departure as he saw it, and explaining how a band at the height of their powers found themselves struggling in vain to hold it all together.”
The book is available for pre-order via the Van Halen Store, so current members can’t be too bent out of shape about the revelations. As always, it’s impossible to turn away from a rock odyssey, and Monk’s book promises to be “messy, loud and most of all fun.”