David Lee Roth Crazy
From The Heat autobiography
I did what I did with Van Halen in good faith and I left on good
faith and I asked for no quarter. I asked for no settlement,
nothing. And I guess thatís precisely what I got. I should have
led with my fist instead of my heart, but that would have put me
right down in the bottom of the barrel with the kind of thinking
that Iím railing against now.
very proud of what was that band and what was that show and what it
did mean to people. It disgusts me that it has turned into the
complete opposite. That it now represents everything that I spoke
against, that we supposedly represented the converse of. I donít
want to have to remember that the team turned into that. Makes me
question what the team was while I was a member.
it all bullshit? If nothing else, it confirms in my mind that from
my standpointóyours truly, David Leeónot a fraction. If nothing
else, this kind of morbid, wounded animal anger aimed my way has
caused me to look deep into that bathroom mirror and come back to
you with "my shit was legit." It was for real. And perhaps
the test is time. Because here I am, a decade and a half later,
havenít changed much. I look a little different, but not much. My
sense of humor is about the same.
I left Van Halen, it was not something that I was delighted to do. I
was not celebrating. I was not relieved. It was one of the scariest
moments in my life. I perceived that Van Halen was heading towards
catastrophe. So do you ride that plane all the way into the sand? I
said no, weíd already been through a yearís worth of the
Hatfields and the McCoys with the bottle of moonshine in
betweenóand Iím not a prince. I am not Mr. Not Guilty at all,
but the chemistry between us was becoming morbid, it was becoming
threatening and nonproductive. You can hear it in the music, it
started turning melancholy right after I left. Thatís great,
thereís plenty of room for melancholy music, but itís not my
and I hugged each other and cried at my fatherís house. I said,
"Ed, your brother is up to two six-packs a day. Maybe if we get
ourselves square, down the line we can reconvene, and I would love
nothing more than that." I donít think he understood. We went
our own ways.
six months later, perhaps less, somebody deposited a stack of
magazines as long as your forearm on my desk, full of all the new
Van Halen interviews. It had been easier for them to put a new album
together because I had worked with Edward on half of that album
already. Brought in a new singer, went right to all those old tapes
and started with that as their go point, so it was much easier for
them to reconstruct. It was going to take me a considerable while
longer. So that first stack of magazines landed in front of me, and
it was a Van Halen hatred campaign that was peddled belligerently
and strongly as it is to this day. This had been a spectacular
group, spectacular writing unit and a sensational show, and if you
got anywheres near any element of it, it changed your life.
here we currently reside thirteen years later, same mudslinging,
same kind of thinking from their camp. So I guess the most critical
decision I have to make is, do I really describe some of their
carryings on, on the roadí? Or do I continue to be the quiet guy?
Do I continue to be the nice guy? Ninety-nine percent of all the
hijinks and carrying on was my contribution, but everybody had a
proclivity. Everybody had a little side-bar to their story.
unfortunate that this feuding has to continue all the way up until
the present, because what Van Halen meant to a lot of people and
myself in particular, was very positive. What it meant in the early
time period that I was involved in the bandóis hanging in there
like an Indian summer. Itís still all over the radio, still in the
magazines, people still ask questions about the breakup.
guess the best I can say is: Donít believe every syllable of
everything that you read by everybody who wrote it. Go out and buy
those records and see if you can hear the truth in the music.
Thatís my recommendation. Some of those records you may have to
buy twiceójust in case you want your best pal to listen in too so
you can discuss it some more. Dolemite, motherfucker!
Copyright ©1997 David Lee
Roth Crazy From The Heat.
WHY ROTH LEFT VAN HALEN
This is a partial
transcript from The Howard Stern Show from 12 July 1992 with Dave.
This was the first time Dave has stated why he left VH in full.
Also, Dave talks about his father's kidnapping.
DLR: Well, the
reason that I left Van Halen wasn't based on money at all. It was a
completely artistic thing.
Howard Stern: It
DLR: Well, no. I'll
say it for the first time here, ever, on a radio interview.
HS: Wait a minute.
Say that without using the F word.
DLR: I want it to
sound just as serious as it actually was.
HS: The reason you
left Van Halen was why? Without using the F word.
DLR: Because they
were completely stoned all the time. How do you make music with
someone who has a hangover or is copping a buzz on a regular basis?
DLR: You've got
DLR: Would you like
your daughter to spend any amount of time with somebody who's
constantly hung over or constantly coppin' a buzz?
HS: And he's in Van
Halen? Let me think about it. My daughter gets to be with the guy,
but he always has a buzz... There's ups and downs to everything.
