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Van Halen at the Woz's US Festival, 1983
October 10, 2008 2:01 PM   Subscribe

In 1982, Steve Wozniak sank a lot of his own money into creating the US Festivals -- the first large concerts to celebrate the merging of music, technology (and money). For the second (and final) US Festival in 1983, Van Halen was given 1.5 million dollars, up front, to headline the 1983 US Festival. What did they give back to their fans? Well, about eighty-four seconds into their first song, David Lee Roth screamed, "I forgot the f@¢₭n' words!" Along with a swipe at the Clash, the set that followed remains evar a drunken classic of testosterone-fueled pop metal campiness. About 3:20 into this clip, DLR launches into his epic fail version of "God Bless the Child" -- 'nuff said.
posted by not_on_display (36 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
1.5 million for Van Halen? The Woz got screwed.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:03 PM on October 10, 2008


Poor Woz. He just wanted to throw a great big party.
posted by rokusan at 2:06 PM on October 10, 2008


Needs a "spandex" tag.
posted by mosk at 2:08 PM on October 10, 2008


Homer: The US Festival! It was started by the guy from Apple Computer.
Sullen Teen: What Computer?
posted by porn in the woods at 2:10 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is truly amazing. I also put iced tea in Jack Daniel's bottles.
posted by josher71 at 2:22 PM on October 10, 2008


I prefer my wasted rock stars to be British and introspective.
posted by punkfloyd at 2:29 PM on October 10, 2008


the youtube comments are amazing.

oh my god, are they drunk?!

David Lee Roth = Greatest Jew in Rock History

lol Diamond Dave only does his indian tribal dance when he's drunk.

posted by shmegegge at 2:33 PM on October 10, 2008


I recall watching bits and pieces of the live feed of the US festival's "heavy metal day" in 1983. Quiet Riot opened. Thousands of fans looking hot and uncomfortable in the ass-end of San Bernardino. Sorry, Woz.

Wouldn't it be a kick if he showed up here to comment. Woz, I summon thee!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:35 PM on October 10, 2008


oh hey, where's the God Bless The Child in that clip? I couldn't find it. I want to hear the epic fail.
posted by shmegegge at 2:47 PM on October 10, 2008


shmegegge: oh hey, where's the God Bless The Child in that clip? I couldn't find it. I want to hear the epic fail.

Whoops - about 3:20 into this clip. (The "metal" link in the original post.)
posted by not_on_display at 2:52 PM on October 10, 2008


I prefer my drunk British rock stars more or less incoherent.

As for Van Halen. Never really liked them. The Clash on the other hand couldn't help but matter.
posted by philip-random at 2:55 PM on October 10, 2008


Also from the youtube comments:

haha The Clash put iced tea in Jack Daniels bottles? what faggots

Takes David Lee Roth at his word, and then adds that nice homophobic touch. Youtubetastic.
posted by ferdydurke at 2:57 PM on October 10, 2008


Aww for fuck's sake. Stop lettin' off fireworks.
posted by punkfloyd at 3:01 PM on October 10, 2008


I think this is just super awesome.

It's just sad that nowadays when you want to get drunk and scream a bit in public you have to go to some kind sports event. Rock music is mostly dead in this regard and the lack of drinking and screaming in music nowadays is just depressing.
posted by uandt at 3:08 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yes, this is all manner of awesome. Van Halen were surely five times as good drunk in their prime as Henry Paulson and Co. are at what they do sober. Buck up, America! You can do better!
posted by raysmj at 3:15 PM on October 10, 2008


David Lee Roth = Greatest Jew in Rock History

You know a better one?
</aunt horty>
posted by jessamyn at 3:18 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


uandt, I guess you've haven't been reading teh bloo enough lately?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:25 PM on October 10, 2008


David Lee Roth = Greatest Jew in Rock History

Um, Robert Allen Zimmerman
posted by lee at 3:25 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


jessamyn: David Lee Roth = Greatest Jew in Rock History
You know a better one?
</aunt horty>


You dropped the Baum on me.
posted by not_on_display at 3:33 PM on October 10, 2008


And Mark Field wasn't too bad either. Only half-Jewish, and not according to religious law (his mom was Christian).

And the all-seeing eye of Google found this list of Great Jewish Rock Stars.

Take that, Youtube! Thanks to Google, I now know muvva funkin' Herb Alpert was Jewish!

