Tag: David Lee Roth

Four Classic Bettie Page Album Covers — Two Old, Two New

Four Classic Bettie Page Album Covers — Two Old, Two New

Album Cover of the Week, Music
If my Tumblr feed is any indication, Bettie Page is one of the most loved and photographed women in history. And so it's only natural that she'd show up on album covers as well. Here's a cheesecake-filled selection. This is a shot from the famous 1954 "Jungle Bettie" session with photographer Bunny Yeager. Never one for subtlety, David Lee Roth's 1998 solo album pretty much summed up what he thought was best about America. This also appears to be from the same Yeager photo session as the first cover. Here's another lovely 1957 gem from Halo Records. I'm not enough of a Pageophile to know the lineage of this boudoir shot. This same photo of Bettie in her black lingerie was used for a 1955 release of Bizet's Carmen by the London Concert Orchestra, but with most of the li...
Graphicity: What Makes Van Halen Great?

Graphicity: What Makes Van Halen Great?

Funny Stuff, Music
I've been listening to A Different Kind of Truth regularly since it came out. Despite being an excellent album, I still read a lot of griping from Van Halen fans about how it's not really Van Halen because Michael Anthony's not there. I can see where they're coming from, but I think that's stretching things a bit. But really, people have been arguing about Van Halen for years. If it's not Michael Anthony, it's the vocalists. So I decided to go through the Van Halen catalog and perform a scientific analysis of their sound. I wanted to know -- what really makes Van Halen tick? What, more than anything else, really makes a Van Halen record sound like Van Halen? Is it Mikey's signature background vocals? Eddie's guitar pyrotechnics? Alex Van Halen's thunderous drumming? David Lee Roth's ...
Get to Know… David Lee Roth

Get to Know… David Lee Roth

Music
For a brief time following David Lee Roth's acrimonious departure from Van Halen in 1985, it seemed the flamboyant frontman would be able to match his former band mates step for step. But as the 1990s rolled on, Roth's commercial fortunes declined and he became a punchline of sorts. Quicker than you could say "bozedy bozedy bop!" Diamond Dave went from headlining arena shows to rolling out a much-ridiculed Las Vegas lounge act and getting busted for buying pot in New York City. And the less said about the short-lived 1996 Van Halen reunion the better. But defying all expectations, David Lee Roth officially came home to VH in 2007. The band -- with Eddie's son Wolfgang replacing Michael Anthony on bass -- hit the road in September of that year and raked in an astounding $93 million b
Track By Track: Van Halen — A Different Kind of Truth

Track By Track: Van Halen — A Different Kind of Truth

Music
Because I dread the thought of writing yet another album review where I spend hundreds of words trying to frame an album in the proper context, or where I try to find yet another way to write about chord progressions, I’m just going to take it one song at a time and share my first impressions. So here we go with the long-awaited Van Halen album, A Different Kind of Truth. Let's do some level setting here before I get into this album. I have developed a belated appreciation for the Sammy Hagar era of Van Halen, but I am first and foremost a fan of the original lineup. Those first six albums are immortal. I've been a David Lee Roth fan for years, and like all of his solo albums. I make no apologies for this. I was inclined to like A Different Kind of Truth, and not assume it would
Listening booth — Van Halen, “Tattoo”

Listening booth — Van Halen, “Tattoo”

Listening Booth, Music
The day is finally here kids! It's the first song from a David Lee Roth-led Van Halen since 1996, and the first single for a DLR-led VH since 1984. From A Different Kind of Truth, it's "Tattoo." First impression? Well the video is clearly an afterthought so no point dwelling on that. As for the song, it's decent but not mind-blowing. It's clear that Dave had a hand in the arrangement and writing as the verses sound like his solo stuff, particularly from the DLR Band album. The rest reminds me of Balance-era Van Halen. I hope Alex brings it a little more on the rest of the disc, as he sounds rather plodding here. And it's still weird to not hear Michael Anthony singing those background vocals, but what are you gonna do? I'm still going to buy the super duper deluxe version ...
Listening booth — Van Halen, “I’m So Glad” (Caracas, Venezuela 1/16/83)

Listening booth — Van Halen, “I’m So Glad” (Caracas, Venezuela 1/16/83)

Listening Booth, Music
Guess what? I got Van Halen fever, and the only prescription is... more Van Halen! So here's one of my favorite VH boots, from the Diver Down promotional tour (dubbed the Hide Your Sheep Tour). It's I'm So Glad, a mono soundboard show sourced from the first night of the South American leg. It was the first of three shows in Caracas, Venezuela. The sound quality isn't fantastic for a soundboard, but it's a great setlist and the band is totally raging. I'm sure that playing in South America for the first time lit a fire under their collective asses. Eddie is in peak form as you would expect, while Alex and Michael are rock-solid as usual. As for Diamond Dave? Well, Dave is Dave. You know what to expect when you go to see VH with him as frontman, so you either love it or hate it. I lov
So this is the new Van Halen song I guess. (“She’s the Woman”)

So this is the new Van Halen song I guess. (“She’s the Woman”)

Music
As most music fans know by now, Van Halen played at the Cafe Wha? last night to get things going in anticipation of their upcoming album, A Different Kind of Truth. I spotted a picture of the setlist on Twitter and my eyes were drawn to a tune called "She's the Woman." Hmmm, I thought to myself, that name sounds familiar. And sure enough, it's actually a song that pre-dates the group's debut LP and has circulated in demo form among VH fans for years. Here's what it sounded like circa 1976: VH fans will doubtless recognize the main riff and bridge here, which was used in the all-time classic track "Mean Street." I haven't heard a clip from the 2012 version, so I can't say how much of the original is intact. I have to imagine that Eddie wouldn't quite so lazy as to duplicate th...
Album cover of the week: 1984

Album cover of the week: 1984

Album Cover of the Week, Music
Call it 1984 or call it MCMLXXXIV-- Van Halen's sixth album is one of the great achievements in rock for the entire decade of the 1980s. It also happens to sport a pretty badass front cover: The band's original vision for the 1984 cover involved four dancing, chrome women. The artist that Warner Bros. wanted to commission for the cover, Margo Nahas, declined the job as it was too complex. Her portfolio found its way to Van Halen however, and when they stumbled upon a painting of hers -- featuring an angel baby smoking a cigarette -- they knew that was what they wanted for 1984. The angel, who was rumored to be David Lee Roth as a child, is actually modeled after Carter Helm, the son of one of Nahas's friends. She styled his hair with some "goop" and gave him some candy cigarettes...
Listening Booth – Van Halen, “Crossing Over”

Listening Booth – Van Halen, “Crossing Over”

Listening Booth
This track won a coveted spot on one of my mixtapes back in 2007, and I'm bringing it back again.  It's a gem of a song from the Sammy Hagar era of Van Halen, although you wouldn't know it from how it was marketed (it wasn't).  It's the brooding and emotional "Crossing Over", a b-side from the Balance album. The whole song is very atypical of the era, which makes sense since it was written by Eddie while David Lee Roth was still in the band.  But to his credit, Sammy does a fine job here.  The payoff is the extended outro/fade. Here's "Crossing Over", via YouTube.