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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
Style Icon: David Lee Roth
(L: David Lee Roth, the year I was born. R: The David Lee Roth photo I identify with most.)
Do you want to know why I'm writing this? Why I started posting photos of David Lee Roth every Wednesday on nogoodforme.com, why I bought five Van Halen albums in one Saturday sometime last month, why I'm wearing a Van Halen shirt right now and why I was wearing another Van Halen shirt yesterday? Why I own two Van Halen shirts and listen to Van Halen, like, all the goddamn time nowadays? Do you wanna know?
It's because of a dude, this dude I dated. He loved Van Halen. "Van Halen with David," he qualified, on our second date. Who the hell calls David Lee Roth "David"? You call him "Dave," or "Diamond Dave," or you call him by his full name. But not this dude, apparently. I thought he was a good dude but turns out he's kind of a sleazebag, with a real sour heart. I felt so duped! So I moped for five days, or maybe just five hours. "Motherfucker, you will not take 'Jump' away from me" is something I wrote in my notebook, cuz I'm so stupid-dramatical sometimes. And also because I mean it: I've loved "Jump" since I was six-years-old, and I'll be a monkey's uncle if I'm gonna let some sourhearted sleazebag ruin it for me.
So with no real recourse for revenge, I decided all there was to do was steal the dude's favorite band, love them harder and hotter than he ever could. Evil, right? Almost as rotten as blowing up his hot car, but without the mess and the threat of jail time. I bought all the records, excepting the one I already owned, told myself I'd listen till I loved them all to death.
And then I loved them right away. Which not only cured me of sourhearted-sleazebag disease but also made me better at life than ever before - God, I'm so good at therapy! I should totally think about a career in positive psychology. Or maybe game-show hosting?
LIZ'S ALL-TIME TOP 10 VAN HALEN SONGS (AS PER REQUEST OF OUR FRIEND ROB)
10. "And The Cradle Will Rock..."
8. "Hot For Teacher"
7. "Everybody Wants Some!!"
6. "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love"
5. "Little Guitars"
3. "I'm the One"
And the kiss noise at the end of "Beautiful Girls." I'm into hits.
Sometimes in bars I like to ask boys, "Hey, do you like Van Halen? Do you love Van Halen? What's your favorite Van Halen song?" Last month I asked my friend Ian that, and he told me: "I always loved 'Jump,' mostly because of the jumping in the video."
I like the jumping in the video too. But what I love most about "Jump" is when Dave sings "Can't you see me standing here, I got my back against the record machine..." That's the most I ever relate to David Lee Roth, apart from that photo of him up there, the one where he's hiding behind his big ol' mess of fake-blonde hair.
CHEESEBURGERS AND TEA
I wanted to write this entry while eating a cheeseburger. There's this story in Crazy from the Heat about how when Dave was recording the vocals for "Jamie's Cryin'" he made sure not to smoke any cigarettes and to eat a good breakfast the morning before. But when he sang it sounded all wrong, so the producer told Dave to go smoke a joint and eat a cheeseburger - which he did! And then he "knocked out 'Jamie's Cryin'' in forty minutes." And now "Jamie's Cryin'" is my 14th or 15th favorite Van Halen song.
But: I'm not eating a cheeseburger. I'm drinking tea, Zhena's Gypsy Tea Gypsy Rose, with soymilk and raw honey. I'm drinking rose petal tea and listening to "I'm the One" by Van Halen, and maybe that's all you ever need to know about me.
My rose petal tea smells so good; it smells like rose petals and tea. Van Halen doesn't smell anything like that; they smell like cheap cologne and spilled gasoline and skunked beer and cheeseburger grease. But they're a prettier color than my tea; they're hot-pink fireworks or the color my bathroom sink's stained right now cuz I'm using Lush's It's a Date bubble bar for hand soap.
VAN HALEN IS GIRL-COLORED AND DON'T YOU EVER FORGET.
I WISH THEY ALL COULD BE CALIFORNIA BOYS
I wish I had David Lee Roth's metabolism. I'd be so be eating that cheeseburger right now, if I had David Lee Roth's metabolism.
