What exactly went wrong at this botched Van Halen performance of Jump? The discussion continues, though the current running consensus is that a guitar tuning was screwed up, not the sample rate on a performance. (It’s not clear why Van Halen transposed the track from the album version, but that’s near-certainty.) Even the creator of a video supporting the sample rate theory has backed down. Christopher shares his explanation below.

Pray that one day your onstage train wrecks will get this much analysis. Mine tend to involve only free produce — not always fresh, sadly.

Wilfred Fumbly says, just so you don’t have to bother him about it any more:

I took it off for a couple reasons. First, I’m pretty busy with work and found having to respond/answer/defend was taking up a lot of time and mental energy.

Secondly, I began to question my original theory. At the time, it seemed like a reasonably theory because the song isn’t exactly in C#… it’s close. So a sample rate screw up seemed a good explanation and the math seemed to work in its favour too. I began to doubt the theory though, as time went on and VH continued to play the song at other shows in the same weird key.

It’s possible that they simply adapted to a screwed up computer file and my theory was right all along. But there’s no way to know that. Apparently VH has played the song in C, C#, and D on various tours… but I didn’t know that at the time.

So, rather than mislead people into thinking I knew the answer for sure… I took the video response off.

Cuz I’m not sure anymore.

Or maybe the whole event is the result of a discontinuity in time, produced by the unnatural attempt to keep Van Halen’s career alive, as The Master suggests in comments.

What’s amazingly tiresome about this argument is the esoteric tweak-freakish strong-minded opinions toward one cause or another.
Here’s the bottom line. The mighty Van Halen is nothing but a dream, a dream best left remembered. To go out on tour in their current state, and with the current line-up, is a complete waste of time. Shame on them, and shame on anyone who promotes their ridiculous conceited behavior. I’m glad someone one was out of tune. Who cares if it was Eddie or the keyboard. They sucked, they sounded horrible, and people paid a LOT of money for it. Shame shame shame! If they all got on the same page way back in the day, they might have had a better chance of staying together as a band. If Eddie quit drinking and started smoking weed, or if David Lee Roth did the opposite, then they might still be together. You can’t have a pot head and a drunk competing with each other for control of a band like that. They both need to be on the same page chemically.

See? Everyone has a theory.