GUITARIST BRIAN YOUNG DISCUSSES WORKING WITH DAVID LEE ROTH AND SAYS IT “WASN’T EASY”
Former David Lee Roth guitarist Brian Young was a recent guest on Rock ‘N’ Roll Icons With Bode James podcast, where he discussed what it was like working with the Van Halen frontman.
He said (via blabbermouth.net), “It was great. To be in the David Lee Roth band, you’ve basically gotta go through this boot camp to toughen you up. I wouldn’t say [he’s] difficult, but he expects a lot, and he’s demanding, and he’s a perfectionist for everyone else, even for himself. So working with him wasn’t easy.”
He continued, “I heard about his mood swings before I joined, but I didn’t see a single one for the first month. Then finally, when it happened, it was, like, ‘Okay, he can get where it’s like a volcano’s erupting.’ So he kind of has a little bit of an up-and-down mood-swing type thing. But when he’s in a great mood, it’s the coolest hang you’ll ever have in your life — absolutely. And when he’s in a bad mood, it’s a bummer. But like I said, the good thing is it’s training ground. After you play with him for a while, you can handle anything.”
Young reiterated that playing in the band “toughened” him up “for being able to deal with different things.” He explained, “I’ve always been pretty easy-going. And what I liked [about] working with Dave is he’s the boss, and you know it. He’s paying everybody. It’s his name on the marquee, so there’s no argument. When Dave says something, you just do it. And I do like that. Because when you’re in a band with four guys, and there’s no real boss, then it can become more arguing and this and that — ‘Why do you say this?’ Or, ‘Why did you get more credit?’ But when you’re working with a leader, and it’s a for-sure thing that he’s the leader, it’s very easy to just go, ‘Okay…’ And whatever he says, whether it’s right or wrong, everybody agrees [with it] or not, you just go, ‘Hey, he’s the boss. It’s his way.’ And then, if it’s a mistake, he owns up to it. So that’s the part that made it kind of easy. You just do what Dave tells you, and everything’s fine.”
Young recently filmed a quarantine video of the Vandenberg hit Burning Heart with vocalist Jeff Scott Soto (Yngwiw Malmsteen, Sons Of Apollo, Soto) and keyboardist Michael Ross (Lita Ford, Missing Persons, Hardline).