Other Diamond Dave properties I deeply covet:
He's got joie de vivre. "Razzle dazzle." He loves hot babes, hot cars, hot guitars; he's hot hot hot! Dave loves ice cream, and ice cream cones. Dave drinks Jack right from the bottle, then goes rollerskating down the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Dave tested all Van Halen's songs for danceability, by dancing to them. He's wild, man, but he's not outta control; he's a got a real good brain - you know the truth about the brown M&Ms, right? It's not because Dave's crazy!
(Actually, we've got a lot in common, Dave and I, now that I've reviewed that paragraph. I also suspect we have a very similar hair texture.)
Nowadays I get my kicks seeking out boys with a little Diamond Dave in them, like this weirdo mohawked man I met at the milk-and-sugar embankment of the laundromat Starbucks a few weeks back. "What is it about humans that we just love being AWAKE?????!!!!!!!" he asked, wide-eyed, totally serious, craziest smile. "I don't know, man!!!!!!!!!!" I said, trying to match his exuberance. He was wearing sweatpants and a sleeveless vest. Maybe it was this vest. There was a little boy with him; he must have been about five. "Do you eat FIVE CUPS OF COFFEE A DAY??????!!!!!!!!" the little boy asked my Dave Surrogate. The boy was a big weirdo too. The two of them, bonkers! I loved them so much.
In general I'm really into people who make me want to match their exuberance. The thing about me is I'm so exuberant in my own mind, but I dampen it down for most of the planet, with the exception of:
-all my buddies under the age of eight
-dudes I'm in love with and that's just 'cause I can't help myself
-some of my friends, some of the time
I wish that last category were a more populous group. I wish Los Angeles/the Earth were just crawling with dudes who make me want to speak every sentence with ten thousand exclamation points, dance all the damn time, see everything like there's pink fireworks going off in my eyes.
I mean, it would probably ruin the world if every dude were just like David Lee Roth. But in the funnest way possible.
"THE PROBLEM WITH SELF-IMPROVEMENT IS KNOWING WHEN TO QUIT"
(Isn't it so cool that there was once a night when David Lee Roth was hanging out at a strip club with Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Nicks? I sure think so!)
I'm not going to do The David Lee Roth Guide to Livin' Right ever again. I've already proved to everyone/myself that my love for Dave is true, and I don't need it anymore. But here's a few quotes I would've posted down the road, along with that line about self-improvement, which is real smart indeed:
"My music, personally, is best understood not by animals and small children, but by small animals and big children."
"I would just like to say that after all these years of heavy drinking, bright lights and late nights, I still don't need glasses - I drink right out of the bottle."
"I live and breathe and do four times as much four times as fast as anyone else."
"I've got a surgically implanted disco beat. My show has to be 130 beats a minute or better. Open up them pearly gates because I am the California earthquake!"
"The hood ornament on your car is for telling you where you're going. The rearview mirror is for showing you how good you look while you're getting there."
And, of course:
"SHEEPA LATTA PEEPAH DABBA LOOKA FOH A MOONBEAM"
That's my fave Dave quote at the moment; it translates as "I've seen a lotta people just lookin' for a moonbeam." I like to look for moonbeams - that means chasing your dreams, right? I've got dreams. And right now my biggest dream, my loftiest ambition, or one of the top three anyway, is to be the girl who loves Van Halen more than anybody else in the world. I'm already so fascinated by how much I love them; I think it's so cool and beautiful. People have done arguably more impressive things, cured diseases and walked on the moon and all that, and I'm really stoked for them. But that doesn't mean I can't be so proud at having made such great strides toward becoming the most sweethearted sleazebag west of the Mississippi - and so speedily, too!
"Van Halen with David" is the most magical and powerful and soul-changing sour-heart antidote I've ever known in all my awesome life. I'LL NEVER FORGET.
Tags: brown M&Ms, cheeseburgers, David Lee Roth, hot cars, ice cream, metabolic envy, monkeys' uncles, moonbeams, pink fireworks, positive psychology, rollerskating, rose petal tea, sourhearted sleazebags, sweethearted sleazebags, Van Halen
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