How David Lee Roth ruined my relationships with men
by Lisa Black
It was Van Halen's cover of "Pretty Woman" that brought David Lee Roth into my life. Just under the teenager mark, I was already understanding that there was something special about the opposite sex. I just didn't know what it was. And then I saw this video. There was a guy dressed like a cowboy leering as a pretty woman walked down the dusty road of some abandoned Hollywood backlot (although, of course, it was supposed to look like the old west). The way that guy looked at the woman was just, well, it gave me goose bumps. I wanted to be that woman--not because of what she looked like or wore, necessarily, but because of the way that guy stared at her. That's right, I fell for it hook, line and sinker.
Diver Down was suddenly my favorite record. Put away the Michael Jackson, put away the Duran Duran--I wanted the lion-maned man's man called David Lee Roth. He was acrobatic. He wore chaps with no underwear. He was like Bo and Luke Duke rolled into one amazing mass of manliness. And then it was 1984. The year it was prophesied that we would learn everything through TV and be monitored by a big faceless government as we pined away our meaningless lives. So Orwell was wrong. Government had a face, and it was Max Headroom. But I could ignore all of that (and probably the fact that Max Headroom came out after 1984, but if you look at Ronald Reagan, you know what I'm talking about) because Van Halen (The band with the name so cool two of the members used the moniker as their last names--kinda like the Ramones!) came out with a new record.
Before Van Halen, I never cared much about what music bands came out with before their big single (or at least the big single I noticed), but Diamond Dave made me want to hit back catalogues. So I gathered up the old Van Halen records, picked up about three posters of Dave and began writing the future of my life (according to the incredible fact that I was going to marry David Lee Roth in 1989 when I turned 18).
Oh sure, it was just a crazy girl's fantasy, but it was fun. It made the music more meaningful, and it caused me to look at guys in a different way. I began to calculate the David Lee Quotient in the boys I knew. Unfortunately, Rick Springfield was big at the same time, so most of the scores were very low. Junior high was such a depressing time to be a girl. None of the boys realized how sexy it was to wear spandex and have long hair. And then something amazing happened. Bon Jovi got huge.
Now, I know, you're thinking, "Lisa, this is supposed to be about the Dave-ster." Well, you're right, but I have to explain why boys began to act like I wanted them to. For most people, Diamond Dave was not the overwhelming character in their lives. So when Van Halen broke up (And this may have had something to do with it--all the nerdy guys stuck with Van Hagar because they thought Eddie was boss, while us girls knew the real deal.), another influence had to rear its head into the annals of pop culture. Just as I was entering high school, Slippery When Wet came out. And those boys finally understood.
And thus began the downward spiral referred to many as "Lisa's Sex Life." I kept picking these shallow and idiotic guys who looked vaguely like the love of my life. Sure, I had a lot of sex when I was young, but that doesn't mean it was any good. When the guy is preening more than you are, there is usually a deficit somewhere. Usually it has something to do with the way they see other people. So I kept trying to find a mortal substitute for my immortal beloved. And I kept failing. Story of my love life, in a few words.
Of course, this is quite a load to push on our guest editor. I mean, I wouldn't go back and change anything. Diamond Dave made me keep searching for the perfect guy. And maybe, someday, I'll find him. In the meantime, I've got my memories and my morals. Whatever good they may do me in the future. Thanks Dave. Love ya, babe.
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