On preview: not_on_display's page is fancier.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:35 PM on October 10, 2008


I don't think you meant "Greatest Jew in Rock History," but "Greatest Jew in Rock Who Would Have Been a Borscht Belt Comedian Had He Been Born 30 Years Earlier," maybe.
posted by raysmj at 3:40 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Greatest Jew in Rock Who Would Have Been a Borscht Belt Comedian Had He Been Born 30 Years Earlier,"

It helps to listen to this recording and imagine it sung by Professor Frink. Hey-hey-hey!
posted by zippy at 3:49 PM on October 10, 2008


I didn't even know when I posted this that today is David Lee Roth's birthday! I knew the universe was calling me to post this today.
posted by not_on_display at 4:05 PM on October 10, 2008


I was so pissed off in 1983 when my sister refused to drive me and my friend to the show, even though we offered to buy her a $100 ticket.

U2, Missing Persons, The Clash, Van Halen, Boingo, the Beat, Wall of Voodoo, Men at Work, Crue, Ozzy, Judas Priest, the Pretenders, Bowie, Berlin, Stevie Nicks....

Jesus. I still hold that against her.

Bono almost killed himself when he climbed the scaffolding to put that flag up there. What a show.
posted by Chuffy at 4:43 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


David Lee Roth and Mathowie share a birthday? This is great news. More Roth!
Jump & Jump.
Interview & Interview.
MOAR US!
posted by jessamyn at 4:50 PM on October 10, 2008


Jump

This is better.
posted by philip-random at 5:06 PM on October 10, 2008


"Metalocalypse" has changed the way I look at David Lee Roth forever. Well. Actually. It's pretty much the same way I always looked at David Lee Roth, but now I can't think of him without thinking of this (probably SFW, but potentially EXTREMELY DISTURBING IMAGERY, by which I mean hairy cartoon clown ass and junk in spandex). Still, maligned as he sometimes is, there's really no question in my mind that he kinda made Van Halen -- Eddie Van Halen's a great musician but a boring stage presence, and his choice of subsequent frontmen shows some pretty square sensibilities. Seriously, no one would have ever cared about this band except guitar nerds were it not for the goofy fucker who was actually, y'know, entertaining.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:09 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


philip-random: This is better.

No. This is better [previously]
posted by not_on_display at 5:21 PM on October 10, 2008


Man. Seeing how awesome they were then is kind of depressing when you think of what they are now. Van Halen, U2, Metallica... All the great live bands. Why did they all have to start sucking so goddamn bad?

Nice post, Mr. on_display.
posted by bondcliff at 5:48 PM on October 10, 2008


It's pretty much the same way I always looked at David Lee Roth, but now I can't think of him without thinking of this

Yeah, although that could be any of a number of heavy metal glam frontmen, particularly this guy. And Roth has always been athletic, and is not quite as excessive as Dr. Rockzo. Also, the clown has now been in and out of rehab, and is using again. That's more like Eddie's life ... But David Lee Roth is definitely a rock and roll clown, though Van Halen's not really a heavy metal band, more like hard rock.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:10 PM on October 10, 2008


I liked the Bloom County version better.
posted by tommasz at 6:39 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, although that could be any of a number of heavy metal glam frontmen, particularly this guy. And Roth has always been athletic, and is not quite as excessive as Dr. Rockzo. Also, the clown has now been in and out of rehab, and is using again. That's more like Eddie's life ... But David Lee Roth is definitely a rock and roll clown, though Van Halen's not really a heavy metal band, more like hard rock.

Yeah, Dr. Rockso himself could be...well...a lot of people, but I think the vocal style (and the mannerisms in his video) are definitely David Lee Roth. If I'm not mistaken, I think one of his videos was banned from MTV for similar reasons as well. But I'm sure they're drawing from other sources, too; if I were someone who'd seen a whole lot of "Behind the Music," I'm sure I'd be able to catch more of the references in the Dr. Rockso bio from some episodes back (the weird exchange about someone stealing his banana struck me as something that had to be a parody of something I'd just never seen, for instance).
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:57 PM on October 10, 2008


lee: "David Lee Roth = Greatest Jew in Rock History

Um, Robert Allen Zimmerman
"

If Dylan is rock then Metallica is Klezmer.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:48 PM on October 10, 2008


That would explain a lot about Metallica, actually.
posted by speicus at 10:23 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hmmm, I had never heard of this. Very cool!
posted by ramboslambos at 7:25 AM on October 12, 2008


"Seriously, no one would have ever cared about this band except guitar nerds were it not for the goofy fucker who was actually, y'know, entertaining."

kfb, I want you to know that I generally respect your opinion, and that this is a ginormous exception to that rule.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:53 AM on October 13, 2008


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