Tag Archives: Van Halen Diver Down

Summertime Spin- Van Halen: Diver Down (1982)

Well, folk’s this is the end of Summertime Spins for this year! Thanks for reading along and commenting on the albums that basically take me back in time! I thought it was only fitting to start the Summertime Spins with a Van Hagar party album (5150) and now end it with a Van Roth party album (Diver Down).

Thanks for reading along.

1982 was a great year for me to be a fan of Van Halen. 1981 was when I discovered VH and bought my first two ever records by the Los Angeles foursome. “Woman & Children First” and “Fair Warning” were the two albums I bought in 81.

In May 1982 “Diver Down” was released after the single “Oh Pretty Woman”(Roy Orbison) was issued as a single a month or so before(more on that later)

I bought the single of Oh Pretty Woman on 45 right when the single came out and to my surprise, the B side of the single was “Happy Trails”!

Ha, there is VH already messing with my 14-year-old mind back in 82!

Diver Down was a short album. 31 minutes in total. 12 songs. ^

Posted above is one cool back cover shot taken back in 1981 when VH opened up for the Rolling Stones in Los Angeles. Two things are interesting about this pic.

1- If you didn’t know better (at which time I didn’t) you would think this photo was from a VH headlined show.

2-Arena Rock reader Jeff Japp was actually at the Orlando shows(where the back cover pic was taken). Here’s Jeff’s review.


Better yet Jeff caught VH the second night as well. Click the link below. Better yet give Jeff a follow as he’s a great guy who has seen 100’s of shows and has kept all his ticket stubs! It’s such a great blog.


When Diver Down hit the streets I remember reading reviews of it and some of them were calling VH lazy. lol

I get it as Diver Down featured 5 cover tunes. As a 14-year-old dork at the time, I kinda bought what the critics were saying. 

Diver Down clocks in at 31 minutes and about 13 minutes of DD are cover tunes! LOL, Basically David Lee Roth, Micheal Anthony, Ed, and Alex Van Halen only had to craft just over 17 minutes of original material. 

But to be fair to VH, sure the album may come across as lazy but after reading Ted Templeman’s book Ted explains the band was basically pressured by Warner Brother Records to put out an album so I can see why people would call them Lazy Halen when that really wasn’t the case.

Side One.

Having said all of this. Diver Down is a ton of fun. Opener “Where Have All The Good Times Gone” is a great track. A song did originally by The Kinks but this song was Halenizied so it could pass as an original tune. 

The second track “Hang Em High” is a bonafide VH classic. Ed tears apart his fretboard while Roth goes into creeper mode vocally. Ed’s solo is I think one of his best while Alex plays the complete crap out of his drums during Ed’s solo.  Killer Tune!

Ed doddles on his guitar on “Cathedral” which leads into “Secrets” which Roth wrote great lyrics and delivers a stellar vocal as well! Micheal Anthony must always be mentioned as a huge catalyst in the backing vocals of VH as well as holding down the fort with his Bass playing.

Another musical interlude is “Intruder” which speaking of creepy sounds creepy with that twisted synth mixed with Ed’s guitar and were off into “Oh Pretty Woman.”^

“Intruder/Oh Pretty Woman” was only intended as a single with Happy Trails being the other track. Dave and Alex wanted to make videos so this was the plan originally. A 45 single and that’s it. But of course, Pretty Woman stormed up the charts and then both Management and Record Company wanted a full album.

Side 1 is done.

Onto Side 2.

“Dancing In The Streets” in 82 I was so so on it. 2020 I appreciate it more as I read the back story on it coming from Templeman’s mouth. Love the sound of Alex’s drums on this tune and of course the guitar!

“Little Guitars (intro”) is Eddie laying down some cool classical licks on acoustic which inturn locks right into” Little Guitars(the song)” and there’s Alex’s drums front and center leading the charge. Whatever sound Ed is making or whatever he is doing is phenomenal. This is another one of those VH tracks that has all the classic trimmings of greatness. 

Catch as catch, catch as catch can…

Here comes the fun family jam along with tune in  “Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now”. Basically its Dave, Micheal, Eddie, Alex, and the brother’s father Jan who cranks on the clarinet on this track which is just simply put FUN!

“The Full Bug” is a doozy of a track. VH is like a runaway locomotive on this track. Full out rock with a harmonica solo added as the band is letting everyone know that the party is still going full throttle!

“Happy Trails” ends Diver Down in acapella version proving when you’re all sauced up and the plug is pulled electrically you can dig down deep to let us all know that the party has officially ended!

Considering Diver Down the album was started in March 1982 and was released in May 1982 the boys had some work to do and they pulled it off as this is one of those fun summer albums.

^-Check out that back cover track listing. It does not follow the actual tracklisting on the printed vinyl version. In the Templeman book, Ted explains that the record company would need time beforehand to figure out the back cover printing and artwork. So at one point that was supposed to be the actual tracklisting of Diver Down that see posted up above.

