'Monsters of Rock' Show Laid Low by Sore Throat

Times Staff Writer

A monstrous strep throat is causing a date change for Van Halen's "Monsters of Rock" concert scheduled for today at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the promoter said.

The concert--which was touted as the top outdoor rock show of the year featuring five of the most popular hard rock bands in the country--has been postponed until 2 p.m. Sunday because Van Halen lead singer, Sammy Hagar, is suffering from a throat infection, a spokeswoman for the band said Friday.

Tickets for today's show will be honored Sunday, she said.

More than 80,000 fans are expected to jam the Coliseum for the concert, which features Van Halen, the Scorpions, Dokken Metallica and Kingdom Come, according to Avalon Attractions, the show's promoter.

Eliot Sekuler, spokesman for the show, said that the decision to postpone the concert was not made until mid-afternoon Friday, when action was taken to alert the public through radio, television and newspaper announcements.

Sekuler said that Van Halen representatives assured him that Hagar needed a day's rest and would be ready by Sunday. But if he's not, "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it," Sekuler said.

He added that the Sunday date was available because it had been held open for a possible second show, but when ticket sales were slower than expected it was decided to keep the event to one day.

Hagar, who slipped on a steel step and injured his tail bone at a concert in Wisconsin, came down with strep throat in Kansas City. The band's lead guitarist, Eddie Van Halen, also has the bug.

All the concert's problems have not been medical. Poor ticket sales have also plagued the Monsters of Rock stadium tour since it began in Chicago on May 27.

The Los Angeles date is one of the few sellouts. The show all but flopped in several cities, possibly because tickets were going for as high as $28--a price too steep for many of the fans, most of whom are under 18. Out of a possible 50,000 tickets in Boston, only 32,800 were sold. In Miami, only 27,000 out of a possible 78,000 tickets were sold.

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