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Diver Down, Revisted

John Moe

Bill Radke

Millie Jefferson

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Eddie Van Halen
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John Moe: Here, listen to this: "I live my life like there's no tomorrow. All I've got ..."

That's Van Halen. "Running with the Devil." It's from 1978. Its youth, vitality, virility, possibility, beauty. "I live my life like there's no tomorrow," says David Lee Roth.

But there is a tomorrow, and we're living in it.

Sounds like this: "And we've got close to 25 of your greatest hits. All the favorites that you've been hearing, tearing out of the back of a pickup truck at the Burger King drive-through for how many summer times."

That's Roth at the press conference announcing the reunion tour. Roth and Eddie Van Halen are both 52 years old. Alex Van Halen is 54. And, weirdly, 16-year-old Wolfgang Van Halen is in the lineup.

Also in the lineup, a looming, ominous harbinger of mortality. As we age, or as those of us raised on the band age, memories of young Van Halen fortify us against decay and fear of death. They are forever young. We listened to them when we were young, ergo we are still young. I need that. When they're old and have a leathery reptilian look, I don't need that. This tour is just a gateway to suck town! And I aim to stop it.

I decided to go legit and call my Congressman, Representative Jim McDermott, state of Washington, the 7th District.

Congressman McDermott, you are in Washington. What are you doing to stop the Van Halen tour?

McDermott: Well, uh ...

Moe: Congress.

McDermott: I think there's a timeless quality to this kind of music. I don't think the Congress is going to get themselves at being able to stop the clock.

Moe: How about one of those non-binding, expressing a vague sense of negative emotion resolutions that you guys are famous for?

McDermott: Now, that, we might be able to do. We're pretty good at doing nothing and making it seem like it's important.

Moe: In order to stop this Geritol and Sansabelt slacks version of Van Halen, I had to go over his head. I went to Seattle's Queen Anne Lutheran Church and talked to Pastor Wayne Bacus about bringing out the big guns.

Exactly what kind of prayer could I do to get this concert stopped by God?

Wayne Bacus: I think you have to use probably your best curse. What's the worst possible thing that could happen to them while they're up there?

Moe: Some sort of sudden, rapid hernia?

Bacus: And there's nothing like good psalms to help you get into that one. This is from Psalms 109. "May another seize his goods. May his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow! Better, may his children wander about and beg; may they be driven out of the ruins they inhabited! May the creditors seize all that he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil!"

Moe: You know, a lot of that happened during the Sammy Hagar era. How many of those do I need to do? Just one big one or do I need to do it constantly?

Bacus: I think one big one would probably be good. However, it'd probably take you a lot longer to do one big one than it would to do one short one like, "Please help him hit those notes."

Moe: If I pray for Van Halen to succeed, that's going to be easier?

Bacus: I think it might be easier. And it would just a whole lot more enjoyable experience for you as well.

Moe: Good point. If they do sound great, if rock can defy age that would be fantastic! I'd still be young.

But I still think it would be better if armed government goons shut down the tour and never let Van Halen go out in public again. Because I love Van Halen!

In Seattle, I'm John Moe for Weekend America.

Bill Radke: John Moe is with us again. So, John, how was the Van Halen reunion tour actually gone?

John Moe: Overwhelmingly successful, Bill. Tremendously positive reviews, full arenas, everybody seems to think the band is stronger and better than ever. They rock just as hard. It's a raging success, which, obviously, has me deeply concerned and troubled.

How's that?

Well, it's like a zombie movie, Bill. The dead have risen from their graves and are feasting on the brains of the living. We need old bands to stay extinct, otherwise new bands and new culture cannot rise up and prosper. So with this revitalized Van Halen, the natural order of things is disrupted. The Dave Clark Five may as well go back on tour. "Gunsmoke" should be put back on the air.

The rules of culture no longer apply, and therefore, culture is bound to collapse. And when culture collapses, Bill, I don't have to tell you that civilization is next. So a restored Van Halen? Yes, a threat to global civilization.

John, do you think you might be overreacting?

No.

Not a chance. So what are you going to do about it? You tried Congress, God, what's next.

I've tried a lot of avenues. The only arrow left in my quiver, Bill, is I have this plan to assemble a sort of anti Van Halen band. I want to get together Sammy Hagar, Gary Cherone, who was very briefly the lead singer of Van Halen, and deposed bass player Michael Anthony.

John, as I counted, that's two lead singers and a bass player. I think you have a terrible group, don't you?

It's going to be absolutely terrible. But I'm hoping it's terrible enough to counteract the new Van Halen, and they will implode upon themselves and order will be restored.

"Weekend America's" John Moe. Thanks John.

Thanks Bill.

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