eddietrunk Justin Tedaldiof the Examiner spoke with our very own Eddie Trunk. Portions of the interview appear below.

Examiner:This year you’re celebrating your 30th year in radio. What does that mean to you?

Eddie: To have survived in radio for 30 years is pretty remarkable. Even more remarkable is to have been able to do it in the same market I’ve lived in my whole life. Most people who are in radio that long can rattle off 15 cities that they’ve worked in, and I’m lucky enough to say that [my] entire stretch has been New York and New Jersey….Even more rewarding for me is that I’ve been doing what I love in radio….I truly believe that you have to bring more content to the table to survive in radio than saying, “There was AC/DC and here’s Journey,” because computers can do that. The little secret about what’s going on in radio right now that a lot of people don’t know is that a lot of rock radio stations that they’re listening to [has] a live local DJ, [but] they’re not—they’re hearing a piped-in DJ that could be across the country somewhere through a computer….I still love doing radio; radio’s still probably my greatest passion.

Examiner: What ambitions are you working on?

Eddie: I would like to continue to grow in radio, and by that I mean more outlets, more time, more opportunity….I’d love to be on better hours, I’d love to be on more radio stations, you know? People don’t really understand how syndication works in radio. They think that if someone has 100 radio stations they think, “Wow, look how many people they have listening.” The truth of the matter is that you could have somebody with 10 radio stations that has 10 times the audience of the person with 100 radio stations just because of what markets those stations are in: how many people are listening to those stations? What hours are the show on? We navigate through the industry to try to make things bigger…I still would love one day to do a full-time afternoon radio show that’s an extension of what I’m doing now. I don’t know if I’ll ever get that opportunity, but I would love to….I still feel that after 30 years, there’s still a lot that I want to do.

Examiner: You’ve mentioned people you’d love to have as guests on That Metal Show like Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne and Eddie Van Halen. What are some burning questions you’ve been saving up?

Eddie: Oh, boy. With Eddie Van Halen, I’d just love to get to the bottom of his issues with Sammy Hagar. I know Sammy and I love Sammy and he’s been on my shows many times, and people think that I have some bias against the [David Lee] Roth years and that I’m a Hagar guy, which is completely not the case. I was a Sammy Hagar fan long before he was ever in Van Halen, though. I find it interesting, because Eddie Van Halen has this huge catalog of music, huge songs, that nobody else can sing but Sammy Hagar, and that unless a fence is mended with Sammy and that he finds a way to someday work with him again, there’s an entire generation of people—who that’s their Van Halen—who are never going to hear those songs live again. I think people forget that there’s like a dozen huge hit songs that, let’s be honest, David Lee Roth couldn’t sing in his wildest dreams—no pun intended with Dreams, but there’s another song. So I would love to know how he feels about that and about leaving, you know, an entire era of the band on the shelf, with so many huge, iconic, important songs.

So that would be something that would come to mind to ask him, but I have no idea what his response is. I’d just love to get to the bottom of that, and also see if he takes any personal responsibility in the falling apart of that band, because I saw the reunion tour with Sammy [in 2004], and Eddie Van Halen was whacked out of his skull or whatever. I mean, he was playing different songs from the rest of the band. Everyone who saw it knew it was a disaster. So I’d love to kind of pick his brain a little bit about that period and see what he’s thinking and going forward if he thinks there could ever be a way to reconcile so that material could be revisited again.

A guy like Jimmy Page, I’d love to just get to the bottom of what his visions were with [Led Zeppelin’s] recent reunion five years ago, and what his plan is going forward. I was able to do some digging and found out that, of course, everybody knows Steven Tyler was considered to go and sing with them when [Robert] Plant didn’t want to do it—Myles Kennedy was there for a little bit—and just kind of peel away a little bit more about that and the thought process and if there’s any resentment towards Plant for not being able to play, not playing that stuff. And of course, there’s all the old stuff—guys like that, you could get good stories forever from the early days. But I’m just kind of curious of some of the more recent developments to get a handle on how that stuff all went down and what they’re thinking going forward.

Examiner: You mentioned that if the circumstances were different, you would have had a very different interview with Axl Rose on TMS. What are some of the things you would have liked to ask him or know more about if you could have another round with him?

Eddie: I’d love to get more into the dissolving of the original band. Axl’s touched on things before, drug abuse and what have you, but I’d love to get more into his head about how all of that fell apart, and more specifics about what exactly went down and how this thing unraveled, and how you had one of the greatest, iconic hard rock bands ever and how it could have imploded so quickly, and from his perspective what he saw. I certainly could have been tougher on him about the late stage times. I did mention it to him in that interview, but he said something like, “We’re working on it, and we’re trying” and this and that, but I could have peeled the layers a little more….

Examiner: What bands would you most like to see make a comeback?

