Sat Eye Candy: David Lee Roth
DIAMOND DAVE IS 54!
One of rock’s great cartoon characters, David Lee Roth is also one of the liveliest frontmen the genre has ever known. Possessed of a powerful voice and more form fitting spandex than a ballerina, Roth high-kicked his way into rock’s pantheon in the ’80s, his garish, flagrantly in-your-face persona perfect for the first crest of video age popularity. He also happened to be fronting one of the finest hard rock bands to emerge from the late 1970s at the time, which did not hurt. Sure, he’s silly, contradictory and prone to saying things he’d probably rather weren’t caught on tape, but dude has also done more than his fair share to generate real good times in this miserable old world. Today is Dave’s birthday and we encourage you to honor the occasion with some form of debauchery. You pick your poison, they’re all good to Roth…
Van Halen, especially during their rise to international stardom in the mid-80s, were a glorious mess, punk rock without the politics or social thrust. Often concerts felt like a rowdy, oversized puppy just lickin’ you all over. And thus we begin with “Hot For Teacher” at Castle Donington in 1984, just months before Roth’s initial departure from VH.
Roth’s reunion with Eddie & Alex Van Halen (along with Ed’s kid, Wolfgang on bass) has been far more fruitful than many might have expected. Here’s a rehearsal performance before their 2007 tour. And we have Wolfgang to thank for the band’s deeper exploration of their back catalog – he’s the one putting the setlists together and making the old men hop!
Dave is a genuinely weird guy. To wit, the video for his first post-VH single, “Yankee Rose.”
Brute force, trouser snake rock has few better than anthems than “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love.” And this performance from 1999 with his solo band in Finland shows him to be pretty dang spry. One would have thought the cocaine or clap would’ve taken him down by this point but here he is today, hail and hearty as ever.
Remember those good times we were talking about? 1979 was a very good time for Van Halen, Dave and almost anybody listening to this one.
And sometimes when those good times roll you gotta cry, “Get Me A Doctor!”
A few years ago, Roth made the curious decision to record bluegrass/country versions of many of his hits. We offer this performance of “Jump” from The Tonight Show with Jay Leno with scratch of our head. Make of it what you will.
One suspects Satan really digs this song, especially as delivered in 1982.
From the same gig at Largo, we present the kickass righteousness of Diver Down‘s “Hang ‘Em High.” And yeah, Dave was so hot at that time he could still pull down chicks in that stupid beret.
Van Halen were truly one of the first kings of the video domain. There was virtually no one who watched the channel who didn’t instantly know what band you meant if you said, “I reach down between my legs and ease my seat back.” In fact, there’s few today who won’t instantly recognize this tune.
We conclude our small salute to Diamond Dave with the original video for his perversely iconic cover of “Just A Gigolo.” As celebrations of being a man-whore go, well, this one rules. We hope you’re up to your neck in all sorts of things this birthday, Dave. Keep shining you crazy diamond!