I knew about Van Halen before I heard a single song by the band. The first album wasn’t released until 1978 but while I was in high school (1974-1978), I saw students drawing the “VH” logo on the notebooks and binders they used in class. The band apparently had a reach before they recorded anything at all.
While I may have heard a random song by Van Halen before the “1984” album, it wasn’t until that album was released that I paid attention to them. I think it was because my wife, Josie, really liked the music video for “Jump“.
One of the ways I discover new music is by listening to the music played in movies and television series. Sometimes, it’s even the music in video games – a good example is “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City”, which I listened to while my younger son was playing the game.
I’m not a big Van Halen fan. “1984” is the only album I ever bought. I’ve collected a lot of music over the years, mostly high-quality MP3 files, and only a few of the Van Halen tunes come from other albums. I have nothing since the time David Lee Roth was replaced by Sammy Hagar as the lead singer.
The first time I heard this song was when it was played in the “Better Off Dead” movie of 1985 (one of my favorite movies). I understand it was also used in “Zombieland”, but I don’t remember hearing it there.
Again, this is Josie’s favorite Van Halen song (well, at least the video for it):
I was a dork the first time I heard it. I thought they were saying “Cannonball”. Perhaps because that was the name of a song by another band or perhaps because I’d recently watched “The Cannonball Run” movie of 1981.
By: RT Cunningham
October 23, 2016
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