February 26, 2010

I feel cheated!

It's no secret among my friends that I'm into Van Halen (ok-I'm a little obsessed with them). Have been ever since I plunked down my $12.99 to buy For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (F.U.C.K.) while playing hooky on a church trip in '91. So, it bothered me when I heard this Tubes song on the radio on my drive to work this morning (pay attention to the hook at the beginning):

Now, I'm no Tubes aficionado. I'm not even sure I've heard this song before. But it sounded very familiar. Check out the chorus of Little Guitars from Diver Down (
1:16 and 1:47 mark):

Hear it? Here's Eddie by himself (2:00 and 2:30):

Now, I know it's only 3-4 seconds of the song, but it's exactly the same hook! How could someone so brazenly rip off the mighty Van Halen and live to tell about it? We're talking Van Halen! These guys are married to their lawyers! They'll sue you for saying their name too often in a sentence!

Well, when I finally calmed down enough to write this post, I figured out how; they didn't. See, the Tubes released Talk to Ya Later in 1981 on their album The Completion Backward Principal.
Diver Down wasn't released until a year later, in '82.

But, it gets worse. Evidently, the Tubes didn't write the song by themselves either. They had help from Steve Lukather from Toto. Yes, the same Steve Lukather who's good friends with one Edward Van Halen! The same Steve Lukather who sang background on Van Halen's box set Best of Both Worlds!

Oh, Edward! How could you? Did you even tell your friend that you were stealing his song? I feel so dirty! So used! You fraud! I'll never listen to another Van Halen record again!

(until my ride home).


  1. First off... damn. You are a real special piece of work, Marko. Glad you're on our team.

    Second, when did Martin Short join The Tubes?

    Thirdly, who the fuck are The Tubes?

    And finally, there are exactly 732 good riffs out there, and Black Sabbath already wrote them all. Everybody knows that.

  2. Great post! I also did the wiki catalog search before I finished the article to see when the songs were released, but you took it to a whole 'nother level by introducing the Toto conspiracy theory! Awesome work!!