Hot For Teacher

Album: 1984 (1984)
Charted: 56


  • A song about being lustfully attracted to your teacher, this one 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. He was voiced by the late Phil Hartman of Saturday Night Live fame.
  • Many fans consider "Hot For Teacher" the definitive Van Halen song. Eric Senich of the Van Halen News Desk puts it this way: "That song marked the culmination of everything that they had worked towards. You've got Alex's iconic drumming intro, David Lee's lyrics are brilliant, and Eddie's boogie riff that he just loved. Michael Anthony has incredible backup vocals."
  • For the layered effect at the beginning of the song, 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 Van Halen'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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ron - Los Angeles, CA
  • The 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.
  • In the video, David Lee Roth drives a yellow, 1932 Ford hot rod. He auctioned it off on his website in 2000.

Comments: 45

  • Jim from El Paso, TxThe intro sounds EXACTLY like my carbed Harley Softail Heritage when I fire her up. I can see why there may be some question whether it was done with drums.
  • Oscar from Los Angeles CaThis video was filmed at my old high school (John Marshall High) in Los Angeles, California. Eddie's guitar solo was filmed at the schools old library.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaWonder if Alex has ever heard the drumming to this song by young Avery. It just ROCKS and the kid was only 6 years old.
  • Matthew from Annapolis, MdWaldo, the boy in the music video, used motor oil to slick his hair that way - It took toilet bowl cleaner to get it out.
  • Keith from Canyon Lake, CaRegarding 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.
  • Bob from Schenectady, NyThe only credible reference I can find for the kid who played Waldo cites Keith Kessinger, now a musician himself.
  • Frank from Toronto, Oni think weve all had a teacher that we had the hots for
  • Todd from Scrantino, PaIt'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.
  • Craig Dubecki from Kitchener, OnCan'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.
  • Edgar from Grandville, MiThe beginning is Alex drumming on a text book. You know, for school.
  • Ryan from Eaton, InThere'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.
  • Cynthia from Scranton, Paken 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 from Scranton, Paoh 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 ha
  • Austin from Bristow, VaReminds me of a hot teacher I had in the 11th grade. One of the best Van Halen songs eva.
  • Scott from Wichita, KsOne of the 'Teachers' in the video was the wife of Wayne Gretzky....Janet Jones.
  • Yos from Santo Domingo, Dominican RepublicFun lyrics, which was the Van Halen theme when DLR was the frontman.
    Haggar's style was more mature about social and personal issues.
  • Mark from Byrdstown, TnVan 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.
  • Ozzi from Brookhaven, PaI 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.
  • Greg from Alsip, IlI AGREE J.C. Good call!!!
  • Jc from Spring Valley, IlBEST rock video ever!!!
  • Steve from Winnipeg, Canadareally good song on alot of movies great guitar
  • Elie from Londonreally great song cant relate dough all my teachers were ugly
  • Brandon from Peoria, IlI 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.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrWhen 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!
  • Mel from Liverpool, United StatesIt'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"
  • Devon from Westerville, Ohthis song freakin' rocks. the inro solo is amazeing from Eddie. Eddie is a guitar Godddd! the drum inro is pretty sweet also.
  • Cody from Tulsa, OkWhich model does Janet Jones, wife of Wayne Gretzky play?
    I'm pretty sure that the teacher is played by Lillian Muller.
  • Jen from Ontario, Canadaexcellent song!!! i luv van halen!!!
  • +odd from Ann Arbor, MiThe 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?

  • Ken from Louisville, KyAs 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!
  • Jim from Dallas, TxOne of the models shown in the video is married to Hockey great Wayne Gretzky.
  • Mleissa from Wasaga Beach, Canadawhy in the world would they say turdy lol
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, Sc"I don't feel tardy." Hey that's pretty funny.
  • Dave from Latham , NyThe 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.
  • P.s. from Ann Arbor, Mi"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."
  • Kent Lyle from Palo Alto, CaThe 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 from Palo Alto, CaAlex van Halen's frenetic double bass drum work made the music world take notice. This is probably his finest hour.
  • Paul from Toronto, CanadaTo settle this, it IS "I don't feel tardy". Do a google search for "hot teacher lyrics", they all say tardy.
  • Sherry from Costa Mesa, CaCome 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.
  • Tom from Trowbridge, EnglandSounds like 'turdy' to me as well!
  • AndrÃ?s from Baton Rouge, LaThis 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.
  • Will from Portland, OrRichard Cheese, a comedey lounge singer did a cover of this song. It stays pretty close to the song.
  • Bob from Mt. Laurel, NjIt's definetly "I don't feel tardy"
  • Will from Portland, OrI thought he said "I don't feel turdy"
  • Kurt from Downers Grove, IlI thought he said "I don't feel dirty."
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