Romeo Delight

“Romeo Delight” is the 4th track on Women and Children First.

The intro to this tune sees Eddie ping out harmonics—tapping the neck of the guitar—to create a sense of something akin to bouncing electrons that couldn’t be achieved by playing with a guitar with a pick. “I think the reason it sounds to vicious”, Mike Anthony said of Women and Children First, “is that we were on such a punishing schedule of tour-record-tour that we had no time to stop.” The interplay between Eddie and bassist Mike Anthony at the guitar solo actually sees them both floating off—‘soloing’—almost like a couple of bebop players might, something that suggests itself more and more the closer one realizes how unlike any other guitar players Eddie was.

One of the lines from this song came from “Get the Show on the Road”, a song from their 1977 Warner Bros. demo that the band used to use as a show opener in their club days.  Though the song is a scorching rocker, it also features some more subtle ingredients, such as the incessant “heartbeat” sound heard during the verses and the breakdown. Explained Eddie, “Mike was picking quietly, and I tapped my strings against the pickup poles.” The clicking sound heard throughout the song was created by Eddie’s pressing the low E string against the pickup of his guitar.

Singer David Lee Roth changed the lyrics of the second verse for the band’s 1982 “Hide Your Sheep” tour. This is most apparent during the 1983 US Festival where he made his usual changes before famously yelling “I forgot the fuckin’ words!”.

David Lee Roth: “He saws his guitars in pieces and glues them back together and gets these strange sounds out of them,” explains Roth. “On, ‘Romeo Delight,’ there’s some real interesting sounds and approaches to playing the full blast electric stun guitar. It’s power rock; it’s twice as fast as your heartbeat but it’s like, ‘How is he playing that?’ You might not even recognize the instrument.” – From Rock Stars Magazine, 1980

Eddie’s guitar only:
Live version with incredible jam in the middle:

 

David Lee Roth’s hand-written lyrics: