DAVID LEE ROTH ON WHETHER VAN HALEN WILL EVER TOUR AGAIN, “I DON’T KNOW THAT EDDIE [VAN HALEN] IS EVER REALLY GOING TO RALLY FOR THE RIGORS OF THE ROAD AGAIN”
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.
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