Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Class Dismissed! | “Hot For Teacher” by Van Halen


If you know me, then you know I’m a huge Eddie Van Halen guy. After all, he’s the reason I dove into the world of guitar, and the band as a whole have shaped how I perceive and play music to this day.

Ever since the passing of Eddie Van Halen, it has felt like something was missing, like a flame had gone out. However, his legacy lives on, and the multitude of incredibly creative tracks left behind can never be discounted.

Van Halen’s discography covers a wide variety of sounds and influences thanks to the band’s irrefutable creativity and passion. With that said, there is one song I listen to everyday, no matter my mood: “Hot for Teacher.”

This song is impossible to ignore. The track immediately opens with an incredible drum solo, then dives into a wild tapping guitar lick that furthers the feverishly intense energy and goes right into David Lee Roth’s raw lyrics:

“T-t-teacher stop that screaming / 

Teacher don’t you see? / 

Don’t wanna be no uptown fool.”

The song is meant to be lighthearted and funny, as it is literally about having the hots for a teacher. The best part about the song is that the lyrics are paired with some of the most impressive musicianship I have ever heard, with a lightning fast solo that pairs with Roth’s screaming vocals to formulate an unlikely pairing of sounds that just work. The song also features breaks in which Roth is basically talking to his classmates, asking about the teacher he cares ever so much about: 

“Oh man, I think the clock is slow /

What are you doin’ this weekend? /

I don’t feel tardy /

Class dismissed /

Ooh, yeah”

It then jumps into overdrive, straight back into the intensity. This on and off switch overhauls the energy, bringing the listener deeper into the song with each switch. There is an overall grimy and slick feeling to the track, but it works as race fuel for any task I need to complete. 

I love that I can get lost in every aspect of “Hot For Teacher;” every single part is riveting and so different from other music at that time. As someone who finds himself lost in the instrumental side of music, this track is refreshing in that I cannot possibly ignore a single component — it is simply too insane to tune out any of it. Like I said, it’s pure race fuel. Who needs caffeine when you have Van Halen? 

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About the Contributor
Ian Randall, Writer
Ian Randall (He/Him) is an advertising management major at Michigan State. In his free time, he can be found bent over his guitar or playing Red Dead Redemption II. His favorite films are Top Gun and Napoleon Dynamite, and he frequently listens to Megadeth, Smashing Pumpkins, Van Halen and Tame Impala.  “A tout le monde, a tout mes amis, je vous aime, je dois partir.” - Megadeth

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