My Sunday Song – “Mean Street” by Van Halen

For My Sunday Song #150, we are ending the Van Halen set of 10 songs with “Mean Street” off the album “Fair Warning”.  The song reached #13 on the Mainstream Rock station and help propel the album to #5 on the Billboard charts.  It is the opening track and the song were the title of the album comes.

The song comes blazing out of the gate with the vintage Eddie style riffs that scream…I am the best guitarist and don’t you forget it!!  The opening was inspired by the slap funk bass style and I would say there is nothing the man can’t do with a guitar.  Then the song gets dirty and a little nasty.  Musically and Lyrically, it is a dark song for the band. I also love the fade out at the end with those wicked guitar parts Ed is playing while it is fading out.

The song seems to be about life on the streets.  The pain and agony of living on the street and the fighting to stay alive.  The streets will basically chew you up and spit you out.  Funny thing, the band aren’t from the streets so they really have no idea about “mean streets” now do they. Don’t get me wrong, that takes away nothing from the song.  It is badass and delivered very convincingly.


The original version of the song was a demo called “Voodoo Queen and had completely different lyrics. I actually don’t have a copy of that song, but will get it one day.  And that is all.  We have come to the end of the Van Halen series.  We will have to see what band gets the next 10 song treatment next week.

Give the song a listen and let me know what you think.  I hope you enjoyed it and the whole series of some of my favorite Van Halen songs.  Until next time, have a Happy Sunday!!

“Mean Street”

At night I walk this stinkin’ street
Past the crazies on my block
And I see the same old faces
And I hear that same old talk
And I’m searching for the latest thing
A break in this routine
I’m talkin’ some new kicks
Ones like you ain’t never seen
This is home
This is Mean street
It’s our home
The only one I know
And we don’t worry ’bout tomorrow
Cause we’re sick of these four walls
Now what’d ya think is nothing
Might be something after all
Now you know this ain’t no through street
The end is dead ahead
The poor folks play for keeps down here
They’re the living dead
Come on down
Down to Mean street
They’re dancing now
Out on Mean street
It’s always here and now, my friend
It ain’t once upon a time
It’s all over but the shouting
I’ll come and I’ll take what’s mine
We’re searching for the latest thing
A break in this routine
Talkin’ some new kicks
Ones like you ain’t never seen
This is home
This is Mean street
It’s our home
Only one I know
(This is home) See, a gun is real easy
(This is Mean street) In this desperate part of town
(This is home) Turns you from hunted into hunter
(This is Mean street) Go and hunt somebody down
(This is home) But hear me now, somebody said “Fair Warning, Lord !”
(This is Mean street) Lord, strike that poor boy down
Written by Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony and David Lee Roth

8 thoughts on “My Sunday Song – “Mean Street” by Van Halen

    1. dang, I wasn’t done yet! haha. The playing is superb and even on that Tokyo Dome show its fantastic to hear ED just go about his deal with Meanstreets! The studio version is brilliant. Even the inside sleeve is cool with the turn to from hunted spray painted on the wall. Cool package.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I’m with Deke – I love everything about this one. The playing and most of all Dave. He’s on fire here… his delivery is perfect. I always like to put this and Ain’t Talking bout Love Together, as I think this could be a prequel to that one. Very similar. They might not have been from the streets, but you can bet they’ve known a few people over the years who have had business on the streets.

    Anyway, what a band.

    Liked by 1 person

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