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Hot For Teacher by Van Halen

Album: 1984Released: 1984Charted:
56
  • A song about being lustfully attracted to your teacher, this appealed to a new generation of Van Halen fans who could relate to the message and were enthralled by the video, which got lots of airplay on MTV when the network was just a few years old and showed lots of videos.
  • David Lee Roth co-directed the video, which explains all the babes (including Donna Rupert, first runner-up in the 1981 Miss Canada pageant). Between shots of ridiculously beautiful teachers in bikinis dancing for their students, the video shows the band doing choreographed dance steps under a disco ball. Despite numerous attempts, Alex Van Halen could not dance and was out of step most of the video.

    The other co-director was Pete Angelus, who also worked on Van Halen's videos for "Panama" and "Jump." Angelus had the idea of using children to portray young versions of the band members.
  • This inspired the catch phrases: "Sit down, Waldo" and "I don't feel tardy." Waldo was the young man in the video who didn't fit in. The voice of Waldo was done by none other than the late Phil Hartman of Saturday Night Live fame.
  • In the video, David Lee Roth drives a yellow, 1932 Ford hot rod. He auctioned it off on his website in 2000.
  • For the layered effect at the beginning, Alex Van Halen strung together four bass drums. The rest of it he played using two. It is a great example of double bass drumming.
  • The album was the first recorded at Eddie Van Halen's 5150 studio. Eddie also has a line of amplifiers called 5150.
  • Guitar World magazine ranked Eddie's solo #46 of all-time.
  • Eddie used a Gibson flying V to record this, which allowed him to switch between pickups for the quiet and loud sections. (thanks, tom - june lake, CT)
  • There is also a song called "Hot For Teacher" by a group called Thundertrain. Theirs came out in 1977, but it's a different song. (thanks, Ron - Los Angeles, CA)
  • Norwegian Model Lillian Muller played the part of the sexy chemistry teacher in the song's music video. Muller also had a role as Rod Stewart's love interest in his "D'Ya Think I'm Sexy" clip. She followed her modeling with a career as a personal health consultant and inspirational speaker.
  • You won't hear any alternate versions of this song, since Van Halen didn't save any of the outtakes. This is what archivist Brian Kehew discovered when he worked on a proposed box set from the David Lee Roth years of the band.
  • At the end of the video, where we find out that David Lee Roth has become "America's Favorite TV Game Show Host," his pants are soaked. This was done deliberately in an attempt to get the first urine stain on MTV.
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Comments: 42

Waldo, the boy in the music video, used motor oil to slick his hair that way - It took toilet bowl cleaner to get it out.Matthew - Annapolis, Md
Regarding the comment made about who played Waldo in Van Halen's Hot For Teacher video. It is commonly known Phil Hartman does the voice of Waldo while Keith Kessinger physically played Waldo. He is know known for playing Hot For Teacher all by himself. It's called Hot For Waldo. View here. http://youtu.be/7MKU5ZCEQZkKeith - Canyon Lake, Ca
The only credible reference I can find for the kid who played Waldo cites Keith Kessinger, now a musician himself.Bob - Schenectady, Ny
i think weve all had a teacher that we had the hots forFrank - Toronto, On
It's just alternating 32nd and 16ths (diga-dum-dum) on a floor tom (or Simmons pad as Alex was playing then) with the right hand @ 260bpm. Then add a double bass drum shuffle. Finally add in alternating 3 beat tom-tom with left hand.

The alternating 32nd and 16ths are used alot by Alex on ride cymbals on other songs. "Source of Infection" comes to mind.

And it's tardy.
Todd - Scrantino, Pa
Can't believe this great video was released 25 years ago!!!! Where'd life go-lol!!?? Never get tired of this one...especially the teacher herself! They don't make videos, let alone songs like this anymore.Craig Dubecki - Kitchener, On
The beginning is Alex drumming on a text book. You know, for school.Edgar - Grandville, Mi
There's a lot of debate (for some reason) over if the intro is drums or motorcycle: it is definitely Alex on drums, al beit with his toms specially tuned and mic'd to give that slight "pinging" sound. I could be mistaken, but I believe the toms and the bass drums were laid down in two seperate takes and mixed together.

Annabelle from Eugene, OR asked if the drums are playing "36th notes". Although theoretically possible, it wouldn't exactly be easy, as that would require the drummer to divide each beat into 9 strokes....and in that case, it would more commonly be referred to as "nontuplets", rather than 36th notes. What I assume you meant was 32nd notes, which would be dividing each beat evenly into 8 strokes....which, again, would be quite unlikely, given the tempo of the song. (Try this: Tap the basic beat, counting to 4; your snare falls on 2 and 4 of each measure. Now imagine trying to squeeze 16 strokes between the 2 snare hits.)

