Saturday, February 19, 2011

David Lee Roth – Van Halen to Diamond Dave

David Lee Roth is one of the greatest Frontmen of all time; and it didn’t hurt that Diamond Dave was in one of the greatest rock bands of all time, Van Halen. Even though Van Halen was never as great after David Lee Roth left the band in 1985, Diamond Dave quickly was back on top with a solo career performing sold-out tours. David Lee Roth’s success was largely attributed to his unique music videos like “California Girls”. Just as they said in the “Hot For Teacher” music video, “David Lee Roth went on to Hollywood to become America’s favorite game show host”; well almost, he took over Howard Stern’s radio show in 2005. You can read Diamond Dave’s bio below. Also, check out some of the greatest Quotes from David Lee Roth over the years and some song facts. Of course, I have also included classic videos, Jump, Hot For Teacher, California Girls, and a not-so-well known classic video from 1981 “So This is Love” Van Halen live. – Kenny Leibow

David Lee Roth Discography

Van Halen 1976-1985

1978 Van Halen
1979 Van Halen II
1980 Women and Children First
1981 Fair Warning
1982 Diver Down
1983 1984
1996 Best of Van Halen

Solo Career 1985-Present

1985 Crazy From the Heat
1986 Eat 'Em and Smile
1988 Skyscraper
1991 A Little Ain't Enough
1994 Your Filthy Little Mouth
1997 Best of David Lee Roth
1998 DLR Band
2003 Diamond Dave

David Lee Roth - California Girls

Van Halen - So This Is Love 81 HQ

Van Halen - Hot For Teacher (HQ music video)

Van Halen - Jump (HQ music video)

David Lee Roth quotes

“Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull up right alongside it.”

“I used to have a drug problem, now I make enough money.”

“I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.”

“Music is like girlfriends to me; I'm continually astonished by the choices other people make.”

“The world's a stage, and I want the brightest spot.”

“He who knows how will always work for he who knows why.”

“The problem with self-improvement is knowing when to quit.”

“It doesn't get better, it doesn't get worse, but it sure gets different!”

“You stick your head above the crowd and attract attention, and sometime, maybe somebody, will throw a rock at you. That's the territory. You buy the land, you get the Indians.”

“People ask me how far I've come. And I tell them twelve feet: from the audience to the stage.”

“A lot of rock bands are truly a legend in their own minds.”

“The light you see at the end of the tunnel is the front of an oncoming train.”


“When you get something like MTV, it's like regular television. You get it, and at first it's novel and brand new and then you watch every channel, every show. And then you become a little more selective and more selective, until ultimately... you wind up with a radio.”

“They want me to copy Howard [Stern]. But I refuse to regiment this show. ... I told them I would quit if they will not let me do what I was hired to do, which is create something unique.”
“Howard took his old audience. We're after a new one.”

“I'm going to give it a try. I've invested too much in this show not to.”

“I didn't know what I was doing. I asked for rehearsal, and they didn't give it to me.”

“I was booted, tossed, and it's going to cost somebody.”

“It's a huge disappointment and I love doing radio. We got canned 20 minutes before the hour.”

“[Roth — whose announcement ends months of rumors over just who'd be filling Stern's immense kicks — will take over in New York, Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Dallas and West Palm Beach, Florida.] You've built quite an empire here, and I'd like to think that they've saved it for the best guy, ... It will be a very interesting adventure.”

“You've done an extraordinary job and I hope I can honor it,”

“It requires someone of your stature to make [the medium successful].”


“I talked to the drummer [Alex Van Halen] about a week ago. And I think, eventually, the inevitable will happen.”

David Lee Roth - Panama Song Facts

Panama is a country in Central America famous for its canal, but it has nothing to do with the song. The lyrics are about a stripper David Lee Roth met in Arizona. As he explained on The Howard Stern Show, the song came about after an interview Roth gave in the early '80s; the interviewer accused him of only writing lyrics about sex, drugs, and fast cars. Allegedly, sometime either during or after the interview, Diamond Dave realized he'd never actually written a song about fast cars, so he started working on the lyrics to "Panama," which he later admitted in another interview that, as it turns out, he had been writing about a stripper he knew without realizing it. (thanks, Ryan - Eaton, IN)

David Lee Roth Biography

In the eyes of countless hard rock fans,David Lee Roth is the prototypical frontman. With a flamboyant, larger than life stage presence and a party-hearty surfer dude persona (not to mention his acrobatic leaps, long mane of blond hair, and skintight spandex outfits), Roth was an integral part ofVan Halen's meteoric rise to global dominance from 1978 through 1984. Born on October 10, 1955, in Bloomington, IN, Rothwas introduced to music at an early age, via his father's affinity for Al Jolson, Ray Charles,Frank Sinatra, and Louis Prima. By the dawn of his teenage years, his family had relocated to California, and by the early '70s,Roth had become a major rock fan (Led Zeppelin, Black Oak Arkansas, Grand Funk,ZZ Top, Alice Cooper, etc.). Roth was soon singing in local bands, including the Red Ball Jets, who would play shows along with another up-and-coming rock band from Pasadena, CA -- Mammoth.

