Van Halen – “I’ll Wait” (1984) – 45 Single

When I was on vacation during this past Summer, I found a ton of 45 Singles with the Picture Sleeves at a place called House of Vinyl and I ended buying 7 Van Halen 45’s. And we’ve been through a few so far as seen below…

And now we are on to our fourth of the 7 and this is the final Roth Era track and was the second single from the album ‘1984’. The song “I’ll Wait” went to #13 on the Billboard Charts and despite its success, the band never filmed a video which totally surprises me as this the heyday of MTV. But it still worked for them without a video so they probably saved a ton of money. As most songs with Van Halen, the writing is always credited to Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Alex Van Halen and Michael Anthony. But this time, Dave was having trouble with some of the lyrics and melody so Ted Templeman brought in his buddy Michael McDonald from the Doobie Brothers for which Ted produced their albums as well. Ted had a knack for using people he worked with on many projects.

The song was inspired by a media ad for Calvin Klein. I guess Dave really was taken by the hot model in the ad that he taped the picture next to his TV and all the lyrics are addressed to the model in the picture. Hey, whatever works right!


The song is another very heavy synthesizer song, but where “Jump” was lively and bouncy, this song had a more serious tone to it. You could feel Dave longing to be with this model from the magazine. Alex’s drumming really standouts on this one as his sound is so prominent especially with the use of his Rototom drum kit, that sound is so distinct. The bass line on the song is actually all synthesizer as well. There is a keyboard moment during the song that sounds familiar to me like it was lifted from the opening of The Tubes song “She’s A Beauty” so I like that part a lot as it is also a great song. This might be one of my favorite songs on the album


“Girl Gone Bad” is a straight-up rocker and has a darker, tougher edge to it unlike the synth songs on the album. It is fast paced, hard driving and tough as nails. The song I believe is about a hooker that Dave became a little infatuated with. David has some great scat moments and even Michael’s bass is a driving fore on the song. This is one of the finest, best played songs on the album by the band. A true shining moment for the deep cuts.

And that was the final of the Roth Era songs. Next up will be three tracks from the Hagar Era, but which one will kick it off? We will see next week. Thanks for hanging around and see you next time.

33 thoughts on “Van Halen – “I’ll Wait” (1984) – 45 Single

  1. Roth lays down a great vocal on this one as well Alex’s drumming is massive on this as well. The whole band excels on this album though.
    Templeman’s book was a great read regarding this whole scenario of recording VH. McDonald went bonkers when the album came out and he wasn’t credited as he should have been .
    Great post dude…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. At age 13, this song was my introduction to Van Halen. I recorded it on cassette tape from the local FM rock station. Scraped together enough cash to buy 1984…. my parental units were NOT happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a pretty good intro to the band! Ha! Yeah, parents get be like that. I got lucky and was the youngest of 7 so by the time it got around to me listening and buying music, my parents didn’t care any more.


  3. I like this song too. As usual, the backing vocals are prominent.

    I remember reading somewhere, years ago, that part of the reason for Dave leaving the band was the heavy synth usage on the album. I wonder if this was one of the proverbial “camel back breaking” songs?

    I read yesterday that Dave will retire following his stint in Las Vegas. It’s the end of an era. Forever imitated, never duplicated.

    I forgot to mention that I found a copy of Panther, one of the albums you got from your last haul.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michael Anthony on backing vocals is the best your gonna get. And yes, Dave was not happy with the direction of the band. But his direction ended up going wrong after a couple of solo albums.

      And yes, sad he is retiring, but he ain’t a spring chicken anymore. Good on him.

      And cool you found a Panther disc. I can’t wait to review it.


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