Friday Evening Videos: "Give to Live"
You know, it's really not my intention to turn this blog into all music videos, all the time... I've just been too busy and/or exhausted lately to write about anything more substantive. I apologize for that, and hope to get back to something more interesting soon. In the meantime, I hope my Loyal Readers are at least enjoying these
goofy retro-licious awesome! things I keep dredging out of the InterTubes.
This week's selection is yet another one I remember from the student-union TV lounge back in my early college days. This was apparently a highly impressionable time of life for me, or else there's something bubbling away in my subconscious these days that keeps pulling me back to that place. I'm half afraid to speculate what that might be. Anyway, here we have a solo hit from the Red Rocker, Sammy Hagar, in which he tries to show a bit more introspection and sensitivity than he usually displayed in his work with Van Halen, or his best-known solo monster-smash "I Can't Drive 55." This is "Give to Live" from the album I Never Said Goodbye (for those who care, Sammy cut this one in between the VH albums 5150 and OU812):
I know, I know... the pretension, the "peace and love" messaging, the hair, that jacket. If it helps any, the only part of this clip that's stayed with me over the years is the bridge, when he's sitting on the mountaintop talking about fate. I'd utterly forgotten all the clips of Hitler and mushroom clouds. But I still like the mood of the song, and hearing it again is evocative for me in the same way that "Hysteria" is. And it is kind of an interesting artifact of the final days of the Cold War, when global thermonuclear war really seemed possible. I remember worrying about that on almost a daily basis. I don't think the children of Gen X can possibly understand that. Neither terrorists nor even climate change represent the same kind of utter existential threat we felt like we were living under then. As recent as the '80s often feel to me, this sort of thing really pounds home just what a different and distant time it was.
But rather than dwell on obsolete cultural dread, let's do like we did then and turn our attention to more frivolous pursuits. This week's bonus video is David Lee Roth's solo hit, "Just Like Paradise," released around the same time as "Give to Live," as I recall. I find it interesting how closely these two videos parallel each other:
Well, they're similar in the sense that they both alternate studio performance footage with rock-climbing scenery, anyhow. But where Sammy is trying to say Something Important, Dave's song is just about flash and fun and gettin' laid. Come to think of it, that's a pretty good encapsulation of the difference between Roth's work with Van Halen and Sammy's "Van Hagar" stuff.
Incidentally, I remember having more than one argument over this song with Shelly, my then-girlfriend. She was a New Wave girl and didn't have a lot of use for Roth (or Sammy or Van Halen, or pretty much any of the music I liked), and would always try to get me to change the station whenever "Just Like Paradise" came on the radio of the little VW Rabbit in which I commuted to the U of U. I, of course, would refuse and proceed to sing along at the top of my lungs, throwing in a leering waggle of my eyebrows at the more suggestive lyrics, no doubt hoping she'd eventually come around to seeing the debauched wisdom of ol' Diamond Dave and let me investigate that whole paradise thing. Good times...