“When I first played Jump for the guys nobody wanted anything to do with it. Dave said I was a guitar hero and I shouldn’t be playing keyboards”: The story of Van Halen’s 1984 – the Flying V, the synths and the end of the David Lee Roth era

Van Halen backstage in Atlanta, February 1984
Van Halen backstage in Atlanta, February 23, 1984; [from left] Eddie Van Halen, a hungry David Lee Roth, Michael Anthony and Alex Van Halen (Image credit: David Tan/Shinko Music/Getty Images)

George Orwell’s novel 1984 envisioned a dystopian future where totalitarian governments ruled the world, and the average person’s attempts to enjoy even the slightest personal pleasure were patrolled and punished by the Thought Police in service of Big Brother. 

However, when mankind finally reached that symbolic year, the prevailing atmosphere was more of a hedonistic non-stop party than a period of peril. We have the power of the mighty Van Halen to thank for much of that. 

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.