DAVID LEE ROTH DISCUSSES VAN HALEN, HIS SOLO CAREER AND SAMMY HAGAR

davidleeroth David Lee Roth was a guest on today’s (March 11th) Sirius/XM’s The Opie And Anthony Show.

Highlights from the two hour conversation appear below as transcribed and edited by myself for the site. I apologize in advance for any errors on my part, I tried to do my best.

Roth discussing how the members of Van Halen are getting along and is there any conflict?:

“There is always conflict, I am not going to sugar coat it. In our band there is a constant back and forth, and at the same time, I think everybody’s more than old enough to really respect what we have been allowed to do…We just [keep] coming back.

..For Edward and I, there’s a lot of whatever that chemical that is in guys, we’ve never lost it. We are both competitive with ourselves personally to an [almost] obsessive compulsive [degree]. With or without Eddie Van Halen in my life, a lot of time is spent with my head in my hands going, ‘Come on Dave, come on,’ and [Eddie does] just as much, if not more so. But, when we come together there is that mutual support of ‘Wow, boy am I glad I met you. Wow!’ We’ve done some great stuff together and that also combines with ‘I think you’re in my space.’… The conflict was there from day one. It sustained from day one and has lasted for 35 years. Not a note from the symphony has changed. [But], it is that conflict [and] collision, that is the sound of Van Halen. It’s a mutual push/pull that can be found on the most colorful football [and] baseball teams.”

Speaking about how Wolfgang [Van Halen] is working out:

“He’s doing great. We had a great year of touring on the road.”

Does Wolfgang ever side with his father in times of conflict?:

“No, there is no side any more. In terms of picking the songs, it’s like a great pizza place, whatever’s on top, it’s all good.”

On his relationship with former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony:

“We have no problems. I am proud of the stuff we did in the past. The vocals in Van Halen are as easily important as the rhythm section, production, what have you.”

Discussing why Roth opted for a solo career after the band’s 1984 album:

“The band was in disarray and we were all guilty and all the usual reasons why bands break up. It had a great effect on me..At this point in time, I have come full circle and I got a lot of those wild oats and crazy ideas out. I have gone out into the territory and came back. Now, I like things a little more predictable, and with Van Halen, I have that.”

Does Van Halen perform any David Lee Roth material live?:

“No. That’s Van Halen time.”

On guitarist Steve Vai, who was in Roth’s solo band:

“Steve came out of nowhere. He had been working in the shadows for a little bit with Frank Zappa, of all people. But, since then, he has really built a career.”

Speaking about whether there was competition between Van Halen featuring Sammy Hagar and Dave’s solo band:

“The one thing I learned from Richard Nixon was,’Never pay attention to the press. Never pay attention to reviews. Never look at pictures of yourself and try not to look at the competition much,’ and I have been pretty successful with that….In Rock N’ Roll we never really competed with other bands. We want to be the one you remember at the end of the night, but, you know, it wasn’t like sports. I was surprised when the competition between Van Halen and my solo band sprang up. I think that was a lot of our market friends getting involved. But, the band and I knew, that somewhere, ultimately, we were going to be back together at some point. They have to give us a star in some cement in front of some Vegas hotel someday. But, other bandmembers and other agents get involved and then it becomes a sling fest.”

Discussing how it felt to go from playing in front of 20,000 people to playing in front of 2,000 people:

“That will make you look in a mirror and confront exactly everything you don’t want to confront. ‘Mirror, mirror on the bathroom sink, you used to say my shit didn’t stink, you bitch.’”

Speaking about whether he ever ran out of money:

“No, but I did have to stay working. Playing state fairs, casinos, clubs, theaters, etc.. You what though? I do miss those state fairs, they’re a hoot.”

Did he ever get along with Sammy Hagar?:

“Um, no…well, define long.”

What about the Sam and Dave tour?:

“[That] was a collision course as well. We had our antagonisms, but…I think it was his people…I think our change up was dignified until agents, managers and other people got involved.”

Comments

  1. Hagar blows!

  2. Dewey Webber says:

    Sammy can sing any DLR shit out there…DLR could never sing any Sammy song and just barely can do his old VH stuff. $80 million for selling his stake in Cabo Tequila…yeah he blows alright….blows a shit load of money you’ll never earn in your lifetime you hacks.

  3. Enough of the negativity. It’s only music.

  4. Numbers talk…..Van Hagar !!!

    • FairWarning says:

      Numbers??? Well…. VH w DLR have sold WAY more cds. Van Hagar had more #1 songs yes. mostly sappy ballads

  5. Roth had his day back then. His voice is just not there expect on the records can you say a lot of mixin’. All you DLR fans ask yourselfs this. Why never a Live album from Dave? Well he does not sound good live. I do like Roth on some stuff VH and solo, but I like Sammy (Montrose, VH ,solo and Chickenfoot )better. put on some “bad motor Scooter” and that is what I’m talkin about! Sammy still has a great voice 40 years later!

