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The Spin I’m In: Diamond’s in the Rough

"Running With the Beatles"

A few months ago, a soloed vocal track of David Lee Roth’s performance on Van Halen’s “Runnin’ With the Devil” started going around. When I first heard it, I thought it was funny, but I also thought it was so violating. I remember laughing and shaking my head at the same time, especially knowing what it’s like to be in a vocal booth with headphones on lettin’ loose. Hearing vocals “soloed” during a mix without any effects on them, and I go running from the room. So I was feeling Diamond Dave’s potential pain. His is actually a really good performance, but it’s naked as a jaybird and I’m sure it wasn’t intended to be heard this way.

It usually starts out with some engineers checking out the 24 track reels in the studio vaults out of professional curiosity. Then they leak a few compelling tracks to their engineer friends to check out, and then the tracks get around. About three years ago some of John Bonham’s drum tracks got around because they sounded so amazing. Same thing with an Al Green vocal track, where you could hear him stomping around in the booth to the music you couldn’t hear. And as unsettling as this “leakage” is, I certainly didn’t complain when I found an a cappella track of CSS’s “Alala” for my L7 vs. CSS mashup “Pretend We’re Alala” online, (but at least that vocal had effects on it already).

So now new art is being created from David Lee Roth’s vocal track. Personally I love “Runnin’ with The Beatles” I think it’s really well done, the audio and video mashup are most excellent. Blasphemous? Sure. Entertaining? Yes. Unstoppable? Absolutely. Just ask Tom Cruise.

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Donita Sparks

Donita Sparks

Donita Sparks is a singer/songwriter living in Los Angeles, CA. Her first solo record, Transmiticate, has been released nationwide and a US tour is booked for Spring and Summer 2008. Donita is also the co-founder and front person of the rock band L7 who have released six studio albums.

Her original scores can be heard in the upcoming feature film The Life of Reilly starring Charles Nelson Reilly and in online projects for Activision and Microsoft. In 1991 Sparks and L7 formed Rock For Choice with the Feminist Majority Foundation staging numerous concerts benefiting pro-choice organizations.
Donita has been a contributing writer at Firedoglake since July 2006 with her music column The Spin I’m In.