Episode 174: I’ll bet Donald Trump is a Huge Van Halen fan

On the TFT Podcast, Ryan and Matt listen to and discuss Van Halen’s “1984.”

Ryan and Matt listen to and discuss Van Halen’s 1984.

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2 Comments on “Episode 174: I’ll bet Donald Trump is a Huge Van Halen fan”

  1. Mark Lee OTI Staff #

    The members of my old rock band had a complicated relationship with this song. Whenever we “rehearsed” (and I use the term lightly), we’d have this collective awkward homosocial ritual about playing this song. This is how it would typically go down:

    1. At some point I’d switch from guitar to keyboards, starting with the piano setting.
    2. At some point I’d switch from the piano to the sawtooth synth sound, but for a song other than “Jump.”
    3. After we’d finish that song, I’d let rip with the intro to “Jump.” Rest of band members would put on an act like they were horribly repelled by the song. I’d keep going.
    4. Drummer kicks in with the big hits in the intro.
    5. Rest of band joins in, appears to enjoy themselves.
    6. At the end of the song, someone starts doing that awful hump/hop dance that the video made famous.
    7. We die laughing and end the song.
    8. Everyone acts like they were too cool for that school, except that they totally went to that school with eyes wide open, and hump-hopped their way out of that school.

    So yeah, all that is to say that this song inspires the best kind of idiotic exuberance, and no one is resistant to its charms.

    Gloriously dumb, indeed.


  2. Rich #

    This one is a pretty complex one. To start with before this album the Van Halen song that got the most play on Philadelphia AOR radio was their cover of Pretty Woman. I am not sure if this was the case other places in America. In 1983 radio playlists were still market to market.

    The really odd thing about the first six Van Halel albums there is not very much sonic difference. It is hard to remember which song is on which album. “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” would fit in as well on 1984 as it did on their first self titled album. There is something to be said that 1984 was the last album they made that sounded like this. Every changed once Sammy Hagar replaced David Lee Roth.

    The one word I wanted to hear you to describe this album is juvenile. From Hot For Teacher to I’ll Wait there is a juvenile world built. Between this album and Quite Riot, there is an idea this generation of hard rock/heavy metal was targeted at Jr High School boys. Keep things simple any you will be loved by the young and those with arrested development.

    Off the top of my head when I think of Van Halen’s 1984 I think of the album cover on a mirror you can win from a carnival game. The cherub with the cigarettes is an iconic image.

    I really disagree that the 80s is finally starting for music. I am new to the TFT podcast, but U2’s War was really an 80s album. So much of this album is tied up Ronald Reagan’s era of the Cold War. I also don’t think REM skips right to the 90s. Musically you can make the case the 80s start in December of 1979 when London Calling was released.

    PS. I like the sound of the face to face podcast. It sounded like it was recorded in an empty concert hall.


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