Eddie: I’ve gotta be honest, even though they’re friends and I respect what they’re doing separately, I really would love to see Skid Row again with Sebastian Bach and Rob Affuso, their original drummer. I respect what they’re doing individually and like it, but I really think that that’s a band that burned way too quick, and are still relatively young enough that they could put on a great, energetic show. And they’re a band that got progressively heavier as their career went on, and I’d love to see them kind of embrace that. I think we need an edgy, over the top, in-your-face kind of hard rock band again, and when that band was on its game they were a force to be reckoned with live, and I’d love to see if they could put whatever issues exist behind them and get out there and really just give this genre a real good kick in the ass again. I know that there’s a ton of interest, especially outside of America, in that happening, but I also know that it’s not even close to a reality, having talked to the guys firsthand about it, for a huge host of reasons….There’s a lot of division, still, [among] the certain parties in that band. It’s unfortunate, because I think that they could really do some damage if they could pull it together one more time.

And the other thing I’d love to see one more time, selfishly, everyone knows how much I love the band UFO; same scenario there, I love the current lineup, I think Vinnie Moore’s brilliant in that band, but I would love, and I would go any part in the world one more time, to see the Strangers in the Night lineup, and that’s one that’s a little bit more urgent. The core of the band is in their mid-60s now, and you don’t really know how much longer they all have, so it would be great to see that one more time. I already told me wife [laughs], if that show happens anywhere in the world, I have to go; I’m getting on a plane and going. It’s probably my number one thing I’d love to see one last time.

Examiner: [If] you can replace any [band] member—where do you think you’d see yourself having the most fun?

Eddie: Wow. The most fun would probably be fronting Van Halen, you know? The most fun would be David Lee Roth in 1980 to ’82 or something. The ultimate party hard rock band. Guys and girls loved them equally. That would be the ultimate sort of thing to do, I think. The other person to be would be Joe Perry or Steven Tyler. Those guys are both eternally cool and eternally youthful in what they can still do at their age with their band at this point in their career is pretty unbelievable live. But I always thought that Joe Perry, there’s nothing not cool about the guy, he just exudes coolness and he’s a great guy, too. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve gotten to know him and be friendly with him. Those are the icons to me. And of course, to have been a member of the original KISS would be incredible. To dress up like that and be part of a stage show like that, to do such groundbreaking theatrics, to make what I think are some really good records that are overlooked a lot of times, that would be equally phenomenal.

Read more at the Examiner.

Eddie’s new book, Eddie Trunk’s Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Volume II is available for purchase today (Sepetmber 24th).

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  • fred glass on

    I would love to see a Mercy Fate reunion with King Diamond, Hank Sherman and the rest of the Fate boys. That would trujly be awesome. M Fate influenced alot of metal bands over the years, including the mighty Metallica! Maybe if they werent so evil they could have been as popular as Priest or Maiden. But its not all about popularity anyway, M Fate were a great metal band and deserved to be alot bigger.

  • MetalMania on

    Do we really need to bash each other here guys? Someone has no credibility anymore because they liked Sammy in VH? I liked both eras of VH, but I do skew toward the Roth albums because they just rocked harder and more often. Personal preference though. No question with Hagar they became more pop oriented, but I’m not sure that can all be blamed on Sammy. Dancing in the Street, Jump, I’ll Wait – those were all pretty “pop” sounding songs before Sammy entered the picture. I think EVH was leaning that way a little bit to begin with and Sammy had the tools to allow him to expand in that direction. I like Sammy, and there are VH songs from that era that I really like (usually the heavier ones that were never on the radio), but being honest the Roth era will always be the “classic” VH for me. But I’m not going to put somebody down if they don’t feel that way. The Sammy era appeared to be heading back towards the heavier guitar stuff (Balance, “Humans Being” on that movie soundtrack…) when it fell apart.

    Nobody can deny the importance and influence of Led Zeppelin, but I really hate when people keep spewing stuff like “every song, riff, solo, and lyric since then is just a ripoff of Zeppelin”. How the hell is anyone supposed to be influenced by anyone else and yet sound NOTHING REMOTELY LIKE THEM? I’m not talking about literal note for note copying, that’s obvious, but there’s only so many chords, notes, and beats you can play folks. If you play within the context of established music theory, there’s also only so many “correct” chord progressions you can play. Yes, the rules can and should be broken in the spirit of creativity but unless something is REALLY out there, we’ve likely heard it before (to an extent). If you’re trying to be part of a certain genre – hard rock/metal, blues, etc. there IS kind of a formula or definition of what it should sound like. Can you be a heavy rock band playing banjos and flutes? So what if a band sounds like Zep? If they’re good and aren’t LITERALLY playing the exact same songs why not carry on the tradition? Especially when Zep themselves have been inactive for the last 30 years. I’d rather hear an honest to goodness rock band keeping the genre alive than another corporate contrived rap or country or pop act.

    • MetalMania on

      Another thing about the Zep followers – some of those that started out as “clones” have grown into their own sound. Rush was panned as a Canadian Zep ripoff in their early days, but evolved into their own identity. Maybe I’m in the minority but I think Whitesnake grew into their own sound as well. Yes, Coverdale has some vocal (and physical) similarities to Robert Plant, but in my opinion he’s got his own thing going on. And, I think he’s a better singer.

