Monday, December 03, 2007

I don't feel tardy!

Nor, you know, two years shy of 40., the mostly reunited Van Halen, David Lee Roth Original Recipe version, is playing Seattle tonight. No, I don't have tickets...but I greatly enjoyed a local radio station's Nine-at-Nine journey in the wayback machine this morning, to 1984. They featured some Prince and some Pretenders, and of course "Jump," from the eponymous VH album. Ohhh, "Jump." I rocked out some, in the car--very cautiously, due to the torrential downpour we're having this morning. The DJ could then not be dissuaded from putting on "Panama," at least for a moment. Ten at Nine, then.

(Aside: last week I was giving a presentation in a team meeting, my laptop connected to the conference room projector. There's a way to turn off the e-mail pop-ups when you're in presentation mode, but I hadn't bothered. So it was my own fault when a missive from the concert-ticket alias appeared in the lower-right corner of my screen and one of the editors could not restrain himself from shouting aloud, "VAN HALEN TICKETS!")

Since I made such inroads into mortifying adolescent confessions last month, I'll just admit here that, yeah, I find David Lee Roth...compelling, let's say. Maybe not so much now; you don't know where he's been. Though you can well imagine. But 1980s David Lee Roth! With the hair! Doing the splits in his neon zebra-striped leggings! Before flying around above the stage in a harness! Come on: that's awesome. He was clearly totally insane, in a nonthreatening candy-colored AquaNet way. Other metal bands were Scary; Van Halen, with Roth out front, was just Crazy! Fun Crazy!

Didn't he break from the band, right about that time, to launch his solo career? I vividly remember his cover of Louis Prima's "Just a Giggolo," not least because my grandpa saw the video of this on MTV and was delighted: "Now that's music," he insisted, as Dave leapt around in parachute pants with some bikini vixens. "That there is a song." Grandpa found David Lee Roth tonsorially confusing, maybe, but he knew how to swing. It was a point in his favor.

I should also note that I loooooooved "Jump" in part because I associated it with...oh, God...the figure skating world I'd developed a complete obsession with at roughly this time. Van Halen, the perfect accompaniment to launching a triple salchow! Oy. I am physically scrubbing at my face, right now, at this recollection. The 80s were a weird, weird, weird time, whether you were 14 or not.

So. No, I'm not going to the show. Probably it would also be awfully loud in there, I'm thinking. But I am pleased that it is, that it exists. Maybe 10 years ago I saw David Lee Roth, on an early version of one of those "Totally Awesome Eighties!!" compilation shows. At the time, he looked eerily as if he was steps away from sitting on Ventura Boulevard with a cardboard sign reading "Will RAWK For Food." So I'm glad that he's back with the band and touring, now, happy that he's got a gig to keep him in sandwiches and Spandex for at least the forseeable future. You go, Diamond Dave.

1 comment:

chicklegirl said...

LMAO, especially at "I don't feel tardy."

I so wanted to get tickets to the VH concert for me and Jim, who was way more of a metal-head in high school than I ever was (think Jesse K--Metallica, Judas Priest, Megadeath et al). It was with conflicted acceptance that he finally embraced VanHaggar in the 90s.

Needless to say, there was great rejoicing in our household when the reunion tour was announced. But alas, the onslaught of hospital bill prevented us from rocking on with Dave, Alex, and Eddie, and we've been feeling a bit bitter. Thanks for making me think of it with a smile.