DLR: You've got to
think about it in a personal context. The first time that Edward
graduated from Betty Ford I called and said "hey, you remember
when I said when you get your act together then maybe we can do
it?" ...and I'm no saint, and then the second time that he
graduated from Betty Ford I tried to call and I got his manager. He
called back and said "If you want to talk to those guys you
talk to me". Then the third time that he graduated from Betty
Ford I called and said "Guys, this is what we talked about if
we get back out on the line then we go". I didn't leave Van
Halen to pursue some movie career, that would be crazy.
HS: Look at David.
How proud he is...
DLR: This is the
very first time I've ever done it. I've always said "Aw, it was
musical differences, and aw, it was this, and aw, it was that".
HS: Something about
Eddie playing keyboards I kept hearing...
DLR: Nonsense. Then
you've got Sammy Hagar, who at best is a mediocre talent...
HS: I agree with
that. I'll rate him lower than mediocre...
DLR: And Sammy
would sell the property rights to his butthole to get fame.
DLR: Because he was
a complete failure till he got with the Van Halen bunch.
DLR: And he does
all the talking...
DLR: You've got
someone who's enfeebled himself with dope and alcohol who's gonna go
along with the situation.
DLR: But you know
what, Howard, there is a God. Because I left and I said "I
really want to make music and I'll take a cut if that's necessary to
be an artist". But listen to this. The last album sold a
million and a half, theirs sold a little more than that, but I don't
break it up five ways.
HS: You got a point
DLR: It's not even
something I really thought about, but lo and behold, there is a God.
HS: Well, let's
face it. When you were with Van Halen that was THE group. That was a
DLR: It still could
be a great group. It still absolutely could.
HS: You think you
might get back together with those guys?
DLR: I've been
saying it for years. Guys, get on track, here. We could make history
HS: I hate Sammy
DLR: Well, Sammy is
a mindless little bridge-troll drone. You know, everything that
comes out of his mouth is word-barf. You know? It's the lowest
common denominator. It's meant for children. Jimi Hendrix never made
music for children. Children may have loved it, but he never made
music like "Hey, the 14-year-olds will love this". The
guys in Led Zeppelin and the Beatles never said "I'm gonna aim
this at the 12-year-olds".
HS: Why are you
talking about this now?
DLR: I've always
backed off and said "Hey, we had our differences" but they
keep slammin' me and slammin' me.
HS: They are still
slamming the good name of David Lee Roth.
DLR: Yeah, you
know, Sammy is my boy. He works for me.
HS: That's right.
DLR: He's my bitch,
and when he says my name we just sell that many more records.
DLR: Somebody tried
to kidnap my father with a gun not terribly long ago.
HS: Is that right?
DLR: Yeah, you buy
the land, you get the indians and not all the indians are friendly.
HS: Right, right...
DLR: A few things
like that happen to you and you simmer way down.
HS: You mean they
actually went to his house and tried to abduct him?
DLR: Yeah, you
know, walked into his office.
HS: For ransom or
DLR: You bet. Yeah,
and the guy got killed in a shootout about two weeks later.
HS: What do you
mean he got killed in a shootout?
DLR: He got shot in
Highland Park. He had a shootout with the police.
HS: For something
DLR: No, no, the
police were chasing him.
DLR: Oh yeah.
HS: The guy who
tried to kidnap your father was killed over that?
DLR: Yes, he was.
HS: That's a
DLR: You know,
people ask "Dave, where are you in-between albums"?
HS: Laying pretty
DLR: Yeah, cause I
ride my bicycle around on the streets. I'm not hiding in back rooms.
HS: Yeah, I got
DLR: People say
"Dave, haven't heard from you" and it's because when I'm
not making music I disappear. I evaporate. It's only been 12 or 14
HS: That's a
frightening story, that someone tried to take your father.
DLR: Makes you
aware. We get all kinds of characters. I had some gal calling
herself Yankee Rose who sent out wedding invitations all over the
world that we were getting married in the football stadium in Rio De
Janero. I was getting phone calls from Japan going "Dave san,
finally you do this".
DLR: People from
all over the place R.S.V.P.-ing. "I can't make the wedding, but
I want to be at the bachelor party".
HS: How did the
cops catch this guy who was trying to get your father?
DLR: They tracked
him down. Evidently they had a little bit of history on him. They
tracked him down and threw him in the Pasadena lockup. He stayed
there for six or seven nights. When he was coming out of the jail to
be transported to central a couple of his buddies busted him out.
Stole the cop's guns, busted him out and they caught up to them
about five days later. He died under a Toyata.
HS: Well, good for
him. That's good. What a happy ending. You should write a song about
DLR: Well, you
know. You wanted to know what happens in-between albums.