In his new book, Van Halen Rising: How a Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal, author Greg Renoff digs into an era of rock history that has been curiously neglected by contemporary music journalists: Van Halen's pre-fame years playing backyard parties and dive bars. In more than 230 interviews, Renoff uncovers a gold mine of untold stories, including a nugget about an evening in June 1977 when Van Halen went onstage, posing as the Scottish punk band the Enemas. The quartet was so convincing they wound up on the back cover of LA's legendary punk fanzine Slash. Renoff reads from and discusses Van Halen Rising at 7 p.m. tonight at Left Bank Books (399 North Euclid Avenue; 314-367-6731 or www.left-bank.com). Admission is free.
Price: free admission