This week, long-running rumors that Guitar Hero: Van Halen would be coming to your nearest GameStop were confirmed when Activision announced the title will be ready before year’s end. So, for this week’s Flashback, in honor of this momentous gaming news, we bring you the sometimes-inebriated, but always-hilarious David Lee Roth. Which Dave showed up for an appearance on The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers on October 10, 1986? We’re actually not sure… you decide.
The clip (obviously filmed before an adoring audience) is classic Roth, from start to finish. Taped the night before his “hot date with 20,000 of my closest friends at the Meadowlands” on the occasion of his 31st birthday, Roth, donning white gloves, black spandex emblazoned with pink, white, and blue mystery symbols, and cowboy boots (what he refers to as his Jesus Ensemble, because whenever he puts it on, “everyone says, ‘Oh, Jesus’ “), gets down with Rivers, and the two talk touring, babes, and life after Van Halen; at one point, she brings up the growing feud between Roth and his former band, to which Roth responds, “Fellas, you keep on raining, and I’ll still be the parade.”
At first, you won’t even recognize Joan, because its pre-plastic surgery Joan, not Celebrity Apprentice Joan. She’s svelte, has huge ’80s hair, and actually looks… dare we say it… hot in her bedazzled sweater. The video also includes a rare appearance from the Fabulous Picasso Brothers, and we learn something I bet none of you knew: Dave knows how to say “Happy Birthday” in Spanish.
Bonus Flashback: A grainy yet titillating interview with Roth from a local news affiliate, shot way the hell back in 1981. Pay particularly close attention to Dave’s surroundings. That’s the basement of his house, where Van Halen used to practice back in those days. Oh, and expect pearl upon profound pearl of wisdom from DLR. Example: “Success is what you give yourself; fame is what other people give you.”