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This article is about the song by Van Halen. For the dessert, see Pound cake.
Single by Van Halen
from the album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Released June 18, 1991
Recorded March 1990
Genre Hard rock
Length 5:22
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Eddie Van Halen
Michael Anthony
Alex Van Halen
Sammy Hagar
Producer(s) Andy Johns
Ted Templeman
Van Halen

"Poundcake" is a Van Halen song and the opening track on their 1991 album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. "Poundcake" was the first song to be released as a single from the album making #1 on U.S. Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart and #74 in the UK Singles Chart.


According to Eddie Van Halen, the song first did not earn much a reaction until producer Andy Johns suggested him to play the rhythm tracks with 12-string guitars. Afterwards the band helped the composition of the song over the two electric 12-strings doubled beneath Eddie's usual dirty guitar. Regarding the guitar solo, Eddie said that "The solo goes four bars, another four bars, then two bars. Al kept insisting that it wasn’t finished. He likes to count, and I never do. I’m strictly feel. I’m always screwing around with time, because I never count.”[1]

Power drill[edit]

The song features Eddie Van Halen using the sound of a power drill both in the introduction and during the guitar solo. According to Eddie, a guitar technician was operating a drill at 5150 Studios while he was playing, and the sound captured was akin to "kick starting your engine". So Eddie painted a drill with the Frankenstrat stripes to use during concerts.[2][3]

Music video[edit]

The official music video for "Poundcake," directed by Andy Morahan,[4] shows Eddie using the technique with a Makita cordless power drill painted in his trademark red, black and white stripes. The video, itself, cuts between scenes of the band playing and a demure young lady - played by Diane Manzo - who has shown up for an audition (a handmade sign on the wall says "Van Halen Casting").[5] While waiting, she spies on the other girls through a hole in the changing room door and is fascinated by their provocative dress and behavior. When they finally notice her, one uses a power drill to create a hole in the door and harass her, ultimately scaring her off.

The video is also preceded with a young girl reciting a poem of "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"


External links[edit]