Pretty maids all in a row, go on and set ‘em up. Wait a second…you’re not really maids?
David Lee Roth shared a few more stories from his days of rock ‘n’ roll excess with Van Halen during two recent episodes of his podcast this week. The first was all about a moment on the band’s first tour, in 1978. Prior to the tour, Roth said the band’s manager, Noel Monk, warned the members that, with their newfound emerging fame, someone will inevitably try and get into their hotel rooms for various reasons.
“It’s gonna be either a roommate, hotel security, law enforcement, a reporter, somebody who’s trying to catch you doin’ something wrong for a lawsuit or something like that,” said Roth. “This was forty summers ago and we looked SO forward to this because you can judge yourself by how many people like that actually show up.”
It turned out Monk was right. Roth went on to tell the story of the moment when two supposed maids showed up in his hotel room.
“It’s the day after some show, it’s somewhere in the Midwest as I recollect but, more importantly, I was staring at the cracked and peeling ceiling of an unforgiving Holiday Inn… and a knock comes at the door,” said Roth. “It’s summertime, I’m in a state of undress… the door opens and two really good-looking college type gals, like marching band type Dallas pretty blondes with pretty clean smiles, bright and cheery, come in and they start to clean up the room, and they do a great job, and I’m just lying there and they’re pretending not to notice me….They’re not paying any attention to me at all. They do the entire room and just before they leave they both turn around and go, ‘We gotta tell you the truth. We’re not maids.’ I says, ‘Who are you?’ They said, ‘We just cleaned up four other people’s rooms until we got to yours. We didn’t know what room you were in….we’re fans. In fact…we’re groupies.’ [Roth laughs loudly]. I shoulda married ‘em!”
Here’s all of episode 10b of The New Roth Show titled: “The Same Haircut As You…”:
A few days later Roth uploaded episode 10c, entitled, “Vegas Confidential…” and told of the well-publicized incident when he broke his nose doing a split onstage in Italy during a Van Halen concert in 1980.
“We’re playing the Piper Club – it’s in Rome. The Beatles played there, it’s like The Cavern Club. In fact it’s more like a sewer. It’s ancient Rome. This was probably ancient Roman irrigation or aqua something for the baths whatever,” said Roth. “It’s hot, it’s steamy, the ceiling is low and it’s the late 70s. Everybody’s John Travolta-ing and ‘Staying Alive’ and they got a disco ball. A HUGE disco ball. And they lower the disco ball and they’re gonna bring it up towards the ceiling as the song goes.”
“The lights go out, the crowd is ready and I get crouched down and I’m gonna jump up and do the famous ‘touch the toes’…Y’all know that silhouette,” continued Roth. “I’m ready to jump up and they lower the mirror ball about two feet more than I thought, more than usual. They waited until it was dark to lower it…They go 1-2-3! The lights come on and I launch. With FULL BLAST, like punching it out with a steam shovel, broke my nose on national Roman Italian TV.”
Roth goes on to proudly say that, regardless of the broken bloodied nose, he went on with the show. Afterwards the band hopped on a plane and headed back to California. After landing at Los Angeles International Airport, Roth checked into a local community hospital where his nose was taped up. Ever the opportunist, Roth used it as a way to get some extra attention for Van Halen’s upcoming gig at the 1980 Pinkpop Festival which took place on May 26th, 1980.
“I walk out of the hospital and I’ve got stabilizing tape that reaches all the way across the top of the bridge of my nose,” said Roth. “It had long big pieces of stabilizing tape and, I don’t know, just ‘cuz of the way my head is shaped or something’ certain parts swelled and it looked kinda cool. It looked kind of American Indian. Sort of Camanche, sort of Hiawatha Rotha. When I stepped off the plane it was at the very last second to the Pinkpop Festival in Holland. When I stepped off that plane all of the press was there. Van Halen was one of the top bill [bands], we’d sold millions, were the new flavor and it doesn’t hurt that the Van Halens are Dutch. Nobody knew until we were already on that plane that were gonna make it to the Pinkpop Festival… and when they stepped off they saw, Woah! Hiawatha Rotha in a FUCKIN’ bar fight. Woah! And [I thought], ‘Who am I to get in the way of a good rumor?’ Ladies, ladies. Make yourself at home.”
A very short video clip of Van Halen’s appearance at the 1980 Pinkpop Festival can be viewed below. You can see the bandaged-nosed Roth with Van Halen performing a bit of “Runnin’ With The Devil” which aired on a European TV show:
While telling the story, Roth also plugged his upcoming appearance at this year’s Pinkpop Festival at Landgraff, Netherlands, scheduled for June 8, 9 and 10. (He’ll be joining Armin van Buuren for the “Jump” remix).
You can watch all of episode 10c of The Roth Show “Vegas Confidential” below: