Opinion

Van Halen's "Tattoo" Video: An Extremely Detailed Breakdown

David Lee Roth isn't so sad and lonely anymore. The 57-year-old "gigolo" has reunited with his Dutch-brothers-from-another-mother -- Eddie and Alex -- and he's gearing up for Van Halen's North American tour, hitting the BankAtlantic Center on April 10. The only problem: It's not 1978.

Shortly after midnight last night, Van Halen debuted the video for "Tattoo," the group's first single off A Different Kind of Truth. Shot on location at the Roxy in Los Angeles, the black-and-white video is a depressing reminder that musicians (a) age terribly and (b) have a real hard time letting go.

Check out our incredibly detailed breakdown of "Tattoo" after the cut.




0:00-0:04

Roth waves an oversized checkered flag, perhaps a metaphor for the end of Van Halen's relevancy. Well, what was left of it, at least. Or maybe it's a cheap "special effect" for this cutting-edge music video.

0:04-0:10

After six seconds of this video's strobe effect, we suffered a mild seizure and nearly swallowed our tongue. Not cool, Van Halen.

0:10-0:23

Who's that kid playing bass? Oh, that's just Eddie's 20-year-old son, AKA Van Halen's new bassist.

0:24-0:37

David Lee Roth dances foolishly, might as well jump. C'mon, Roth, go ahead and jump.




0:38-0:42

Roth appears to tease a bull off-stage with his scarf. Must've moonlighted as a matador sometime after leaving the band.

0:42-0:46

Someone get this man a grass skirt! He's the greatest hula dancer ever!

0:46-0:52

Strobe-induced seizure, take two.

0:52-1:05

Things get really awkward here. Roth looks happy to be working. But Eddie looks like he's dying for another drink. Sobriety sucks, as does split-screen overuse.

1:06-1:16

Get ready for the worst chorus of 2012..."Tattoo, tattoo/Show me your dragon magic/Tattoo, tattoo/So I don't buy your graphic."




1:16-1:26

David Lee Roth demonstrates his spoken-word skills and impressive flexibility for a 57 year old.

1:26-1:39

Cameraman seemingly forgets he's shooting. The result: Sideways footage of the group uninterestingly hanging 'round the stage.

1:39-1:46

Strobe-induced seizure, take three.

1:46-1:56

This bridge really sucks.


1:56-1:57

Incredibly frightening closeup of Eddie Van Halen proves long-term drinking is very, very bad.

1:57-2:02

Sing along y'all, "Tattoo, Tattoo..."

2:02-2:07

Strobe-induced seizure, take four.

2:07-2:20

A full 13 seconds of David Lee Roth dance filler!


2:20-2:41

Check out these 21 seconds of 1980s-esque slow-motion close-ups of the band. And the VMA for unironic special effects go to....

2:41-3:12

Even though he looks like shit, Eddie Van Halen can still totally shred.

3:12-3:26

Strobe-induced seizure, take five.

3:26-3:39

Rock 'n' roll balloons.

3:40-4:18

We're a great big family ... Can't help but think of how awkward a David Lee Roth-fronted Van Halen video shoot must be. Is everyone really getting along or barely speaking to one another?

4:18-4:33

If this song/video combo doesn't kill you, this sixth and final strobe-induced seizure just might.

Van Halen. Tuesday, April 10. BankAtlantic Center, One Panther Pkwy., Sunrise. Buy tickets via ticketmaster.com. Call 954-835-8000 or visit bankatlanticcenter.com.



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Victor Gonzalez
Contact: Victor Gonzalez