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Jump: 40th Anniversary of Attending the “1984” Van Halen Concert

A Nostalgic Journey through a Legendary Live Music Experience

In 2024, four decades have passed since Van Halen unleashed their iconic album, “1984,” leaving an indelible mark on rock music history. In Cincinnati, Ohio, a group of 12-year-old boys embarked on an unforgettable odyssey when they attended the Van Halen concert on March 9, 1984. Their story, chronicled in the book “Jump: 40th Anniversary of Attending the “1984” Van Halen Concert,” is a testament to the transformative power of live music and the enduring bonds of friendship.

Chapter 1: The Spark of Inspiration

Jim Serger, the book’s author, reflects on the profound impact the Van Halen concert had on his life. He recalls the shared enthusiasm among his 7th-grade friends, their eyes gleaming with anticipation at the prospect of witnessing the legendary band perform live. Todd Zimmerman, another member of the group, remembers how the “1984” album ignited his passion for music and live performances.

Chapter 2: The Quest for Tickets and the Role of Fate

As the boys eagerly awaited the concert, they faced the challenge of securing tickets. With limited resources and a modest budget, they wondered how they would manage to obtain tickets for such a highly anticipated event. Chris Berger, one of the boys, recounts how fate intervened in the form of his father, Skip Berger, a retired Cincinnati police officer.

Chapter 3: A Father’s Intervention and a Chance Encounter

Skip Berger’s involvement takes an unexpected turn when he is assigned to work security detail for both Van Halen concerts in 1984. During a casual conversation with Eddie Van Halen, he mentions his son Chris’s unwavering enthusiasm for the band. Eddie’s response, inviting Chris to meet him backstage, sets the stage for a pivotal moment in the boys’ lives.

Chapter 4: Overcoming Parental Objections and the Role of a Supportive Adult

Despite initial parental reluctance to allow their young sons to attend the concert, Skip Berger’s intervention and Eddie Van Halen’s invitation sway their opinions. Jim Myres, the father of one of the boys’ friends, agrees to drive them to the concert, recognizing the significance of the experience for the young music fans.

Chapter 5: The Arrival at the Venue and a Serendipitous Encounter

As the boys arrive at the concert venue, Skip Berger, using his authority as a police officer, calls Chris over to one of the doors. Chris is astonished when his father leads him into the dressing room of Van Halen, where he encounters Eddie Van Halen in person. This surreal moment, like a scene from a movie, leaves a lasting impression on Chris and his friends.

Chapter 6: The Concert Experience and the Power of Live Music

The boys immerse themselves in the electrifying atmosphere of the concert, captivated by the energy and musicianship of Van Halen. They witness Eddie Van Halen’s legendary guitar skills, David Lee Roth’s charismatic stage presence, and the band’s overall command of the audience. The concert becomes a life-changing experience for the young fans, solidifying their love for music and live performances.

Chapter 7: The Legacy of the Concert and the Enduring Bonds of Friendship

In the years that follow, the boys cherish the memories of the Van Halen concert as a defining moment in their lives. The shared experience strengthens their bonds of friendship and becomes a source of joy and inspiration. The book, “Jump: 40th Anniversary of Attending the “1984” Van Halen Concert,” serves as a testament to the enduring power of live music and the impact it can have on young people’s lives.


Four decades after the legendary Van Halen concert in Cincinnati, the story of the young boys who attended the event continues to resonate. The book, “Jump: 40th Anniversary of Attending the “1984” Van Halen Concert,” captures the essence of their journey, highlighting the importance of friendship, the transformative nature of live music, and the enduring legacy of one of rock music’s most iconic bands. The anecdotes, personal reflections, and insights shared in the book offer a glimpse into a special moment in time that continues to inspire and entertain music fans of all generations.