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Tag: The Kinks

Episode Thirty Seven – Van Bowie

What if David Bowie replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen in 1985? Were the signs there all along? How does House Of Pain play into this? And were Kriss Kross wearing their clothes backwards in an attempt to get back to the time when Roth was in the mighty VH? Young Southpaw investigates

Taking in 1984, Diamond Dogs, Dancing In The Street, The Pointer Sisters, RATT, and much more

“I have a new album out, ‘The Lost Archimedes’. You can get it over on Bandcamp, youngsouthpaw.bandcamp.com And on the album I broach the subject that what if David Bowie had replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen?

I mean makes sense, ya know. Coupling two of the most innovative musicians of the 20th century. Heck, prolly even of the entire Universe since Time Immemorial.

But also ya know, they both had songs called 1984. Van Halen’s the first track on the greatest album ever made, Bowie’s was on Diamond Dogs…Diamond Dave, there ya go! Makes perfect sense…

And they also both covered The Kinks’ ‘Where Have All The Good Times Gone’. A very relevant question after Roth’s departure

And I mean the Bowie Jagger Dancin’ In The Street is a hard thing to reckon with man. But when you realize it came in 1985, the very year Roth left and a mere months after that devastating event. Ya gotta figure it might have been some sort of signaling, ya know. VH themselves had also covered it back on Diver Down – another DD, like Diamond Dogs – an odd way to go about it, but ya know, lettin’ em know that he was available for the position. Gettin’ some moral support from his good buddy Mick

And then like 5150 man, that’s gotta be a nod to the US Festival ya know. Van Halen had a clause in their contract that no one could be paid more than them. So when Bowie was gettin’ a million and a half dolla bills, that brought VH’s fee up to also 1 point 5. 5150 ya know, even and then gettin’ raised up

5150 ya got Inside as the last…song, I guess, if you can call it that… Then Bowie goes and releases 1.Outside, a decade later of course, obviously he’s still smarting that it never happened. Heart’s Filthy Lesson and all that…

BUT!! Before that – and this is HUGE – his feelings best came out a few years before this, in 93 with, well you guessed it – Jump They Say. I mean who else says Jump, ya know…it’s right there…

Well I guess The Pointer Sisters said Jump as well. That woulda been rad, David Bowie bein’ in The Pointer Sisters. They coulda all covered I’m So Excited about Bowie actually joining Van Halen. The gracious sisters of course completely understanding how great it would be for him. Even if they were losing a now vital member…

But hold up a second cause I’m about ta blow yr minds. Bowie put out Jump They Say in 1993… And there’s someone else sayin’ Jump even just the year before. That’s right – HOUSE OF PAIN!!!!

Which if you’ll recall…was a Van Halen song!!! And the last song we ever heard from the original Van Halen, well I shouldn’t even be sayin original, you know what I mean. Last song we heard from Van Halen for quite a while, it bein the final song on 1984 and all…

Who coulda foretold that in the early 90s House Of Pain would become a band. And not only that but their song, their big hit, would be Jump Around! Callin’ back to Jump at the beginning of the 1984 album. And like House A Pain was an old tune of theirs, brought back just for the occasion. And it was also the b-side to the Jump 45. They knew!

I mean it’s kinda like Jump gave birth to House Of Pain. It’s 8 songs before on the record ya know, like 8 months of pregnancy, like House Of Pain was…a month premature. I don’t know, maybe they were just dyin’ to get out and jump around, you know. Reminds me of that chapter in Ulysses, where Joyce mimics the nine months of pregnancy with – sure it does, sure it does, reminds me of that – where Joyce mimics the styles of writing throughout the history of the English language over 9 long paragraphs. But Van Halen’s House Of Pain is 8 months cause it’s pop music, just dyin’ to get out there, it’s very nature. And woah H-O-P Hop! Like jump! Why wasn’t it Hop Around? Well of course because it was Jump that gave birth to it…

And you know if we trace it back from House of Pain we’ve got Drop Dead Legs but you wanna elevate the legs if you’re givin’ birth and then of course Panama! Like the Panama Canal! The waters breaking and like Ulysses was based on the Odyssey which was all about sea travel. And then I’ll Wait is a big clue too! It was 8 years between 1984 and Jump Around, just like the 8 songs! The 8 in the 19-8-E4 – E4 like a chess move – prefiguring the Wu Tang too. But I’ll Wait man, little did we know how long we’d have to wait for Roth to rejoin them. Or if it would ever happen. And I guess Bowie was waitin’ forever

And keeping going backwards, the first word of Panama is Jump! It’s like that song extends beyond the boundaries of time ya know. And if you played the record in reverse Panama would then turn inta Jump! Right after they say that first word! Actually also turn inta that riff that became Top Of The World, same album as Run- around. This is all too much! Though I mean obviously we always knew 1984 had great cosmic energies flowin’ thru it

And of course Van Hagar’s Runaround, man, came out the very year before House Of Pain put out Jump Around. Sure a lot of stuff goin around. Like that Ratt song, Round and Round. Of course if there’s a bunch of rats runnin around you’re gonna be jumpin’ Ya don’t wanna get bit by a rat. Even Warren DiMartini, unless like he could transfer his guitar playin skills to you that way. But that seems like a weird way to get around – here we go again – just practisin’ ya know

The Ramones took an early stance with this, with I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You, first album 1976, while VH were still recordin’ demos with Gene Simmons

Of course Bowie covered Chuck Berry’s Round And Round early on…

And he had You’ve Been Around on Black Tie White Noise, same album as Jump They Say

But like 1992 when House Of Pain – the band House of Pain came out – was the same year as Kriss Kross. Also with a Jump! I was both really excited and confused at first cause I was expecting Kris Kristopherson to be covering the Van Halen classic. Took me a bit to get used to that that is what it would sound like. But then like slowly I got it ya know, they were wearing their clothes backwards cause they want to get back to a time when David Lee Roth was still in Van Halen. Symbolic, ya know…

But like 1984 being full of cosmic significance, the idea of Bowie being in Van Halen has been around a long time. Maybe even since the beginning of time itself. But as it goes with mysticism, the first hints I can see of it date back to 1972 and 73…

1972 Bowie releases 5 Years, obviously aware that in 1977 VH would be recording their debut album. Of course he would release Heroes towards the end of 77 just to remind us what was coming

And back in 73 he goes and releases a version of Jacques Brel’s ‘Amsterdam’. A nod to the Van Halen brothers homeland of course

Diamond Dogs came out in 1974, same year Eddie and co changed their name from Mammoth to Van Halen. Bowie keeping the animal symbolism going as well as the Diamond of Diamond Dave as previously mentioned. And putting out the song 1984 like that was such a bold statement of intent

And then like who else could he have been referring to with Young Americans? Setting aside for a moment that their last name is clearly Dutch, cause of course they embody the very spirit of American Rock N Roll. Heck the very spirit of America

And the overtones keep goin’, 1980 ya know, both albums Scary Monsters & Super Creeps…gotta save the Women & Children First of course

And then like off Fair Warning we had So This Is Love? and Hear About It Later, which of course we did – two years later – Bowie bringing out Modern Love to answer their question

Offa Let’s Dance…Let’s Dance The Night Away ya know… And like what else would you light up the sky with but Ziggy Stardust?!

Heck maybe even Changes was about all this. Ya know, the darker side. Obviously you’d start putting it out in 1971 that Roth might leave Van Halen, a band that didn’t even exist yet, ya know to make sure people were prepared. Of course no one could ever be prepared but Bowie should be lauded for tryin’…

And I gotta think Roth woulda been cool with it ya know, being replaced by…I mean this is David Bowie we’re talkin about”

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Episode Thirty Four – Dirty Dancing

In which Young Southpaw wonders if there are plotlines to Dirty Dancing we’re not picking up on, in part due to it coming out in the aftermath of David Lee Roth leaving Van Halen

Taking in soup, The Kinks, Margaret Keane’s big eye paintings, Vera Chytilova’s Daisies, food fights, time travel and other experiments, New Order, etc.

“I really wish I could get over the fact that I’ve Had The Time Of My Life and Hungry Eyes could not possibly be of the time period Dirty Dancing deals with!

I mean I was doin fine, hadn’t thought of this in quite a while. And then some days ago I was out at the supermarket hoping against hope for some soup, and the radio started playin’ Hungry Eyes. Which – WOAH! I mean now that I think about it is a genius thing to be playin where they sell food. Well I mean in principle, just slippin it in, arrogantly thinking people aren’t gonna equate it with the phrase ‘your eyes were bigger than your stomach’. Such bravado, ya know. But obviously they didn’t count on the effect it would have on me. Just send me into a state of confusion, like that Kinks album ya know, came out in 1983 while Dirty Dancing didn’t hit theaters until 1987. So the two of them spanning David Lee Roth being both in and out of Van Halen – like a Schrodinger’s Cat, I guess – a Schrodinger’s Roth….

But I heard that song, I forgot all about food and just started ponderin’ ya know. Well heck brooding wouldn’t be strong a word for it!

Cause it bugged me out, ya know. I mean first of all, eyes aren’t hungry. That’s a property of the stomach, ya know. But then I started questioning myself, like was there some sort of scientific development in the mid-80s where they were testing these things that I just completely missed out on?

