From: The Expositor
Columnist puzzled by impostor
Posted By HEATHER IBBOTSON, EXPOSITOR STAFF
Musician and columnist Glen Silverthorn got more than his share of the
spotlight this month.
Unfortunately, he had to share his 15 minutes of fame with a phony.
Silverthorn was one of many locals — including bar patrons, hospital
staff and police officers — who had a recent brush not with flamboyant
rocker David Lee Roth of the dazzling smile and dizzying hips but instead
with a gap-toothed wannabe from Cambridge. Some people were duped. Others
“I was suspicious. Maybe it’s my age or something. Why would (Roth) be
here?” said Silverthorn, a veteran local music man who knew late rock
legend Rick Danko and is acquainted with the likes of Robbie Robertson and
Silverthorn, fresh from a camping vacation in New York State, said on
Monday that he had doubts about the man who gave his name as David Roth
from the get-go.
The Expositor columnist said he met the man now identified as David Kuntz
on May 24 at the Liquid Lounge while attending the club to see his son’s
band, 40 Daze. Clubgoers were feverish with whispers about a man standing
at the bar who might be David Lee Roth. The man had also been at the club
the night before, on May 23, and had taken the stage with that night’s
band for an impromptu version of Van Halen’s Ice Cream Man.
Silverthorn, who said he recognized the name but really had no idea what
the famous Van Halen frontman looked like, decided to sidle up and
introduce himself. The stranger, dressed in eye-catching black and white,
gave his name as David Roth, Silverthorn said. No “Lee” was mentioned.
“I was playing dumb,” Silverthorn said. “I asked him where he was from and
he said ‘the west coast.'”
Trotting out his personal knowledge of rock greats, Silverthorn asked the
man if he remembered any members of The Band. “Roth” told Silverthorn
that, yes, he used to drink a few beers with Robbie Robertson in Malibu.
After about five minutes of chitchat, the man said he needed to get going
but suggested he might return later with his bodyguard. He was only there
looking for a cellphone he said he lost the night before.
“He was a little fidgety. He wanted to get away and said the crowd was
getting noisy,” Silverthorn said, adding that it was only about 9:30 p. m.
and not any noisier than any other night.
PEOPLE SNAPPING PHOTOS
People were snapping photos of the “celeb” and Silverthorn decided he
might as well get a photograph for posterity as well. The pair went
outside and Silverthorn handed his camera to a woman who took a photo of
him with “Roth” before the mystery man departed.
After, the bar was all hubbub and chatter as patrons clamoured to see
photos of the man and debate the pros and cons of “Was it him?” and “Could
it have been him?”
Silverthorn left on a camping trip to New York on July 10 and was
surprised when a fellow Brantford camper showed up at the rendezvous the
next day with an Expositor in hand featuring the photo of Silverthorn and
“Roth” on the front page.
On the way home, at a gas station east of Buffalo, Silverthorn bumped into
a Paris man he knows. “A guy says you’re hunting for David Lee Roth,” the
Unfortunately, for the believers, the real Roth was performing on stage
with Van Halen at Madison Square Garden in New York City on May 23.
Meanwhile, the Roth imposter has both a hazy reputation and a scarred
past. He’s known for cadging freebies at a Cambridge hair salon. In 1988,
Kuntz’s girlfriend was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the
slaying of another girlfriend.
This May, Kuntz pulled a few legs — including those of provincial police
officers who stopped him for speeding and helped him get to hospital for
treatment of an allergic reaction to peanuts — but most people don’t seem
to hold it against him. “We’ve had a lot of fun with it,” said Liquid
Lounge owner Cheri Welsh on Monday.
“He was a little eccentric but very polite and nice to the people here,”
she said, adding that she wouldn’t know the real David Lee Roth “if I
stepped on him.”
Silverthorn now has another quirky musician story to add to his tale-
telling repertoire but he remains bemused. “I can’t bring to mind why he’d
go to all that trouble to be an imposter because he didn’t seem to be
trying to get anything free at the club,” he said.
Perhaps he just enjoys “fooling people.”