Centerfold

Mitzi never minds posing nude for her adoring fans…

It’s Monday, and we know you’re wondering what the earworm’s going to sound like this week.  That’s the day The Nest never feels tardy in presenting another lost hit that we’ve got it bad for out of that detention hall we like to call the Dusty Vinyl Archive!  DJ Scratchy brought her pencil and slutty schoolgirl uniform for this week’s class, while the Sponkies… well, their homework was never quite like this.  Now sit down, Waldo, and you might learn something today…

In poring over my list of songs on the DVA waiting list, I noticed I had one by the legendary rock group Van Halen… and on the sad occasion of the eponymous guitarist Eddie Van Halen’s passing last week, I figured this would be as fitting a time as any to whip it out.

Excuse me, while I….

While Van Halen’s 1984 album titled…. 1984 was not the pinnacle of the band’s commercial success (that would come during the Sammy Hagar years that so many fans revile), it is probably still their best known work.  It spawned their biggest hit “Jump,” the epic road trip theme “Panama,” and the quirky “Hot For Teacher” that I reffed over and over in today’s intro, which despite being the only single from 1984 not to hit the Top 40, is still one of the group’s better known songs due to the hilariously awesome video that was all over MTV in the mid 80’s.

Yes, Mr. Roth.

While those three songs live on today as classic rock staples and Mecca muzak, the second single from the album kinda got lost in the shuffle despite being a #13 hit.  This was all over Top 40 radio in the aftermath of “Jump’s” success, yet 36 years later, “I’ll Wait” is getting confined to the Dusty Vinyl Archive…

I guess it didn’t help that it was the only 1984 single release that didn’t have a video.

This song is an ironic choice on the occasion of Eddie Van Halen’s death given that it barely has any of his signature screaming guitar in it at all.  Like “Jump,” “I’ll Wait” relied very heavily on the synthesizer, which Eddie was wanting to work more into the group’s work, much to the disdain of flamboyant lead singer David Lee Roth…. who left Van Halen the following year largely due to “artistic conflicts” like this with Edward.

Ody never cared for my keyboard playing either…

While Diamond Dave did not like “I’ll Wait,” and tried to get it cut from the final draft of 1984, the lyrics were all his…. dedicated to a Calvin Klein underwear model he tacked up on the wall and decided to sing to.  Just in case it may have sounded like Dave was singing to a classy Playboy centerfold instead…

Hubbe hubba!

I’ll admit, it’s not the best Van Halen song…. but even mediocre Van Halen is still good music!  I’ll return next Monday with another earworm that will have you shouting “Oh my God!”

CLASS DISMISSED!!!

About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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21 Responses to Centerfold

  1. I love it very much…it is not so much used than Jump… every village -dj used it as “his” theme song…

  2. EEEK on the Centerfold (no – make that a double EEEEK) but I love the song and music.

    Pam

  3. ghostmmnc says:

    I like this – can’t remember ever hearing it before, though. 🙂

    • I remember when this was getting played on the radio all the time, but it didn’t last very long. Being released right after “Jump” left too big of a shadow for it to emerge from…

  4. Eddy’s dead? Aw well sh*t. The artwork on that cover for that album/song was very piquant! A cherubesque creature stealing a smoke? Bwahahah.

    • The smoking cherub wasn’t even designed for the album. Apparently, the band was looking through the collection of the artist who created it, and instantly wanted to make that picture the album cover as soon as they saw it. How can you resist a cute little smoking angel?

  5. draliman says:

    Very cool intro. I thought it was nothing special once the singing started, though.

  6. Always preferred DLR over Sammy and this cut is one reason why. RIP Eddie.

  7. Trisha says:

    I always liked this one! Somehow I didn’t noticed the change in Van Halen’s sound with the addition of all the keyboards on 1984 until we watched a documentary about them this weekend. Now I wonder how I could have missed that for all these years!

    • I guess Eddie wanted to embrace the synth sound of the 80’s. It might have influenced Whitesnake as well, because the original version of “Here I Go Again” was keyboard driven (And every once in a while, I’ll hear a radio station play that version… which I like better!). With hair metal in full swing by 1987, they changed the riffs to guitars, brought in Tawny Kitaen, and the rest is history…

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