Jamie’s Cryin’

“Jamie’s Cryin’” is the sixth track on Van Halen. It was released as a single on May 16th, 1978. Watch the official promo video above, and listen to Eddie’s isolated guitar from the song below.

This was the only track from the Van Halen album that was written in the studio. It supposedly came together in approximately 20 minutes and was based on a riff Eddie had been working on. The rhythm track for this song was recorded on Eddie’s Ibanez Destroyer “Shark.” Mike used a pick on the song’s bass track.

Lacking the time to hone the song on the Hollywood grindstone–the usual weekly club dates–Roth was unsure how to approach “Jamie’s Cryin.’” Not wanting to screw things up, he put down the Camel Filters and laid off drinking for a day beforehand, hoping to sweeten his raspy voice. After a couple takes, Templeman came down on him for sounding weak. When he heard Roth’s explanation, Templeman prescribed an immediate return to form, so the singer quickly applied the necessary medications—sucking down a joint, a soda and a cheeseburger—and soon his voice was suitably thrashed and ready to roar. He promptly nailed it.

At the vocal bridge they seem to morph into something very early 1970s, as if they had suddenly become The Osmonds performing syncopated slick moves during ‘Love Me For A Reason’. (In 1984 Van Halen dressed themselves as some kind of cabaret soul vocal group for the video that accompanied “Hot For Teacher”—they were all matching red satin suits, flared lapels and bowties. That look is a bit of what this tune here suggests). So, what is ‘Jamie’s Cryin’’? Who can tell—Van Halen do The Osmonds, or heavy metal cha cha, or something somewhere in-between.

Lyrically, Roth wrote a surprisingly empathetic song about a girl regretting a one-night stand.

A video was made for the song as part of the band’s Van Halen promotional video set. (See below) This video differs from the others in the set in a few ways. Eddie uses his Charvel “Franky” instead of his usual Explorer. Dave gets much more playful with the camera in this video, forfeiting any control over his own hip movement.

Parts of this song were sampled by Tone Loc for his song “Wild Thing” from 1989′s Loc’ed after Dark (Island Records). Eddie found out about it while watching MTV. After rightfully raising a stink, Van Halen was thanked on subsequent copies of the album, but they were not paid. The sample then reappeared on Weird Al Yankovic’s “Isle Thing”, released as a single on 05/25/89, and was included on Weird Al’s UHF album.

From Guitar World:

One of the few songs on the first album that was written in the studio, this pop friendly track also features one of the album’s few overdubbed solos. The juicy midrange rhythm tone came from a korina Ibanez Destroyer, which Eddie said “was a great sounding guitar – until I took a chunk out of it to make it look different. On the cover of Women and Children First, it’s missing a piece. Boy, did I screw it up.”

Single Details: Warner Bros serial # WBS 8631. B-side: I’m the One. Country: USA. Release Date: 05/16/78. Format: 7″ vinyl. The song was also included as the B-Side on the Japanese release of On Fire.

Eddie’s Isolated Guitar Track:

Lyrics:

She saw the look in his eyes, ‘n’ she knew better
He wanted her tonight, ah, and it was now or never
He made her feel so sad
Oh, whoa, whoa, Jamie’s cryin’
Oh, whoa, whoa, Jamie’s cryin’
Now Jamie wouldn’t say, “All right”, ah, she knew he’d forget her
‘N’ so they said goodnight, ah, oh, ‘n’ now he’s gone forever
She want’s to send him a letter, uh yeah yeah
Uh just to try to make herself feel better
It said “Gimme (gimme a call sometime”)
But she knows what that’ll get her
Oh, whoa, whoa, Jamie’s cryin’
Oh, whoa, whoa, Jamie’s cryin’
Now Jamie’s been in love before (ahhh)
And she knows what love is for (ahhh)
It should mean, a little, a little more (ahhh)
Than one night stands, whoo
She want’s to send him a letter, uh yeah yeah
Just to try to make herself feel better
It said “Gimme (gimme a call sometime”)
But she knows what that’ll get her
Oh, whoa, whoa, Jamie’s cryin’
Oh, whoa, whoa, Jamie’s cryin’
[Repeat til outro]

On Fire / Jamie's Cryin' Japanese Single

On Fire / Jamie’s Cryin’ Japanese Single