      I think you have to consider too that especially for young bands, most of the time you learn to play by learning the material of your own favorites and influences. I didn’t pick up a guitar and say “I know exactly what to do with this, and nobody has heard anything like it.” No, I loved Metallica, Van Halen, Iron Maiden…. I said “I want to learn how to do THAT”. Sometimes, that’s all that happens. The good ones though, hopefully, take that as a starting point and blend it all together and come up with something that’s good and unique enough to be “their own” but still has the familiar hallmarks of what their genre’s audience expects and wants.

    • John G on

      Your points are well made. I agree with you. Let’s just say it isn’t black and white. When Foreigner came out, Lou Gramm had the Robert Plant look, but they didn’t sound like LZ. A lot of it comes down to the singers. When I first heard Def Leppard, Joe Elliot sounded so unique, I never realized how much of an AC/DC influence was there. But in the 1980s mostly, bands blatantly ripped off LZ, from the production of the rekkids to the look and subject matter.

      Rush is a band that I enjoy. But IMO they went from being LZ/Sab clones to being influenced by Yes/Mahavishnu. Then they changed their style and went after the sound of the Police. I completely understood the RRHOF snub. Eventually Rush stumbled onto their own sound. But it really took them awhile.

      There’s no need for bands to sound just like Zep. Most people are just lazy. They won’t dig up a bunch of old blues rekkids and find an old tune they can enjoy. They just redo a LZ or Clapton version of a song. There’s a boatload of great old blues tunes out there. Tons of early R+R, jazz, classical and early 40s music that can influence a band. The vast majority of hard rock/metal bands are just lazy and not the brightest bulbs out there.

    • DR on

      I understood the Coverdale comparison’s to Plant, but quite frankly never understood why people were so hard on him for it. Their from the same country, and Plant was out there before Page was, so obviously Plant was an influence on him – like he was to many which is what made Robert Plant so great. I agree with MetalMania on Page. Ultimately I liked his voice over Plant’s, and that’s not to slag Plant. I loved Whitesnake (especially the John Sykes version). They put out some incredible bluesy/heavy albums in the 80’s. And Coverdale is an incredible frontman. Saw him live 3 times and loved every show. To John G’s comments about Leppard – I totally agree. I got into Leppard when Pyromania came out, and bought their first two ‘cassettes’ afterwards. It was amazing hearing the AC/DC influence. Elliot could have been in a AC/DC cover band back in those days. Hard to believe that band would ultimately put something out like Hysteria years later. Talk about a transformation. Great discussion boys (you too SAR).

    • Jason on

      Well said!!!!

  • Lee on

    Seventh Seal & Summer Nights are killer tracks. Driving 55 drives the crowd nuts VH version. You kiddin me, I like both versions. Michael Anthony’s vocals are sorely missed. Bass is never a factor in VH, but, backing vocals are…even Sammy heard the canned Anthony vocals on the Anthony not there first tour and went wild. Coverdale is a better singer than Plant in ’13. Of course the Chickenfoot records are better than the last VH album: fresh clean wide open sound. VH’s latest was bogged down with piecing out ancient tunes from the President Carter era Eddie dug out of his tape library.

    • MetalMania on

      I wanted to like A Different Kind Of Truth more than I do. I don’t dislike it, but yeah – it does have some hard to put my finger on incongruity to it. Some of it is Dave – and I’m not going to criticize his actual voice, I don’t think it’s fair to expect ANYONE in their 50’s or beyond to sound the same as they did in their 20’s. It’s almost like he sounds…. out of practice? The songs kind of feel like demos that are 85% finished but just needed a little more crafting. On the other hand, I do like the old school energy. These tracks aren’t aimed at top 40 radio, they’re definitely in the spirit of vintage VH.

      I like Chickenfoot’s stuff too, but I don’t love it either. I have to be in “that kind of mood” to throw it on. I’ve been a huge Satriani fan since the 80’s, I have everything he’s ever released, and he’s the biggest reason I gave them a listen. Sammy is Sammy, and Mike Anthony seems to be a really good down to Earth guy (as does Chad Smith), so I’m happy that they’re having success with this.

    • E black on

      LOLOLOLOL Bro, like Ozzy said, KEEP ON SMOKING’ IT!

    • E black on

      Lee, “I can’t drive 55” ? LMFAO YOU’RE A RIOT

  • Mwb on

    Early VH was great it was raw it was fun in your face music. Then something started to happen to me I started to grow up a little bit about that time so did VH , No longer did I need a master of ceremonies . To me VH started to grow up about the same time as I did both versions are great was never a fan of Sammy singing the Dave songs but I like what both did for different reasons.

  • Lee on

    E black ought to visit youtubes of drving that 55 VH version….it smokes..EVH stuck it in his band’s set fer a reason. I like all Sammy’s stuff.Lots of older tales in his unreleased never put out bio was never in the new one and his thing on the strip in Vegas deserves the Yelp reviews..it sucks.

    • e black on

      Uh, no. I do not have to be reminded of the musical equivalent of a bull castration.

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