^^-Intruder/Oh Pretty Woman was only intended as a single with Happy Trails being the other track. Dave and Alex wanted to make videos so this was the plan originally. A 45 and that’s it. But of course, Pretty Woman stormed up the charts, and then both Management and Record Company wanted a full album.



Back Covers : VAN HALEN- Diver Down

Welcome to a new series here that I’m calling Back Covers. It’s a simple concept really as we all have our favourite Album Cover’s right? Well how about some albums and their Back Covers which no one ever talks about! Well that’s changing now as were gonna give some acknowledgement to some of these real slick looking  Back Cover’s!

First up….

From 1982 and one of the best Back Covers still to this day and a Great Starting Point as far as I’m concerned!

Van Halen released Diver Down back in 1982 and I remember seeing the ad in Circus Magazine and smart selling of an album for a 15-year-old Male at the time!

What really grabbed my attention though was the back cover shot that Richard Aaron took of Van Halen exiting the stage at the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando Florida (Oct 24th 1981).

Now as I seen this shot it was like wow look at Halen packing them in like sardines in a stadium setting.  But what Halen never told us back than was  that this Back Cover shot was taken when Halen opened for The Rolling Stones. 

WHUT? Yup it’s true but still though what a fantastic shot and selling point of the album. To this day it’s still a  favourite of mine and Diver Down has over decades become one of those sleeper albums as far as I’m concerned.

I like the use of the black and white photo that takes up most of the back cover with shots of each Halen member with an action live shot.( Blog Pal Bop at his excellent site has this back cover shot on the  homepage of his blog!)

David Lee Roth is airborne! Alex Van Halen is standing behind his enormous drum set. Michael Anthony  meanwhile has just sacrificed another Bass Guitar while Eddie Van Halen looks every bit the Guitar Hero which he is!

If a picture can say a 1000 words. This 1982 pic does that hands down!

(Thanks to Wiki for letting me nick a bit of info…)



The Tape Remains The Same: (Circa 1984)


unknown-4Mikey Ladano over at his Fantastic site covers a ton of stuff musically and he’s a great reviewer who at times dabbles in Movie Reviews but also  writes about his past which he has called Getting More Tale. 

Mikes one post titled #519: Mistakes I Made Fixing Broken Tapes totally brought back the time that my good pal of over 40 years Tbone bought the first 5 David Lee Roth fronted Van Halen releases  on cassette tape sealed for just under $20 back in 1984…

Lemme tell ya about…..

Too make a long story even longer ….January 1984 I lent Tbone my vinyl copy of VH’s 1984.  This was Tbones first Dabble with Halen and he liked what he heard! So much so he quickly purchased a copy  of 1984 for himself!

It wasn’t too much long after that T got the Halen Itch so one day over lunch at school he told me “I’m going to buy all the Halen albums TODAY!”

Whut? …

So after lunch we split from High School and off we headed to our local Shopping Mall which was and still is called Intercity. We parked and headed into Sears to cut over to the mall and head into A&A Records  so Tbone could drop some cash on Dave Halen!

But before and If Tbone’s good luck couldn’t get any better we came across two Bins stuffed with Cassette  Tapes  One Bin had basically a bunch of shit tapes marked for $2.99. The only one worth mentioning Ironically was an  Sammy Hagar Greatest Hits Tape called Cruisin And Boozin.  The next Bin was stuffed with a bunch of $9.99 cassette tapes (current rock at the time)like AC/DC /Def Leppard/Quiet Riot and bands of that ilk. The big score in the $9.99 Bin was that there was the first 5 Van Halen tapes sitting there waiting for Tbones hands to grab them up!

Tbone paused for a second took a look around and told me to watch for Sears staff sniffing around the area we were in.  Basically I was on “Watch” Duty. Alert T of any incoming Sears Staff  headed our way!

Next thing you know Tbone digs into the Cheapie Bin’s and pulls out a handful of Crap tapes all priced $2.99 and manage’s  to peel off  the stickers (quicker than a Monkey peeling a banana) and transfer them to the other bin where the Halen Tapes were all marked $9.99 and T than proceeded to place the $2.99 stickers over the $9.99 Stickers that were the VH cassette’s.

What a friggin Genius move before my eyes! TBone did this to all the Halen Tapes …

Let’s calculate this….(tax not included)

Full Price for 5 Van Halen Tapes at Sears back in 1984- $49.95

TBone’s Discount  Sticker Removal Times for 5 Van Halen Tapes in 1984-$14.95

Tbone even bought Hagars Tape for the actual price of $2.99..(Big Spender!)

Tbone spent $17.94! A savings of $34.96….for 6  sealed Cassette Tapes…..

Son of a Beeatch! I quickly did the Math on the Halen purchases and I DID pay at least $9.99 each for those Halen albums on Vinyl…..

In other words….

Deke’s 6 Van Halen albums on vinyl back in the early 80’s.  $9.99 Times 6=$59.94….

Tbone was like a Giddy Pig In Shit that Day and we blew off the afternoon classes and drove all over Tbay that afternoon and everyone heard Hang Em High blaring from Tbones car whether they wanted to hear it or  not!