Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Let me take you back to when it all began...

Women And Children First was the second Van Halen record I bought. I was 12 years old, loved “1984” and wanted to hear more from my new favourite group. The family was in Victoria for Christmas and we were at Mayfair one day. I was flippin through the Van Halen records in the mall record store and the only one I could afford was Women And Children First. I remember being a little upset because I wanted to buy every album other than Women And Children First. It had the boring cover, I didn’t recognize any of those songs and the title sounded stupid to me. I was actually scared that I had bought the crappy Van Halen record and wasted the only money I had. To top it off, there was no record player at my grandparents, so I would have to wait a week to listen to my new, crappy record.

I put it on my little turntable, radio, cassette combo before I even started unpacking and my fears were quickly put to rest. I was floored when “And The Cradle Will Rock” kicked in after the scratch intro! Still my favourite “rock” song about rock that rocks! And this was just the beginning. The bongo intro to “Everybody Wants Some” was a little weird, but the song quickly became very cool. I didn’t really understand a lot of what Dave was singing and talking about, but I heard him loud and clear when “Fools” kicked in. “I ain’t about to go to school and I’m sick and tired of golden rules”, “Ooohhh who makes the rules, ooohhh I live with fools”. And I had no idea what “Romeo Delight” was about, but didn’t care, it was one of the coolest songs I'd ever heard!
And then side 2, what the hell was this!?! Some sort of weird reverse revving to start? Then the plodding riff, some screaming, into walkie talkie/CB chatter and then some crazy song! I was confused as hell, but loved it! Listening to “Loss Of Control” now, you can hear plenty of elements that would end up in “Hot For Teacher”. But that first time, it was like a tornado. With Eddie and his fingers whipping all over the place. Next up, the acoustic intro of “Take Your Whiskey Home”, into the rock and then Dave goes “whoah” during the full stop..….still gets me, every time! Followed by the completely acoustic “Could This Be Magic” and more confusion. I thought I was listening to a rock album! But by the time they hit the chorus, “Lonely ships upon the water, sail away with someone’s daughter” I was hooked. Again, I didn’t actually know what it mean, but it sounded great! Then they cap it off with “In A Simple Rhyme”, just awesome. Simply one of, if not my favourite Van Halen songs.
It was such a different world after only listening to 1984 previously and being so young and dumb. The intros, the walkie talkie talk, the spoken word interludes, the acoustic guitars, the short instrumental that mysteriously appears a after the last song… was like I fell through the rabbit hole and landed in wonderland.
Motley Crue and Judas Priest records would soon follow, plus all the Van Halen as soon as I could afford them. My hair grew into the Eddie Van Halen do, then sports, school and most friends were cast aside..….I had some music to listen to.

Listen to this song right now!

In music time, it took two and a half listens of Women And Children First to write the above. My tattoo... 

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