a bit more nostalgia for you, then, look you see. well, why not - i can certainly think about the future, but i surely can only write of the past. on that note, i do believe it was in a particularly delicious interview when Ian Brown responded "well, we can't be influenced by the future" when asked if The Stone Roses were influenced by the past.
but no, not Ian Brown or The Stone Roses up for discussion here. instead, one of the single greatest rock and roll frontmen to exist, ever, and that which was once and then once again his band. yes, indeed, of course, David Lee Roth and Van Halen.
certainly, i was indeed busy on that there well known internet "auction" site, the one that is called something bay or similar. a particularly random browse revealed to me a formidable number of auctions for VHS tapes featuring primarily David Lee Roth, but also the band that was good when he was in it. the temptation was, of course, to buy all the tapes, but ultimately i limited it to three. for now, at the least. perhaps i shall go back for the rest later.
definitively, then i am happy with my purchases. there are some drawbacks, to be sure, and the biggest of those comes in the format (or fact) that we speak of VHS here. whereas home video of the VHS kind was spectacular when it came along, it is not (quite) the standard we have come to expect for entertainment. but, it does the job.
exactly how long do i intend to keep going with these alphabetical paragraphs? not all the way, i suspect. it could be quite difficult to do the whole alphabet this time. but i am pretty sure i did it once with one post not so long ago, we will see. i wouldn't count on it if i were you here.
for sure, the main one of the sets of tapes i bought that got me all excited was the Van Halen one. not that i have any issue or quarrel with the solo career (and subsequent tapes) of David Lee Roth on his own. it is just fair, i believe, to say that Roth + Van Halen the first time around was the very finest of both of them. "peak", if you like, should that term still be popular.
other (see the alphabetical paragraph thing has stopped) than it being the above, this video in itself was all nostalgia. certainly, yes, decidedly, it was a bootleg made to be sold at some profit, but a good deal more heart went into it. this Van Halen tape is three hours culled from broadcasts and fan made home videos, all in a time when obtaining such was not at all easy or straightforward.
i am particularly impressed with the conversion job, i think. even in this day and age converting a NTSC video tape (note, converting is different to simply playing it back) to PAL is tricky; with 80s technology it was far from fun. unless, of course, the US broadcasts were recorded here in the UK on PAL equipment. which would be all the more impressive, as someone would have had to have an absolutely massive satellite dish to do that with, and be most smart at shifting the alignment to pluck the correct broadcasts from the sky.
all that, just to capture the broadcasted magic of David Lee Roth. nice one.
videos like this Van Halen one were common yet not common. you had to know where to be and what to look for to get them. often the videos were sold in the classified section of the music press, back when we had a music press. normally you could find them on sale in the back pages of, for example, Melody Maker or even NME. otherwise, one found them for sale at record fairs from time to time.
my mate Ste, the music and art of whom feature on here from time to time, once got a really smart Prince one, for Prince was his favourite as we grew. it had most of the up to them promo videos on, and a rather smart (and what would turn out to be exceedingly rare) interview with him (Prince, not Ste), in Paris i think. with some of his impressive entourage around him.
yes, indeed i have converted this haul of David Lee Roth to DVD. this i did "old school" with a VHS player and a standalone DVD Recorder; the likes of which basically act as a VCR but with discs not tapes. and yet still, with some skill, i have been able to then convert some of that into snippets to share here.
for those able to play the video back, and i think that's now all of you, i did (earlier) (not later) warn of the quality. VHS, and copy off a copy too. in some instances it is clearly a copy off a copy off a copy off a copy that was not so great to start with, and so the quality goes to the extent that quite often the footage dips into black and white ("monochrome" if you like) when it should be glorious colour.
cost? well, i paid slightly north of £5, but considerably south of £10, for the three tapes, plus the postage. should you say in total i got roughly five (5) hours of David Lee Roth, each hour cost me about £1.24, or near enough. one cannot argue with this. back then these VHS tapes would have cost either £10, £15 or £20 each, depending on the seller and the popularity of the artist in question on the tape.
yes, probably is the answer to the question of whether or not i could have found most, if not all, of this stuff for free, and maybe in better quality, on that "internet" thing, specifically "you tube". but that was not the point. perhaps mostly the nostalgia thing, for sure, but it just all looked like a fun purchase.
oh, yes. that is indeed David Lee Roth dressed as Napoleon, off of the video for Van Halen's interpretation of the Roy Orbison classic Oh, Pretty Woman!. it also features one of the band as a samurai warrior, and one as a cowboy. further, it has midgets molesting a damsel in distress, and a creepy hunchback watching on a video. the personification of an 80s music video, then. and you would have to say Roy Orbison 0 David Lee Roth 1, for "The Big O" never made a smart video for the song like that.
