Thursday, March 04, 2010
My friend Geoff has been posting videos on Facebook lately and he went on a Van Halen kick tonight, which reminded me of something - that Van Halen has what I consider the Perfect Rock Song. By this I don't mean the Best Rock Song, but the "perfect." And there is a difference. I never was a Van Halen fan until the summer of 2001, when I lived in California. I had just bought a BWM 323, which was by far the fastest and coolest car I had ever driven, and cost far more than I had any business paying. I had to take a business trip to Fresno for reasons that don't bear the repeating, and very late one summer night I found myself screaming up Highway 99 far in excess of the speed limit. It was hot and dry and I was the only car on the road - only slow-moving semis laden with fruit were in my way. And on the radio came Van Halen's Dance the Night Away. And I was transported. I had never given the song a second though, but at that moment I realized I was happy because it is the perfect rock song. It's shallow, but it's happy, smooth, sexy, and calls up all that's best about being 17 or 18, free, adventurous, and without a care in the world. The guitar is smooth and big and jangly. The beat is slow, regular and - well - perfect. I realized I could listen to that song and drive forever and never, ever, miss where I had come from and never care if I got where I was going.
at 10:05 PM