Friday, March 20, 2009

Diamond Has It Rough

Does the ability to remember lyrics really matter when considering who ranks as the greatest front men in rock and roll history?

Since leading Van Halen to the top of the hard rock heap in the late seventies and eighties, David Lee Roth was known more for on-stage bravado than his ability to vocalize. Since returning to join forces with Van Halen on the 2007-08 reunion tour, nothing has changed in terms of Diamond Dave's nonchalant approach to lyrical integrity.

Watch carefully at about the 3:30 mark of this performance of their monster hit "Panama" as Roth slips into "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" patter before being coached by 17-year old bassist Wolfgang Van Halen.

In your estimation, how effectively does Roth turn an on-stage lemon into rock and roll lemonade?

Can one "drop the ball" as it were ... and still be considered "seamless" in the way a service or performance is delivered?

Meanwhile, you will have a chance to mimic Van Halen for yourself with the impending release of the Guitar Hero game. Eurogamer is giving the game an August 2009 release date.

Van Halen would be the third with a specifically branded Guitar Hero title, following Aerosmith and Metallica, whose version is set for release on March 29th. The new game also offers drama in the form of some intriguing questions.

Will Wolfgang Van Halen appear instead of original bassist Michael Anthony?

Will the game feature all three VH lead singers - David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar and Gary Cherone? If not, does Diamond Dave tackle "Right Now", "Poundcake" and "Dreams", among other hits from the Hagar-era? Will the Roth character remember the lyrics?

Stay tuned.

"I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass"

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