We lost some well-known, much loved celebrities, musicians and legends in 2020, but the one that hurt the most, and bonded Blaze listeners in mourning the deepest, was the loss of Eddie Van Halen. We paid tribute, murals were painted and special guitar collections were released in his honor, his son Wolfgang released a tribute song. As we continue to mourn a gifted musician and huge part of our musical upbringing, we continue to read about, learn about, and love the work of Eddie Van Halen.

With that, I was reading an article this morning about Adam Jones of Tool, and his recollection of having Eddie and Wolfgang at their show last year. You might remember a photo went viral of Eddie taking a random Tool fan's photo. The fan had asked him to take his picture so he could prove he saw Tool, the whole time never realizing that he was asking THE Edward Van Halen for a favor. Naturally Eddie obliged and Wolfgang snapped the viral photo. Anyway, I was reading this interview with Adam Jones and it struck me that Eddie would be turning 66-years-old this week (January 26), so I set out on a mission to find physical proof that Van Halen played here in Missoula, and found the 1980 concert poster.

Obviously they did play, at what was then known as the Harry Adams Field House, as many Blaze listeners have reported being at the show. One listener told me that she paid "around 8 bucks" for her ticket and she was lucky enough to be situated directly in front of Eddie and that it remains the best show she's ever seen to date. We are jelly, to say the least.

From what I found, Van Halen played at the Harry Adams Field House on March 29, 1979, and again, one year later, on March 26th, 1980. I found the 1980 tour poster in the University of Montana Productions aka UMP aka ASUM archives. As you can see below, tickets were $7.50 and $8.50 and fans were supposed to listen to KYLT for more information, which is awesome. Furthermore, you could buy tickets at Worden's and Grizzly Grocery, which are both still in business, and at our record stores, Eli's Records & Tapes, and Budget Tapes & Records. Ahhh, remember Budget!? Spend a LOT of time and money in that store.

Awesome memories! I was a baby when VH came to town, and I never did get a chance to see them otherwise, but I love that they performed in my hometown and that their shows are fond memories that bond so many of our listeners. Happy Birthday EVH, we miss you!

Poster image courtesy of U of M Productions

80s Missoula Concert Ticket Stubs