The members of Mammoth, including brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen on guitar and drums, respectively, would often borrowRoth's PA system for their gigs, and a friendship was struck up. Soon after, Rothwas asked to join forces with the Van Halenbrothers, who had enlisted a new bassist as well, Michael Anthony. The new quartet decided on a name change by the mid-'70s as they played the Sunset Strip -- Van Halen(reportedly Roth's idea). By 1977, the quartet was signed to Warner Bros., and 1978 saw the release of their landmark self-titled debut, one of rock's all-time great recordings. Mixing heavy metal riffs with punk's fury, Van Halen were onto a whole new sound, which resulted in the band taking the world by storm. The band issued a string of classic mega-selling albums (1979's Van Halen II, 1980's Women and Children First, 1981's Fair Warning, 1982's Diver Down, and two years later, 1984), while becoming a major arena-headlining concert draw in the process.
Just as Van Halen had hit their peak and appeared they could do no wrong, Rothissued a four-track solo EP in 1985, Crazy from the Heat, with rumors swirling that the bandmembers were bickering behind the scenes and that the singer was going to make a major motion picture. Still, it was a shock to rock fans everywhere whenRoth left Van Halen later that year (Van Halen would soldier on with Sammy Hagarfilling Roth's spot) -- leading to a war of words in the press. When his plans for the movie proved to be a bust, Roth immediately formed a top-notch solo band, consisting of ex-Talas bassist Billy Sheehan (often called "the Eddie Van Halen of bass"), ex-Frank Zappa guitarist Steve Vai, and ex-Maynard Ferguson drummerGregg Bissonette. In 1986, Roth issued his first full-length solo effort, Eat 'Em and Smile, which was another hit and gave way to another sold-out tour.
Roth had also become a master of creating hilarious and highly original music videos (featuring a wide assortment of wacky characters), especially Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" and Roth's solo clips "California Girls," "Just a Gigolo," "Yankee Rose," and "Goin' Crazy." But while Roth's new solo band seemed to be on the way to a very promising future, the lineup began to splinter with each subsequent release (1988's Skyscraper, 1991's A Little Ain't Enough), until Roth was the only remaining member. With interest waning, Roth attempted to branch out musically on his experimental 1994 release, Your Filthy Little Mouth (produced by Nile Rodgers), but it was met with a cool reception, as was his attempt to break into the Vegas circuit around the same time.
By 1996, Van Halen had parted ways with Hagar, leading to an onslaught of rumors that a Roth/Van Halen reunion was in the works. The rumor appeared to become reality on September 4, 1996, when Van Halen and Roth appeared together at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York to present an award. Despite the fact that they had recorded several new songs the previous summer (two of which would appear on their forthcoming Best Of: Vol. 1 collection), the reunion was short-lived --Eddie and Roth got into a near fistfight backstage on the night of the awards show, as relations soured once again when it became known that Van Halen tricked Rothinto thinking that he was back in the band (meanwhile, they had secretly hired ex-Extreme singer Gary Cherone a few months prior).
Undeterred, Roth penned a tell-all biography, 1997's Crazy from the Heat, and issued his best solo album in years, 1998's back-to-basics DLR Band. WhenCherone was dismissed from Van Halen in 1999 after only a single album (the horrific Van Halen III), rumors began swirling once again about a possible Roth/Van Halen reunion. With both camps keeping things very hush-hush, Roth finally broke the silence in April of 2001, issuing a statement on his website that he and his former Van Halen bandmates had indeed regrouped the previous year in the recording studio, but that he hadn't heard back from them in months. Barely a week later, Eddie Van Halen went public with the fact that he was diagnosed with cancer; in May of 2002 he reported on his website that his cancer treatments had been successful and he had "just gotten a 100 percent clean bill of health -- from head to toe."
Meanwhile, the good news from Eddie Van Halen did not apparently coincide with a return of Roth to the Van Halen fold, as the singer's Diamond Dave, a 14-track collection of mostly covers that echoed the 1982 Van Halen classic Diver Down, was released in 2003. In 2005, Roth took over FM "Shock Jock" duties for the satellite radio-bound Howard Stern, and the following year he gathered friends for the tongue-in-cheek Strummin with the Devil: The Southern Side of Van Halen. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi