Excellent Blog
2007 Inspiring Blog
Rockin' Girl Blogger

“have you seen Junior’s grades?”

August 27th, 2009

The neighbor kid was just listening to Van Halen out in his driveway and I was cracking up laughing over here. Then he cranked “Stairway to Heaven.” It’s 1980 all over again.

Yeah, Eddie and Diamond Dave were always all lovey-dovey like that. Except when they were trying to strangle each other. A few thoughts:

1) Why did my sister and I feel compelled to wait 12 hours outside the Memorial Coliseum so we could get great seats for Van Halen? We ended up with okay seats, as I recall. And I ended up with a diamond-shaped sunburn on my back. I had this sexy blue sundress with a diamond pattern cut out of the back. Cuz I was “all that.” Ha.

2) Aren’t you glad for me that when I walked to the store, and happened to walk by the hotel where the freaks, aka VH, were staying, when Dave waved me over like, c’mon, c’mon, I just kept on walking? Girls were diving under the fence. Seriously. David Lee Roth and some of his crew, aka the bozos, were out by the pool. There was a chain link fence around it, bent in one corner. He was wearing those goddawful yellow and black bumble bee pants and holding up the fence so the girls could scoot under. Dave, I was jailbait. You were gross. Thanks, anywho!

3) My then-boyfriend, who was from Des Moines, not Iowa City, so he was nowhere near as cool as my later-husband, who I am happy to say is my now-husband, Steve… That sentence is too long, I’ll start over. He and his sister were the biggest rockers, I guess they just live for rock ‘n’ roll in Death Moans. When the album “Women and Children First” came out, Mr. Death Moans thought it was the rockingest album in the rockin’ world and listened to it approximately 7,454 times in the first month he owned it. He was staying with his dad, who was also a rocker. He introduced me to the fine musical stylings of Toots & the Maytals, and for that I will thank him. Well. I would thank him, but he’s dead. We drank grape Kool-aid mixed with Thunderbird at his wake, it was fitting.

He was a rocker, a father, and a painter. He only copied other people’s paintings, that was his thing. Like this one. That was his biggest hit painting. He told my then-boyfriend, “When your mom calls from Iowa to check on you, I’m going to be all,” (mimics screaming into the phone), “HAVE YOU SEEN JUNIOR’S GRADES!” Then he laughed maniacally. Rest in peace, my friend. It was good to know you.

4) Here are some interesting Wiki-facts for you:

“This is the first Van Halen album to feature all original band compositions. The opening track, “And the Cradle Will Rock…”, begins with what sounds like guitar chords, but is, in fact, a phase shifter-effected Wurlitzer electric piano played through Van Halen’s 1960’s model 100-watt Marshall Plexi amplifier.

“Could This Be Magic?” contains the only female backing vocal ever recorded for a Van Halen song — Nicolette Larson sings during some of the choruses. The rain sound in the background is not an effect. It was raining outside, and they decided to record the sound in stereo using 2 Neuman KM84 microphones, and add it to the track.”

4) Hmm. I don’t know, really, where I’m going with this. It’s just when it’s a hot summer day, and the kid next door is rocking out so hard, and here comes your youth, slappin’ ya upside the head… while you have a kid who’s been throwing up all day and summer is coming to an end… what can you do but smile? Life is a trip. I’m glad I married the other Iowa boy, not the VH fan. No offense to him, it just was not meant to be. Nor was “A Night with Diamond Dave.” hahahahahahahahaha.

Any concert stories, y’all? Brushes with fame? You know I love ’em.




  1. WackyMummy says

    Never got that much into metal or badass music. Sorry, my life is boring. My concerts experiences have been this exciting: Alanis Morissette (where there was a really bad forgettable intro band for like 2 hours) where we saw Christian Slater walking back and forth and back and forth in front of us looking appropriately moody…. Harry Connick Jr where we saw no one (even though it was held in the new Kodak Theatre in Hollywood and Highland)… and Bare Naked Ladies in Halifax. In my opinion, they all rocked out in different ways, and I enjoyed them all. Now you know how lame I am. =)

    August 28th, 2009 | #

  2. WackyMommy says

    That’s not lame, it sounds like fun to me :) Am big Harry Connick fan. I appreciate that he’s not letting people forget about New Orleans.

    August 28th, 2009 | #

  3. The Other Laura says

    I love ya, Nancy, but there are some stories I will NEVER tell the internet…

    August 28th, 2009 | #

  4. edj says

    We have been listening to Eddie VH lots this summer. Those melting guitar riffs go well with sizzling temps. He still rocks, and my teenager agrees.

    August 30th, 2009 | #

  5. Wacky Mommy says

    TOL, c’mon.

    edj, I believe the word you’re looking for is not “melting” but “blistering,” ie — “We all remember Eddie Van Halen’s blistering guitar solo on Michael Jackson’s hit, ‘Beat It.'” I heard that particular phrase about 20 times the week after MJ died.

    A memory I had stifled, which popped up after I wrote this post: watching horrified as a teenage girl ahead of us in the concert line got sucked under and was almost trampled. Two guys hoisted her upright by grabbing her under her armpits. Everyone surged ahead. Not one of my best rock n roll memories.

    August 30th, 2009 | #

  6. Nan says

    My favorite concert ever was Jethro Tull. I bought a t-shirt for my brother and he GAVE IT TO SOME GIRL! I will NEVER forgive him for that.

    I once had a long conversation with Rod Stewart at the Yacht Club, and didn’t realise who he was till afterwards when the bar tender said “Do you KNOW who that was?” Duh. He was really nice.

    I knew Joaquin Phoenix really well. We worked together building prefab furniture at a new recording studio in Gainesville. I was supposed to go to the Viper Room with them the night River died, but I had run out of money and had to go waitress at a restaurant in Florida for a while to save some travelling money. I did see him afterwards. He was younger than me, deep, unconventional. I liked him. Haven’t kept in touch at all. How’s that for a brush with fame?

    September 1st, 2009 | #

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.