Who is Noel Monk? If you’re a classic rock fan, you might immediately recognize the name as the former manager for popular rock band Van Halen. If you don’t spend this much time listening to that particular genre of music, the name may be completely unfamiliar to you. Either way, it’s a good bet that there are a few things about him that you don’t already know. Below are 10 rather interesting things that even some dedicated Van Halen fans never knew.
1. He wrote a book about his days with the band years after he quit
He quit managing the band in 1985, yet it was more than 12 years later before he even started writing the book. According to him, he had been working on other books about other bands and didn’t see any need to write a book about Van Halen until some other events changed his mind for him. Those events will be discussed in the following paragraph.
2. He’s quick to tell you not to believe everything you hear (or read)
The thing that convinced him to finally write a book was the fact that people that had never been around the band and to his knowledge, knew very little about the band were writing books claiming that they knew about individual experiences that happened during the height of the band’s popularity. After he read a number of these books, he became somewhat enraged that people who had no actual knowledge of the band were basically making up stories as if they had been there themselves. That is what finally changed his mind and caused him to make the decision to write his own book. As such, he’s very quick to point out that fans should not believe everything they hear about any band, nor should they believe everything they read. According to him, a great deal of it is nothing more than a bunch of made up, sensationalized drama in order to sell books, with very little basis in truth.
3. He doesn’t buy into ‘rock & roll’ stories- he prefers to tell the truth instead
This is one of the things that sort of sets him apart from a lot of people in the music industry. He’s not about sensationalizing stories, and he doesn’t follow the same types of tell-all stories that so many other people have written. He simply prefers to tell the truth. Whether it’s good, bad or indifferent, he only talks about what really happened without embellishing it in order to make it sound better.
4. He managed the band for years, but he doesn’t traditionally like managers
Despite the fact that he managed the band for three years, he’s quick to point out the fact that he doesn’t typically like managers of any kind. He feels like most managers don’t really get in the trenches with the people that they’re supposed to manage. As a direct result, he doesn’t think that they have the ability to manage effectively.
5. He used to get angry whenever he heard Van Halen on the radio
He says that he always felt like Van Halen had the capability of being the best band there ever was, yet they never quite made it. He ended up walking away because according to him, he could see things falling apart long before they ever did. He says he had fun while he managed the band, at least for the most part. That said, he also claims that he got angry every time he heard a Van Halen song come on the radio once he walked away. He even claims that it took a few years for that anger to dissipate enough that he could hear a song on the radio without getting angry enough to turn it off and storm out of the room.
6. He feels like band managers take a lot of grief
Managers usually take a lot of grief in general. However, he thinks that music managers end up getting blamed for just about everything that doesn’t go right, whether they had anything to do with it or not. He has openly said that he feels like a music manager can practically shove something from the rooftops, yet when the band doesn’t listen and things go badly, it is the music manager where the blame will be squarely placed.
7. He’s never been impressed with any of the later band members
He liked working with the brothers but he doesn’t hold the same soft spot for Hagar, Roth or Cherone. As far as he’s concerned, none of them added anything to the band and might as well have gone on their merry way.
8. He tried to make the music industry a better workplace
He says that when he worked as a manager, the music companies treated him like dirt. He set out with a goal to prevent that from happening to anyone else. According to him, more than 100 people worked under him with full medical insurance and a pension that they wouldn’t have had if he hadn’t gone to bat for them.
9. Apparently, being in the band was a full-on workout and he was amazed
He claims that David Van Halen would spend more than an hour stretching before each show, largely because he was so physical while he was on stage.
10. He was largely unknown while he was managing the band
No one really knew that he managed the band at the time he was actively doing so. According to him, he didn’t really mind. He says he was more concerned over simply doing his job. He also often had his hands full with managing the band and everyone else that worked to make each show come together. He was far too busy to worry about his own notoriety at the time. These days, it doesn’t matter because everyone knows who he is and what he did.