Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – #35

by Lawrence J. J, Leonard

We communicate with our body position, with our eyes, and even when we do nothing at all. We can send signals of ‘yes’ with a wink and a signal of ‘no’ with that same wink. We write notes but these days we write electronic messages which are not as personal. Some things that we wish to say we don’t say because there can be no good outcome. This was not the personal philosophy of the leader of one of Rock and Roll’s most successful bands Van Halen whose communication style was inadequate.

Eddie Van Halen the lead guitarist formed the band in Pasadena, California, with brother and drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist Michael Anthony, and from 1973 to 1985 vocalist David Lee Roth. The band has been riddled with controversy following the exits of David Lee, Sammy Hagar, and Michael. Each one complained that Eddie had problems taking seriously the business of the band. They said he did not talk about his alcohol abuse but finally went into rehab in 2007. Some have a hard time accepting fame and the changes it brings.

Early on, Van Halen’s self-titled debut album was essentially a live-to-tape production in 1977. Their touring garnered fans nation-wide. The following year when the album was released radio gave America what it was hoping for, rock theme songs such as “Runnin’ with the Devil” and “Feel Your Love Tonight.” But one song with heavy metal overtones lamented the hopes and dreams of a young girl in love.

Fans were intrigued by this melancholy tune with a dance beat which was released as a single just two months after the album was in the stores. Critics used the opportunity to  proclaim the band doomed to failure in the same way they declared an early end for British electric blues band Led Zeppelin. The song decries the power of lust tempered by the choice of reason and a personal letter not sent.

Number 35
The song “Jamie’s Cryin’” explains that a girl in love is not looking for a one night stand. She decides that her infatuation with the guy is not worth a broken heart. The song as a single was not tracked, so only true Van Halen fans knew of its vibe. The album, however, topped out at #19 on the Billboard 200. It sold more than 10 million in America and was certified Diamond in 1996.

Fans were at their wits end with numerous conflicting press statements between the former members and the band during and after promises of a reunion tour in 2007. Anthony was essentially fired from the band in 2006 and replaced with Eddie’s son Wolfgang. No matter how much we want a relationship, there are truths we must tell ourselves and accept good choices, even if we know we are not loved the way we want to be.

Lyrics: written by Michael Anthony, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, and David Lee Roth

She saw the look in his eyes
And she knew better
He wanted her tonight
And it was now or never
He made her feel so sad

Oh whoa whoa, Jamie’s cryin’
Oh whoa whoa, Jamie’s cryin’

Now Jamie wouldn’t say “alright”
She knew he’d forget her
And so they said goodnight
Ooh, and now he’s gone forever

She wants to send him a letter, yeah yeah
Just to try to make herself feel better
It said “Gimme,” (“Gimme a call sometime”)
But she knows what that’ll get her

Oh whoa whoa, Jamie’s cryin’
Oh whoa whoa, Jamie’s cryin’

Now Jamie’s been in love before (ahh)
And she knows what love is for (ahh)
It should mean a little, a little more (ahh)
Than one night stands, wooh

She wants to send him a letter, yeah yeah
Just to try to make herself feel better
It said “Gimme,” (“Gimme a call sometime”)
But she knows what that’ll get her

Oh whoa whoa, Jamie’s cryin’

Oh whoa whoa, Jamie’s cryin’
Oh whoa whoa, Jamie’s cryin’
Oh whoa whoa, Jamie’s cryin’
Oh whoa whoa, Jamie’s cryin’

If you are feeling depressed, do something about it. Please find help before making any rash decisions.  Click this resource, the National Institute of Mental Health.

Copyright © 1960-2017 Lawrence J. J. Leonard All rights reserved.

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