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Flint’s Classic Rock – 103.9 The Fox

  • Writer: Roy Orbison
  • Producer: Ted Templeman
  • Recorded: Late 1981 in Los Angeles, California
  • Released: Spring 1982
  • Players:
    David Lee Roth — vocals
    Edward Van Halen — guitar, vocals
    Michael Anthony — bass, vocals
    Alex Van Halen — drums
  • Album: Diver Down (Warner Bros., 1982)
  • “Oh, Pretty Woman” was written and originally recorded by Roy Orbison, who had a Number One hit with it in 1964.
  • Van Halen‘s version of the song peaked at Number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1982.
  • It was not the first time Van Halen had a hit with a cover song — the group’s first single, in fact, was a cover of the Kinks‘ “You Really Got Me,” which hit Number 36.
  • “Oh, Pretty Woman” also wasn’t the only cover on the Diver Down album, which also included covers of the Kinks’ “Where Have All The Good Times Gone” and Martha & the Vandellas‘ “Dancing In The Street.”
  • Diver Down, the group’s first release after Eddie Van Halen married actress Valerie Bertinelli, was Van Halen’s fifth consecutive million-selling album.
  • The album was the group’s highest-charting album to date as well, peaking at Number Three on the Billboard 200.
  • It hit Number 36 on the U.K. chart.
  • During the tour to support Diver Down, Van Halen was paid $1 million to play the US Festival for a crowd of 300,000 people in 1983.


  • David Lee Roth left Van Halen in 1985 and was replaced by Sammy Hagar.  Hagar left Van Halen acrimoniously in 1996, and he was replaced by Extreme singer Gary Cherone. Cherone was ousted from the band in November 1999.
  • The group’s “reunion” with Roth for the Best Of, Volume 1 collection was short-lived, but it did result in two tracks, “Can’t Get This Stuff No More” and “Me Wise Magic.”
  • Edward Van Halen has undergone hip replacement surgery and successful cancer treatments.
  • Van Halen and Bertinelli are now divorced.
  • Hagar rejoined the band in 2004 for the anthology The Best Of Both Worlds, which contained three new songs, and a lengthy North American tour that ended badly between him and Eddie.
  • Bassist Michael Anthony often performs with Hagar, which has led to him being kicked out of Van Halen.
  • Van Halen reunited with Roth in 2007, and a tour was about to be announced, but internal issues put everything on hold at the last minute. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March of 2007, but Hagar and Anthony were the only bandmembers in attendance, as Eddie was in rehab at the time.

The band eventually reformed in 2007 with Roth as a singer and Eddie’s son Wolfgang on bass, and has gone on a lengthy tour, which has sometimes been interrupted by Eddie’s health issues.