Craig Allen’s Fun Facts: “Jump” by Van Halen
Not only is it one of "Jersey's Favorite Hits"...
"Jump" is Van Halen's first #1 hit...and their only #1 hit in the David Lee Roth years!
How's that for the start of a "Fun Facts" excursion?
"Jump" spent 21 weeks on the "Hot 100" charts...it debuted January 14th 1984...and hit #1 on February 22nd!
"Jump" would hold on to the #1 spot for 5 weeks!
An impressive run for a rock band that formed in L.A. in 1974...darlings of the album rock crowd, making good on the 80's pop radio and records scene! With David Lee Roth handling lead vocals, Eddie Van Halen on guitar, Michael Anthony on bass, and Alex Van Halen on drums.
The "1984" album was released on January 9th, 1984...ending (by a mere 9 days) Van Halen's streak of releasing one new album a year, every year, since 1978!
"Jump"-ing back to the story behind the hit:
Over the years, David Lee Roth has given several accounts of the song's lyrics and their meaning, including being inspired by a TV news story the Roth saw...where a man was about to kill himself by jumping off a building.
Roth thinks: "Might as well jump." Sound familiar?
David Lee Roth has also said that "Jump" is about a "stripper."
Eddie Van Halen played the synthesizer on this massive hit record...Eddie being classically trained on piano as a kid...he didn't pick up the guitar until he was in his teens.
The use of a synthesizer seems to have caused some controversy within the band: Eddie wanted to use it...Roth though it was a "sell-out" to get more radio exposure. In either case, Van Halen fans didn't seem to mind!
Eddie had written the keyboard part of what would become "Jump" as early as 1981!
Apparently, Roth didn't like the idea of Eddie playing keyboards on the song...and it wasn't until Eddie Van Halen built his own studio, that "Jump" was laid down on tape during a late night recording session.
The guys heard the finished song, and liked it enough to include it on the "1984" album. Well, the rumor is that all the guys liked it, except Roth...and, further, its rumored that the inclusion of "Jump" on the album was a contributing factor to Roth's departure from Van Halen in 1985.
Apparently, the video for "Jump" also rankled Roth a bit...
The video (above) is, by today's standards, rather low budget. But it worked! Further, it set the standard that "live" videos still try to emulate!
Directed by Peter Angelus and the band, this "simple" video was produced by Robert Lombard, who wanted to show the personal side of Van Halen on stage.
The video is composed of 8-millimeter footage of the guys on stage...highlighted by Roth's slow-motion "jump."
Roth wanted more...he wanted to be highlighted doing more than just dancing around the stage...so footage was shot of David Lee Roth riding a motorcycle, and being arrested wearing nothing but a towel.
NONE of this footage made the final edit.
Producer Lombard decided not to use Roth's extra stuff...taking the finalized video to Eddie and Alex Van Halen for approval.
Two days later, Lombard was fired by the band's manager, for bypassing Roth!
What is in the video...and how was it accomplished, you ask?
All the guys were filmed performing "Jump" several times, from beginning to end.
Then the guys are filmed, individually, doing things that have nothing to do with playing the song.
"Candid" shots are also taken.
All of this is edited together.
The "Jump" video won the "Best Stage Performance Video" award, at the first MTV Video Music Awards in 1984!
And, NO, the fired producer, Robert Lombard, swears that he never received his award.
What became of the unused David Lee Roth "Jump" footage?
It was included in the "Panama" video. See for yourself...above!
One more "Fun Fact!"
Van Halen's "1984" album, containing "Jump," was the first Van Halen album recorded at Eddie Van Halen's "5150" studio...in Los Angeles.
In California, the police code "5150" means: mental case.
And there you have it...Fun Facts for Van Halen's hit "Jump," as heard here on New Jersey 101.5 and on nj1015.com!