Having been in the business for over 40 years legendary music manager Doc McGhee has seen and heard the best of the best rock bands in the world. As for Van Halen with David Lee Roth, now that’s a band who easily ranks at the very top of what he says is a very selective list.McGhee, who’s been the manager of KISS since 1995, recently sat down for an interview with rock journalist Mitch Lafon and talked about his love of classic Van Halen and how he went about getting David Lee Roth to join up with KISS on the current leg of their “End Of The Road” tour. McGhee told Lafon he was more than happy to bring the legendary Van Halen frontman on board for the KISS ride.
“I’ve always been a huge Van Halen fan and I’m not a big fan of a lot of things. But I can say that I was a Van Halen fan…still am actually,” said McGhee, who has managed some of the biggest artists and bands over the years including Bon Jovi and Mötley Crüe. “There were four stars in the band. It wasn’t like there was one guy that did everything. Michael Anthony was as important as David Lee Roth. Alex Van Halen and Eddie, deservedly, were stars and I thought that was an amazing feat for a rock band.”
Initially, KISS planned on having performance painter David Garibaldi return as the band’s opening act for the upcoming leg of dates. When Garibaldi was no longer able to commit, however, McGhee decided to capitalize on a ready, willing and able David Lee Roth.
“All of a sudden here comes David Lee Roth into the picture,” McGhee said. “So I call his manager up and I said, ‘Listen I got these dates, whaddaya think? She says, ‘Well he wants to do it.’ I said, ‘If you’re gonna do it let’s go do it. Like you, I was sitting there listening to (Dave’s) band play ‘Jump’ and ‘Panama’ and all the rest of ‘em and I was sittin’ there goin’, ‘Fuck, this is cool! I get to see this happen!”
“I just thought, ‘What a great package,’” added McGhee. “We were already up on sale, we were already out and Garabaldi was gonna [continue to open for KISS] then he couldn’t do it, the first part [of the leg], so then I just got David to do it all. From listening to (Dave’s) band play, which was really good, I think this is gonna be another dimension for the fans to say, ‘Wow, what a great package. I got more than my money’s worth,’ because that’s what we try to do.”
You can watch the entire segment of Lafon’s interview which took place backstage at the KISS/DLR tour opener in Manchester, New Hampshire below:
Roth’s run as a special guest on the KISS End Of The Road World Tour will continue with dates scheduled through October 2nd in Forth Worth, Texas. Visit davidleeroth.com for more info and tickets.