Sunday, January 21, 2007

Oh Pretty Woman

We start with Edward Van Halen's 'Intruder' as two little people molest a pretty young lady.

We continue as Van Halen insults three target audiences in one shot.

David Lee Roth as Quasimodo...

Michael Anthony as the samurai...

Alex Van Halen as the Jungle King.

Edward Van Halen as the majestic Gunslinger.

The face-off, Van Halen vs.

the hubris of David Lee Roth?

And we conclude with a nod and a wink to feminists everywhere.

. . .

I have finally seen the video for Van Halen's Pretty Woman. I have been wanting to see this video for twenty some years now and I have to say that after all of the waiting I am not disappointed. I can understand why it was not included on the Van Halen Video Collection as its subject matter is rather politically incorrect. The video features two little people dressed as Native Americans harrassing a beautiful blonde woman tied to a stake while a hunchback [David Lee Roth] stands by helpless, watching the entire scene, reminiscent of some sort of Psychedelic spaghetti western seen through the lens of Fritz Lang, on closed-circuit television.

The hunchback finally calls the members of Van Halen on the telephone. Michael Anthony is a samurai, Alex Van Halen is a jungle king, Eddie Van Halen is a cowboy and David Lee Roth is dressed like Napoleon. They arrive on the scene just as the woman frees herself and pulls off her wig to reveal that she is actually a brunette rather than blonde.

I had heard about this video over the years due to its controversial nature but was surprised to see the 'too little too late' attempt at a feminist twist at the end. Eddie Van Halen looks quite striking in the video as the cowboy. It is hard to imagine that he was a depressive during that period, although the video does seem to highlight the hubris of Mr. Lee Roth as he steps out of a stretch limousine at the end of the video, his cheekbones high and his piercing eyes making love to the camera as he captures the audience's attention from his bandmates, and the viewer wonders if that moment was metaphor for the band's entire career, at least through Eddie's eyes.

I have watched the video six times now and one thought comes to mind: 'I wish I could somehow escape the ever heavier chains of time.'

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