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Tattoo

by

Van Halen



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This is the first single from A Different Kind Of Truth. It was released online January 10, 2012, the first new music by Van Halen with David Lee Roth since the two new tracks on the Best of Van Halen, Volume 1 compilation in 1996. Roth officially rejoined the band in 2006 after leaving in 1985 for a solo career that included the hits "Just Like Paradise" and the remake of the Beach Boys,' "California Girls."
A Different Kind Of Truth was Van Halen's twelfth studio album, their first new album with Roth since 1984 was released in, er, 1984. John Shanks (Unwritten Law, Bon Jovi), Ross Hagarth (Sick Puppies, DevilDriver) and the band produced the record.
This bluesy rocker reunites David Lee Roth with guitarist Eddie Van Halen, drummer Alex Van Halen and Eddie's bassist son, Wolfgang, who replaced original member Michael Anthony's precision riffs. Wolfgang Van Halen can be heard performing the higher harmonies.
The song's subject matter is yep, tattoos, or, as Roth calls them, "Sexy dragon magic!" But how old is the tune? Former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar, who replaced Roth, claims that A Different Kind Of Truth comprises songs that the band wrote back in the early days. Speaking with Rolling Stone he claimed: "Ed and Dave didn't actually write new songs. They took old stuff from previous sessions, and then maybe Dave had to go in and add vocals because they just had scat vocals, or even no vocal part at all." On hearing the song for the first time, some hardcore fans pointed out its similarities to "Down In Flames," a song dating back to 1977 that the band played live but never recorded.
The song's black and white video was filmed at The Roxy, a club on Hollywood's Sunset Strip. Van Halen had been using the venue to rehearse for their world tour.
David Lee Roth shared his inspiration for the lyrics in a video. "'You best believe that needle hurts you'," he quoted from the song before adding, "And depending on where you get it…whoa! ...that's a rite of passage. And it should cuz it really forces you to consider what's permanent to you. What is it you really want to remember and what is it that you really want to say to folks around you."
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