To scissor kick, or not to scissor kick?
You force the music section to listen to Van Halen III in its entirety, and we reward you with a Payback Time T-shirt and (for this week only) a bounty-pack of CDs off the Straight ’s Top 50. Here’s this week’s winning whinge.
Dear Payback Time: I think you tragically missed the mark on the rationale for a Van Halen tour with “Diamond Dave”. “Hasn’t aged well” is certainly stating the obvious. The idea that a reunion of Dave and the brothers is to be celebrated seems to have been lost. Although the band was successful without Dave, many of us never went down the path of Van Halen II and III and remained on his side. Whatever caused the 20-plus years of Sammy/Gary “stand-ins” is finally over. I can’t do a scissor kick anymore. After all this group has been through, why should a 57-year-old Dave?
> Karl Bridge
Steve Newton replies: Dearest Karl—I thought I made it abundantly clear in my review that I couldn’t care less whether Dave still pulled off scissor kicks, or whether he ran around the stage or not. Let me check back to the review. Oh, yeah, here it is: “I couldn’t care less whether he runs around the stage or not.” My only problem with “Diamond Dave” was that his singing was consistently awful. That may seem like a petty, niggling complaint since he’s only the lead singer, but it seemed like he wasn’t even trying half the time, just twirling that sweat rag of a scarf around and smiling like a buffoon while the poor saps who paid upward of $150 bucks—not me, thank God—had to lap it up and pretend it was okay that he was dyin’ out there. His vocals are fine on the new Van Halen album—which is killer, by the way, except for “Tattoo”—so I don’t get why he had to sound so terrible in concert. All I could think about the whole time was the title of that old Jane Fonda movie, They Shoot Horses Don’t They?
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