McDonald’s Hangs Iconic Photo of Eddie Van Halen & David Lee Roth at Grand Reopening in St. Louis in Crestwood – 2022 – VIDEO
“Grand reopening of the very first McDonald’s in St. Louis today in Crestwood. There is an enlarged picture of Eddie Van Halen & David Lee Roth outside the location from 1978 hanging on the wall. The photographer who took the picture flew in from CA to be here” – John Lamwersiek
Ron Stevens (Keep Live Alive St. Louis):
It was the first week of March in 1978. Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth were put on a promotional tour by Warner Brothers. George Gerrity of Warner Brothers hit the road with them with the single that came out in January, The Kinks cover, “You Really Got Me.”
So, they’re going radio station to radio station. They came to St. Louis, and that’s where that iconic photo of Eddie and David standing in front of the McDonald’s sign (came from). It has been on the internet for years now. Turns out, on that same tour was a photographer, a young guy named Richard Upper that was sent on the road with George to shoot wherever they went. He took that photo.
Now, Richard, since then, has shot the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, the list is miles long. He’s an iconic rock n’ roll photographer now.
It’s winter, ’78. The song is out. We’re hitting these radio stations. They’re doing their interviews and so forth. And, of course, we’re also hitting the distribution centers for Warner/Elektra, and everybody just loves these guys. They’re so much fun.
So, we’re taking a break in the limousine, and we go to this McDonald’s. You can see the jackets they’re wearing. They’re both wearing the same jackets. They didn’t have enough money to get nice coats, so they went to an army surplus store and bought these two fur lined (coats), both green.
I take this picture of them standing in front of any early McDonald’s sign with the single arch and that becomes just this impromptu photoshoot, and it becomes this photograph of these two guys goofing around. It becomes hugely popular.