For the record, the bass drum part in the body of the song is a simple 8th note shuffle (playing 8ths on the bass drums, but letting the left foot drag a little to give it that swing feeling.) If you wanted to be more specific with your writing, it's a 16th pick-up preceding each beat, which is exactly how it would be played in a Pro-tools world, but it lacks the elegance of a simple swung 8th.
Ryan - Eaton, In
ken from louisville you're wrong buddy. Eddie Van Halen was a mental patient, Alex Van Halen was a gynecologist, Michael Anthony was a sumo wrestler, and David Lee Roth was a game show host.Cynthia - Scranton, Pa
oh man. this song so true to life, i'm a girl and at my high school the athletic trainer was this smokin' hot 20-something guy. me and my friends used to sing this song but with the chorus saying "i'm hot for trainer". i wanted that guy so bad...ha ha haCynthia - Scranton, Pa
Reminds me of a hot teacher I had in the 11th grade. One of the best Van Halen songs eva.Austin - Bristow, Va
One of the 'Teachers' in the video was the wife of Wayne Gretzky....Janet Jones.Scott - Wichita, Ks
Fun lyrics, which was the Van Halen theme when DLR was the frontman.
Haggar's style was more mature about social and personal issues.
Yos - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Van Halen at their peak.Then Roth left and Hagar the Horrible came in and they have made a decent record since.Roth and Van Halen both put out a string of sucky records without each other and still refused to admit they needed each other.What idiots they were to wreck one of the truly great rock bands.Mark - Byrdstown, Tn
I love this song, one of my favorites by Van Halen. I can relate to this song too. Walkin into a classroom and the teacher being really hot.Ozzi - Brookhaven, Pa
I AGREE J.C. Good call!!!Greg - Alsip, Il
BEST rock video ever!!!Jc - Spring Valley, Il
really good song on alot of movies great guitarSteve - Winnipeg, Canada
really great song cant relate dough all my teachers were uglyElie - London
I really don't think the intro is a motorcycle. Altho it sounds a LOT like a motorcycle, it would blend in way too well with the bass drum. That kind of splicing would be REALLY hard i think. At first i thought it was a motorcycle, but after listening to it a couple of times i think it is just a kick-ass bass drum.Brandon - Peoria, Il
When I heard the intro statement, I thought David said, "Sit Down, Ronda!". I was shocked to find out that it actually said, "Sit Down, Waldo!". Are those bass drums doing 36th Notes? It sure sounds like it to me! My friend, Darrion, could probably play that on a single bass drum!Annabelle - Eugene, Or
It's definiatly "i don't feel tardy " . Tardy as in being late.
Why the hell would he say "i don't feel turdy" when he's talking about school !?, hence the title "hot for teacher"
Mel - Liverpool, United States
this song freakin' rocks. the inro solo is amazeing from Eddie. Eddie is a guitar Godddd! the drum inro is pretty sweet also.Devon - Westerville, Oh
Which model does Janet Jones, wife of Wayne Gretzky play?
I'm pretty sure that the teacher is played by Lillian Muller.
Cody - Tulsa, Ok
excellent song!!! i luv van halen!!!Jen - Ontario, Canada
The little guitar played by 'eddie' (Robby Hitchcock) is a fully functioning 3/4 size "Kramer EVH mini series", it was made of a Hot red Cortez strat with a maple neck that was routed for a Gibson Humber at the Elementary school off Northwood IV during an Industrial Arts class. I had it for several months before going to Detroits 4-6-84 show and presenting it to the band later at the Ponchartrain where they had the whole 3rd floor. Ed & Val were great and all et al (midgets & police"escortS" incl.) I believed him that he'd do something with it and came to see it in MTVs party with Martha Quinn then in 5 magazines and finally on the home big-screen! I think I'll make another (one better with the old Floyd!) and offer it up on ebay, what'd'ya say that'd be worth Schwinn Bicycle Paint and all?+odd - Ann Arbor, Mi
As a send-up - or homage - to the endings of "American Graffiti" and "Animal House", both movies about school students, the video of this song ended with a "where are they now?" bit. Eddie Van Halen was supposed to be a Beverly Hills gyneocologist, and David Lee Roth was a TV game show host!Ken - Louisville, Ky
One of the models shown in the video is married to Hockey great Wayne Gretzky.Jim - Dallas, Tx
why in the world would they say turdy lolMleissa - Wasaga Beach, Canada
"I don't feel tardy." Hey that's pretty funny.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
The introduction is not a bass drum at all, but actually a motorcycle (a Harley). For live shows, VH ties two extra slave pedals to flam the masters, for a total of 4 bass drum beats and Alex can get the same effect.Dave - Latham , Ny
"I don't feel turdy" doesn't make sense. Neither does "I don't feel dirty" in the context of the song. It is so freaking obviously "I don't feel tardy."P.s. - Ann Arbor, Mi
The video created a huge controversy on MTV when it was released. The worry was that young school kids would be confused seeing the scantily-clad dancing "teachers". The scene with Waldo and his mother also raised eyebrows. This was during the heydey of Tipper Gore's Parent's Music Resource Center (PMRC). These days, the video looks tame by comparison.Kent Lyle - Palo Alto, Ca
Alex van Halen's frenetic double bass drum work made the music world take notice. This is probably his finest hour.Kent Lyle - Palo Alto, Ca
To settle this, it IS "I don't feel tardy". Do a google search for "hot teacher lyrics", they all say tardy.Paul - Toronto, Canada
Come on people! " I don't feel turdy"? Have not one of you ever walked into class late, have the teacher stop in her tracks and ridicule you with "YOU'RE TARDY!"? "I don't feel tardy" was always the face-saving comeback.Sherry - Costa Mesa, Ca
Sounds like 'turdy' to me as well!Tom - Trowbridge, England
This song was used in the 1999 movie Varsity Blues starring James Van Der Beek and Jon Voight. (Spoiler ahead) This song is used when members of the football team see their teacher dancing to this in a strip club.AndrÃ?s - Baton Rouge, La
Richard Cheese, a comedey lounge singer did a cover of this song. It stays pretty close to the song.Will - Portland, Or
It's definetly "I don't feel tardy"Bob - Mt. Laurel, Nj
I thought he said "I don't feel turdy"Will - Portland, Or
I thought he said "I don't feel dirty."Kurt - Downers Grove, Il