Steel Panther’s Michael Starr salutes rock’s ultimate showman, David Lee Roth
My first introduction to Van Halen was in 1978. My brother played guitar and he was really into them but I didn’t know anything about them since I was much younger. He played me Eruption from Van Halen whilst also turning me on to cocaine for the first time, so it was the same first experience at the same time – it was great.
From there I went straight to the next song on the album, which was You Really Got Me, and I loved them from the get go. I was truly blown away by both David Lee Roth’s singing and also the cocaine; the combination of Van Halen and blow was amazing. After that I started really exploring the band and I’d buy the records as they came out. I got Van Halen II on 8-track and I used to play it on my boombox all the time.
By this time I lived in Chicago, Illinois, which was kind of a hippy area, and I’d spend all day hanging out in the park, drinking beers and listening to Van Halen. I’d always look at the album covers and explore them for hours because that was the only media you really had to see your favourite bands back then. David Lee Roth had long blond hair, he looked cool, he had abs and he could really sing. He also had a kick ass guitar player.
Then I moved to California when Women and Children First came out, and I went to see the band play at the LA Sports Arena. I have to say that experience changed my life. I saw that show and I watched David Lee Roth, and not only did he look great but he also sang great and he was super funny with the audience. He made me feel like I was part of the show. Eddie Van Halen looked killer as well, and the whole band was in great shape, but every guy at that show wanted to be David Lee Roth and all the chicks wanted to fuck him. I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do. I want to be funny and rock out at places this big.’
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