Van Halen’s New “Tattoo”

David Lee Roth attending a Fashion Show during Los Angeles Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios, Culver City, CA on March 11, 2008 - Photo by Glenn Francis of
Image via Wikipedia

So… um… I should probably say something about the new Van Halen song that was released yesterday.  Let’s see… what to say… oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent song.  In fact, I listened to it several times, myself.  It has the classic Van Halen harmonies and David Lee Roth strutting his stuff in the video.  It reminds me of old Van Halen, having a similar feel to their cover of “You’re No Good.”  It’s the kind of song that says, “Hey, remember us?  You used to crank us in your Camaro or Trans Am or that other thing you drove back in the day!”

“Tattoo” is an introduction to the first full album of new Van Halen with DLR since 1984, but while watching the video you can tell it’s not 1984 anymore.  Back then, Dave would jump demonstrate his acrobatic skills by jumping several feet high in the air, and his voice had no trouble hitting the high notes.  In the video, he makes a valiant effort to sing in the upper registers (not bad for a man in his mid-50s) and does some kind of shuffle dance.  Then there’s the obvious bass player switcheroo, starring Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang.  I’m sure he’s a good bass player, but original bassist Michael Anthony is the guy the old fans grew up with.  Alan Cross sums it up nicely by saying:

It ain’t no “Runnin’ With the Devil,” that’s for sure.

Be that as it may, the song is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do: remind the public (and the fans) who Van Halen are, and get them interested in buying concert tickets.  I guess the question now is, if you record it, will they come watch you play it?  They certainly came for the 2007/2008 tour, but will they come back?

Van Halen – “Tattoo”


Author: Chuck

I started out as a child, then things kind of grew from there.  I spend way too much time around computers and radios, but I do like to take a break once in a while.  I'm not a real doctor, but I played one on the radio in college. A bit later on, I wrote an article that was published in COMPUTE!'s Gazette (Commodore 64/128 magazine). I also think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.

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