so far as i am aware, indeed, the above should have been in colour. it is, sadly, the music promo videos which appear to be of the worst quality on the Van Halen VHS, as they will have been taken from copy after copy of a well worn tape. virtually all of Hot For Teacher plays back in black and white (monochrome), sadly. and yes, if you are not familiar with it, the song is indeed exactly what it might sound like off of the title. awesome drums on it, and remembering the misery of Don't Stand So Close To Me, you really do have to say Sting 0 David Lee Roth 1. actually, probably a lot more than 1.
every now and then, however, the video for the most splendid Panama plays in colour, and here is a still or screen grab to show that, which also features one of the other, lesser members of Van Halen, as the other members are not David Lee Roth.
what makes David Lee Roth so amazing? other than the huge amounts of sex he had and probably continues to has (it is a widely accepted fact that he is the best ever at it and has done it more than anyone else in history, in fact more than the entire population of certain medium sized nations), he is the personification of extrovert. as in, he is the extrovert's extrovert, if that makes sense.
he oozes a confidence and self belief that is both rare and absolutely required to be one of the all time greatest rock frontmen of all time. even, and let me make this clear even, when he was going through a quite, in retrospect maybe, ill-advised period of wearing cowboy shirts for interviews intended to be broadcast on major television networks.
i wonder, well, a couple of things. no, i am not sure if my nostalgia isn't free of rose tinted glasses, and maybe this was not all as wonderful as i recall. but, in memories, all piling around a mates' house who had a VHS and a tape of stuff that you were not, strictly speaking, and in the eyes of copyright holders, etc, supposed to have, was a fun time. with the proliferation, ease of access and many means to play such stuff in this day and age, i wonder further if this is all as "magical" now as it was then.
we, after all, only had four (4) TV channels, and usually whatever videos the petrol station down the road had available to rent. selections and choices had to be made. now, virtually everything ever made is available in a short space of time to all. wonderful that it is, i suppose, but it does feel like it takes away some of the wonder of watching something.
undeniably, though, the (literal) art of the bootlegger has gone. now one simply throws that which they have bootlegged onto the internet, or maybe one of them "DVD Recordable" things. look, you see, above is the tracklisting for the Van Halen VHS that someone nicely formatted and typed up, on a typewriter, for computers and printers then were not what maybe they are now.
so far i have watched the VHS as i converted it to DVD, and have sent on the DVDs of what i converted to Spiros, so he may enjoy them as a fellow fan. absolutely not, no, i am not offering to "sell" or anything my DVD conversions. but, that said, if you are a huge Van Halen fan and for some reason want to see this VHS, well, get in touch, i am sure we can sort something out for the sake of postage costs.
do these videos feature David Lee Roth wearing them smart trousers of his, the ones where his backside, or if you like arse, is hanging out the back (as opposed to the front), a bit like Wez out of Mad Max 2 and indeed Paul Rutherford out of Frankie Goes To Hollywood? yes, but not as much as you might think.
and, since i am running out of things to write, here you go, a bit of video from the above sequence, where you may get to see a peek or two at Roth waving his stuff around in them smart trousers.
no, i have never ever worn a pair of trousers like that. would i? maybe. not really sure they are intended for people with my physique, so i suspect they are not made in my size.
oh, the other tapes? not bad. the promo cassette of She's My Machine is perfect, but then it would be, for it is an "official" VHS sent out by the label to various TV stations with the intention that they broadcast it, so that the people may see David Lee Roth.
the other one is the best of times, the worst of times. considering it was made with a VHS camcorder smuggled in to a concert (somewhat more difficult that, say, filming a gig with your phone), the picture quality and stability is magnificent. alas, there are issues with the sound - for some 40 or so minutes it feels like a silent David Lee Roth concert. but, visually he is stunning.
above is a still from the David Lee Roth concert, i believe Wembley, 1991. indeed yes, as you can quite clearly see above, he does abseil down into a quasi boxing ring in order to perform Panama, because why not, when you are David Lee Roth you can pretty much do that which you like.
nostalgia again, really. VHS video cameras were massive, and in order to get a whole concert recorded you'd probably have needed to take an extra battery and an extra tape. by no means would this have been easy to get smuggled in to a venue. so, video recordings of gigs back then were extraordinarily rare. today, i imagine, that "you tube" thing is full of 100s of videos of every concert which has ever happened over the last 10 or so years, for when one sees concerts all one notices in the crowd is people filming rather than digging the gig.
yeah, this is the dull bit at the end, after the last picture, where we are at a stage that i have long since said all that i can of interest on the subject at hand.
well, anyway, then, many thanks for reading, and if some of you have enjoyed all this well then so much the better.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!