Video Upgrade: 1978 Japanese TV Appearance – “You Really Got Me” & Interview

The video above is yet another great addition to the Van Halen News Desk‘s new YouTube channel, the Van Halen Vault! This is a video of a Van Halen’s lip-sync performance of “You Really Got Me” – followed by a quick interview – that was broadcast during their first visit to Japan to promote the Japanese leg. 35 years later, this is still a rarely seen video. Even if you’ve seen it before, you’ll notice that this new version, although still a bit blurry, is better quality than all previously circulated versions.

Traveling to Japan in June 1978 for seven concert dates, the band discovered that the Japanese were huge fans of the band. Hundreds of people showed up at the airport for the band’s arrival, mostly females. Throughout the leg, the Japanese girls were crazier than anyone had expected. They were found hiding in hallways, elevator shafts and bathrooms just to get near the unsuspecting band. As the Japan leg raged on, one crew member remarked that it was literally like Beatlemania.

In the video above, the TV studio had them lip-synching to “You Really Got Me” in front of an audience entirely made up of squealing teenage girls, all of which were dressed in schoolgirl’s uniforms. During the interview afterword, Roth was asked, “Many young boys and girls are so crazy about you. What aspect of Van Halen appeals to them?” Without missing a beat, Roth says, “Oh, I think it’s this aspect, right here…” as he swivels his hips, which evokes screams of the delight from the female audience.

When asked about the future of rock, Roth answers, “I think that Van Halen is the future of rock and roll for the United States, and for the world! This is the 1980s–everybody up for the kickoff and fasten your seat belts!“–the end of the message coming in four-part harmony. The 1970s had been a wonderful training ground, but Van Halen couldn’t wait to get out of the decade and into an era they could truly call their own.