If you told the 14-year-old me, having just listened to the newly released OU812 for the ten-thousandth time, that in the year 2012 Van Halen would not only be putting out an album, but reuniting with David Lee Roth (in fulfillment of the Scriptures), well, he probably wouldn’t have heard you because he’d be practicing the intro to “Hot for Teacher” on his black Kramer with the Floyd Rose tremolo. But if you angrily yanked the cord from his Marshall mini-stack and said, “Dude, LISTEN TO ME: In 24 years DLR is getting back with Eddie and Alex, and Sammy’s a premium-tequila mogul!” well, then you’d have his attention. (Though halfway through that sentence he’d already be trying, and failing, to stick the landing on the last hammer-on run. It’s a bitch.) So it seems appropriate to hop in the time machine, knock the guitar out of his hands, and demand that he provide a running diary of “Tattoo,” the first video released from the reunited VH’s upcoming album.
Oh, and by the way, he was kind of a dick. Hormones. Catholic school. Cut him some slack.
0:01 Hey, David Lee Roth still loves waving giant flags! Mint!
0:04 Are videos not in color in the future? Someone tell MTV that I want 24 hours a day of color videos in 2012.
0:06 Strobe lights. Kind of disco. Disco sucks. (That’s what my dad says when he’s trying to be cool. Or he shows me his Stones records. Whatever, I just got Ozzy Osbourne’s Tribute on CD. I don’t have time for “Brown Sugar” again.)
0:11 Michael Anthony’s looking really good! Maybe I should start drinking Jack Daniels if I could look like that when I’m super-old. It must have preservative properties. This is great, heading to the liquor cabinet after this is over.
0:33 It’s weirdly comforting that Eddie has not wasted any of his time learning to dance. I bet Valerie hates that about him, but also kind of loves it. They’re so perfect for each other.
0:45 I know David Lee Roth is like 70 now, but can we get just one karate kick? All this hula dancing and shuffling around is kind of making me sad. Just one! If something tears, so be it.
1:05 I guess this song is called “Tattoo.” Tattoos are cool. I bet I’ll never regret the Iron Maiden “Eddie” tattoo I’m getting the minute I turn 18.
1:27 I’m glad Metallica will have retired long before they start losing their hair.
1:56 Nobody plays to the camera like Eddie! Nobody. He loves it so much.
2:12 Hey, this is a little off-topic, but do we ever get to have sex? I’m guessing no. I don’t see how that could ever happen for us.
2:18 Well, that’s sort of like a moonwalk. I’ll take it if we’re not getting the karate kick.
2:34 FINALLY, A SOLO!!! Wait a minute, I’m hearing a bunch of unison bends but Eddie is playing a chord! BULLSHIT!!!
2:42 Whew, OK. Now he’s playing the right notes.
2:52 Thank God finger-tapping still exists. I’d have to kill myself otherwise.
2:58 Just an observation, but I guess in 2012 no one flies around the stage on wires anymore? Is there some kind of magnetic levitation technology they’re not using in this video, or does the future just totally suck?
3:13 That solo was no “Panama,” but I’ll take it. I bet when we’re 37 we’re settling for a lot of things that are just “good enough,” huh, champ? Tell me about being a “blogger” again?
3:53 This *is* sort of catchy, though maybe that’s because they’re saying “Tattoo” 400 times in a row. But “so very autobiographic” is not going to stick with me like “might as well jump.”
4:37 Sorry, I zoned out for a minute there. Strobes.
4:43 Thank you for sharing that with me! I’ve always said that Alex was going to look like an elderly version of Damone from Fast Times at Ridgemont High in 2012, so I feel vindicated. OK, back to shredding. I have to get famous and fix our lives now. See you on the space yacht, Grandpa Me!
Mark Lisanti is the editor of Hollywood Prospectus. Follow him on Twitter: @marklisanti.