    • The facts are simple, and ez to comprehend… Hager has a better vocal range…. OK…. So what? I and obviously, the mass majority like Dave better. The album sales, the touring attendance, the media coverage, all show that. Not to mention their peers have all said they prefer Dave to Sammy. Sam isn’t bad, he is a good singer and guitarist. No doubt.. But Daves voice just sounds cooler, his lyrical content can be deep and funny at the same time… And most importantly, that edge Eddie plays with comes from the friction between he and Dave, that competitive rivalry… Ed just plays better when Dave is in the band…… Stay Frosty

      • I love Dave and those albums as well, but discounting how huge they were with Hagar and the TONS of hits they had with him proves BOTH lineups are more than valid

        • Not discounting Hagars contribution, AT ALL. He did a great service keeping the VH legacy around for as long as he did. I am sure you are aware he came into VH at the apex of their popularity coming off of the 1984 disc. They were the biggest name in music at that time dwarfing even Prince and Madonna.. The only musical name bigger at that time was Michael Jackson… And that little known album named Thriller is the reason 1984 didn’t go #1.. It sat at #2 for weeks cuz of it.. Van Hagar could of put out a Lulla by album instead of 5150 and it would of sold millions just cuz it came right after 1984, and all the curiosity that was flying around what it would be like after Dave left.. According to the riaa with Dave VH sold over 34 million albums in the USA alone. Their first has sold over 10 mill and the last with Roth also over 10 mill. And they haven’t to my knowledge refreshed the the sales figures in 10 years.. So its even higher.. Van Hagar sold 16 million in the USA, and if you count the live VH album its 18 million total.. Quite a difference…. As for the hits they had, well, that’s what differentiates and seperates Roth and Hagar fans.. I am a huge Roth guy.. I like Sammy, he kept the chair warm for Dave while he got his oates sewed, but, Dreams, Love Walks In, When its Love, Feels So Good, Top of the World, Cant Stop Loving You… To me and just me, those were cringe worthy and nothing like the VH I grew up worshiping… OK, Jump was on the edge, but not sappy.. Anyway, I respect your view Eddie.. Hope you can respect mine.. Stay Frosty

          • P.S. Your show, ( which I have seen each 1), is great…. But the seasons are way to short.. Any chance to extend… And, what, if anything, did John5 say about the material he has done with Roth??

  6. i spent my life trying to be a great guitar player.. grew up in los angeles. in the 80′s van halen was huge, eddie was a innovative 2 hand tapping guitar hero, he rigged his gear , nobody new how, and eddie sounded amazing. David lee roth, at the time , i didnt think he could sing, but david came up with some deep word, aint talking bout love, and his voice works. as well as alot of hits. that made the band famos. Its is hard to know if eddie would have been the great success of the day without roth? truly eddie was a extreme talent , but the band became famos together. eddie is wonderful to listen to without any singers. on saturday night live.. with jan hammer. I never bought a van halen record, i listened sometime on the radio, people gave me there records , and like most guitar players, i sat and tried to play the beat it sole and eruption etc.. as much as you would figure hendrix, or clapton , page. even though the van halens were 2 years older then myself, i felt there music was kind of , flash fluff. adolescent pop , metal , hard rock.. hot for teacher, ice cream man, hardly mature. but excellent blues rock, very mature, the words..well a llttle embarrassing. i saw david lee roth , during the time he made his california girls video , you would figure david would do that vid. to collect alot of phone numbers, most likly.. but i saw him in gold gym , only for 1 day, i use to train in there, dave looked over at me and at the time, i think i was sick of listening to him, especially the part of jump, when he sings..you know what i meeaannn and his voice breaks.. its cringing.. that song is absolute shit, no. 1 or whatever, !i was one of the only guys in the gym with long hair , his color and probably felt i was on his side and looked over and nodded, and i sadly smirked and daved just kind of sighed a oh well..dave i had alot of time to think about it and you deserve alot more respect than that ,, im sorry.. van halen was successful also because of you. what a clever man DLR was, sold millions of records and really couldnt sing. also amazing. he wasnt robert plant , or deep purples was it jon lord? those guys came across as brilliant..and had tremendous vocal range, and amazing phrasing , clever words. My opinions dont matter much, the world doesnt know me, david lee roth the world knows! a clever man, with number 1 songs that was successful, and helped a great talented guitarist change the sound of music forever. guitarist ingie bingie

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  8. I’ve always liked Hagar better. The albums with him on vocals are my favorite rock records ever made. The original VH are amazing too but I like the more mature and diverse music of Van Hagar.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Roth said on SiriusXM’s Opie and Anthony show Monday, “I am frankly surprised that these [tour dates] happened now. I think probably . . . they had designs on somebody else . . . or somebody else got sick, because we are here to save the day. These are big shows – these are like 50-70,000 person shows. And they’re just coming together fast, which says, hmm . . . probably somebody else bowed out or somebody else took ill.” [...]

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