Or ya know, like during the time that Dirty Dancing was supposed to take place, was there some sorta scientific research going on, and there’s this underlying theme that no one really picked up on in the movie? That like it was about eating…with your eyes… I mean it didn’t seem like a horror movie. Well, maybe to some… And that whole phrase ya know ‘your eyes were bigger than your stomach’, that doesn’t even make any sense. Of course they’re not…or weren’t…to keep the tense right… Though there’s those big-eyed paintings, ya know. Margaret Keane. But even then, I don’t think they’re bigger than an actual stomach. And I mean, you’d never say this to a cow, they’ve got 4 of ‘em! They’d be all like – which stomach, yo?

And again, Margaret Keane didn’t paint any visible stomachs in those big eye portraits or at least there’s none I’m aware of. So it’s impossible to make that call…

But wait! Is that what those pictures were all about?! The before photos, when they ordered too much food! Are there after photos anywhere? Maybe hidden on the sets in Dirty Dancing?

And ya know the sayin’ is meant to imply you thought you could eat more than you could, ya know. So it all boils down to money. Cause you’re wastin’ food. Unless someone else eats it, and then like, how big are their eyes?

But is there a part of the body that corrolates to money? Like the stomach does to food? But like, what if you eat your own eyes? That would be a problem…for many reasons…

No one does this…that I know… tryin’ to teach the eyes a lesson like…so you’re not orderin’ more food than you could possibly consume again on a future occasion. But I mean in this case it makes sense to ya know, scarf down one’s own eyes. Like an eye for an eye, have the punishment fit the crime. So an eye for a stomach, a little twist there. Maybe a twist of lemon to make it more palatable…

But there weren’t any major food scenes in Dirty Dancing, that I can remember… I mean they were eating breakfast and whatnot when Baby’s all talkin’ to her Daddy. But I mean Dirty Dancin and food, was it dirty because there was like a food fight ya know that they’re dancin’ in? I mean that seems more messy than dirty. But like at the end of that Czech film Daisies from the 60s…ya know Vera Chytilova… I mean hardly seems like it could’ve inspired Dirty Dancing… But I can’t rule that out. The 80s were a weird time. I mean David Lee Roth had just left Van Halen… I mean if they were gonna use modern songs, they shoulda done Dance The Night Away ya know? Or ya know maybe change it to Dirty Jumping?

And like, well, I’m just gonna say it! After Roth had left Van Halen we had enough to contend with with that fact alone. We weren’t really prepared to deal with I’ve Had The Time Of My Life and Hungry Eyes. It not being in any way possible that they could have come from 1963 when the film takes place. I mean I guess in the confusion maybe they thought they could just sneak that in and no one would mind cause they’re still dealing with Roth’s departure…

But if we take it at face value, that this was on purpose – a layer to the film that we’re supposed to pick up on – I mean the only thing that really solves it…is time travel, ya know? I mean Back To The Future had come out a couple years before… But I mean, it’s tough cause as far as I can tell, and I’ve seen Dirty Dancing multiples times, it seems to be constantly on television…and maybe even on other mediums we don’t even know about… but as far as I can tell, you never see the time travelers in that film. I mean please message me if I’m wrong. Though wait a minute, I’ll be so embarrassed if it’s like completely obvious…

But like if you don’t see the time travelers, that also means you don’t see them eating. So I mean…wooo-eeee! I just don’t know how to resolve this one

And it’s been what? 33 years since it came out?! I mean maybe, since this is a soundtrack related issue, when it turns 33 1/3 they’ll send out an official statement explaining it all…

Though woah! I should put in a disclaimer right now – I have not seen the musical. If they do explain it all – ya know, with the eye stomach experiments and all the time-travel – in the stage show then I apologize for wasting y’alls time

And let me know, please. I mean if they address all these issues in the musical – maybe even produced the show as its raison d’etre, to clear it all up – then I should go see it, set my mind at ease…

And She’s Like The Wind too! Almost forgot about that one. While the hungry eyes studies were going on were there also concurrent experiments with weather and invisibility? All going on at this resort in the Catskills in 1963?

BUT WOAH!!! That New Order song 1963, ya know the b-side to True Faith. That came out in 1987! Why wasn’t that on the soundtrack?! Woulda cleared a lotta this up!”

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Episode Eight – Ana Counts The States

In which Young Southpaw spots the numbers in certain state names and wonders which has the most points. Of course he wants it to be California, the home of Van Halen, but Southpaw is nothing if not fair, as we shall see. He also uncovers the work of a mysterious trio of sisters in the founding of our nation and tells a little of his youth as a young Young Southpaw.

Taking in Bertolt Brecht, ‘Dragostea Din Tei’, Roman numerals, Diana the Roman goddess of the Moon, Van Halen’s ‘1984’, the Temptations, the Kinks, Icarus, the music of Chicago and Minneapolis, Soul Asylum, Steve Albini, the exact center of the continental United States, and much more.

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