Video Flashback: “Just Like Paradise” — David Lee Roth

8 10 2009

1988 — I was a huge Van Halen fan and had really liked David Lee Roth’s first solo LP, Eat ‘Em and Smile.  So it was a big deal when DLR released his second LP, Skyscraper.

I don’t remember when I first got my hands on the album, but I do know I was a “sandwich artist” at Subway, two doors down from the (now defunct) Harmony House music store in our town.  A young, cool musician-type — wannabe hair metal singer — came in for a sandwich and we struck up a conversation about music.  By that time I had heard Skyscraper and recommended it to him.  He raced over to Harmony House, bought the cassette and came back for more chit-chat.  Ultimately I put him in touch with a friend who was an excellent guitarist and a new band was formed, but that’s a different story.

Around that time I happened to be at my friend Brent’s house.  We didn’t have cable but he did, so I did most of my MTV viewing.  We were lucky enough to catch this video together — he had already seen it.  My memory of the video is that I thought it was quite cool.  I really liked the song save some of the cheesy synthesizer work.  It ended up being one of the more catchy and enjoyable songs on that album.

But like most of the things I loved when I was 16 or 17, I outgrew the song and the album within a few years.  I heard “Just Like Paradise” last night in a store and it brought back these little memories.  I was reminded of why I liked the song.  Watching the video tonight, I am reminded of why I outgrew this stuff.   The staff antics of DLR and his band are just plain corny.  Steve Vai is a guitar wizard, but his stage presence is almost embarrassing to watch.  Of course, there is no bigger cheeseball alive than David Lee Roth, and he’s in typical form in the video.

Despite all that, a part of me still likes the song and video.  Catchy is catchy, right?

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