Richard Bienstock of the New York Times spoke with Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth, portions of the interview appear below.

[Due to the current pandemic shut down, singer Roth has take up visual arts. When asked why, he replied].

“Well, I lost my job!”…Roth, who has also worked as an E.M.T. in New York, had battled an unspecified illness. “I’m not so unconvinced I didn’t have the corona,” he said. “Man, they gave me enough prednisone to put boots on the moon. We left a trail of groupies, rubble and incandescent reviews. But I don’t want to go back through it.”

Q: You were on tour when the lockdown began. As a lifelong performer, was it difficult being forced to leave the road so hastily?

A: Every Jiu-Jitsu magazine has a 28-year-old who’s going to tell you about the two years that got taken away by his elbow. Every kickboxing magazine has a 32-year-old instructor who goes, “Well, I lost those three years to my left knee.” So I’ve just been isolating away. Because I myself am high risk.

Q: Why do you consider yourself high risk?

A: The road will deteriorate you from the beginning or it will keep you alive forever. When we go out, we wear ourselves to a nubbin. I just had a lower back surgery. It was a spinal fusion where they take a chip from somebody else. I’m actually taller now. Do I seem taller? I mean, over the phone?

Q: You last toured with Van Halen in 2015. Do you think it’ll ever happen again?

A: I don’t know that Eddie [Van Halen] is ever really going to rally for the rigors of the road again. [The guitarist first announced he had cancer in 2001, and it has recurred since.] I don’t even want to say I’ve waited — I’ve supported for five years. Because what I do is physical as well as musical and spiritual — you can’t take five years off from the ring. But I did. And I do not regret a second of it. He’s a band mate. We had a colleague down. And he’s down now for enough time that I don’t know that he’s going to be coming back out on the road. You want to hear the classics? You’re talking to him.

Read more here.

7 Responses

    1. Will David LEE Roth change his name to be politically correct with today’s social world?

    2. Well, with Roth, you never know for sure! 😉 So ridiculous that nobody will ever show “The Dukes Of Hazzard” again. Thank God for DVD’s!

  1. Roth seems like he’s gotten “pretty far out there “
    There’s always people/ fans that will go see and support a band way past their prime , just look at kiss / lip syncing through their end of the road fiasco – Van Halen was the most inspiring band I ever saw live , both with Sammy and Roth but really special when Roth was Dian’s Dave –
    IMO , they might have one last fling left in them , but it has to be with Sammy , Roth is like a kooky uncle who embarrasses you at the family barbecue singing out of key karaoke ~ Sammy still has his awesome voice intact and is still able to deliver the goods –

  2. Get well Eddie – everything else will fall into place after that.

    Would love to see the inside of Roth’s brain while he speaks – while highly entertaining – I have a feeling a few brain neurons are not firing on all cylinders.

  3. Yep, I agree that DLR seemed off the wall with his reference to the Jitsu wrestler. I mean, I get it, what he means and all, yet, he sounds more like Dennis Miller on Monday Night Football with his lame anecdote’s. Very douchey Dave.

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