Ah, YouTubers. While the rest of us pontificate endlessly, the unfairly-maligned YouTube community painstakingly assembles evidence to prove their point. Lonely girls need outing? YouTube is there. Can’t tell what’s wildly out of tune in a botched Van Halen “Jump” performance? Let’s just listen, shall we? (Too bad, as I had just worked out a really great theory about sun spots, Greensboro’s atmospheric pressure and relative humidity, and a freak wormhole.)
Thanks, Wilfred Fumbly. (video’s gone now … more in a moment)
So, the original theory holds: most likely a sample rate issue. Well, unless Van Halen is really old school, run their backing tracks on reel-to-reels, and had that set to the wrong speed. Sample rates it is.
More importantly, we’ve definitively proven Eddie is a “great guitar player,” which I know is what was really bothering everybody about this clip. He demonstrates this greatness with true vigor, by playing as loudly as possible for five minutes completely out of tune with the backing track and the vocals (which were matching the backing track) as if he’s completely deaf. If you had any doubts about what a true Guitar Hero is, now you know. (And yeah, unfortunately, I do think that really was his only choice. Guess the techs couldn’t get the clock rate set back to normality.)
Speaking of Guitar Hero / Rock Band: Activision / Harmonix, if you’re listening, I think you know what my request for an Easter Egg in your game would be.
Updated: The video is gone. So now we can not only speculate about what happened to Van Halen, but what happened to the video. Perhaps WilfredFumbly noticed that, while the keyboard part in Greensboro was pitched higher than the original album recording, so were other gigs on the tour. That means the guitar is far from absolved. And it lends new credence to my “Wormhole Theory.” Maybe Eddie’s guitar was temporarily replaced with one from the past, in which the song was in a different key, or even an alternate universe where this is in tune.
Okay. I got nothing.