Beautiful girls to the dance floor please, the Van Halen show is about to begin…
In episode 15a of The New Roth Show uploaded to YouTube on July 3rd titled “No parking on the dance floor..” David Lee Roth commented on a recent very dance-able mashup called “Beautiful Shining Star of Superstition” created by Bill McClintock who combined Van Halen’s “Beautiful Girls” with Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Shining Star” and Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”. You can hear the track below:
Roth gave the mashup two thumbs up and explained why McClontick’s choice of “Beautiful Girls” came as no surprise.
“Classic mashup for us is 120, 126 beats a minute because all Van Halen music, the hits, are really girl friendly,” said Roth. “You gotta be able to dance to the Van Halen material. Even though it’s real spiny hard rock it’s girl friendly. It’s dressed up if you wanna see it that way. The ‘Beautiful Girls’ gels with ‘Shining Star’ from Earth, Wind & Fire makes perfect sense ‘cuz they were both written at about the exact same time.”
“In 1976 you had to be able to play music that people would dance to,” Roth continued. “They didn’t have sound systems in the local clubs or the local bars or the local gallerias. You had to have combos, you had to have bands, that’s where Van Halen started from.”
You can watch all of episode 15a below:
The following day Roth uploaded episode 15b of The New Roth Show titled “No Dying on the dance floor…” and continued to talk about Van Halen’s early club days.
“If you wanted to get a job in music you had to do five and or seven sets a night, 45 minutes, play every kind of possible music that you could because you were gonna play on a lotta lot of events and gigs and so forth that you had no idea,” said Roth. “The musicians who take the biggest beating on the stage are the vocalist and the drummer. I scream and yell and you gotta be aerobic. At the same time that drummer’s taking impact over and over. It’s like getting mildly tackled over and over again.”
“Van Halen ultimately was one of the best dance bands ever because you could play any sort of music with our crew. It could be funky and it could be chunky,” added Roth. “We could play the best of ZZ Top, we could play the best of Deep Purple. We found Black Sabbath material and Grand Funk Railroad material that was OUT OF THIS WORLD smokin’. More familiar material ‘Walk This Way’ [from Aerosmith] we played that three times a night. Van Halen was a 70s band who enjoyed our success and gave access to a whole lot of fellas who found resource and inspiration from what we did.”
While Roth talked about how Van Halen inspired other artists, he also talked of the artists who inspired him and his bandmates.
“Our inspirations were classic as Ziggy [Stardust/David Bowie], Freddie [Mercury], Eric [Clapton], Richie [Blackmore], Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones,” said Roth. “Then on the pop charts it was everybody that [guitarist and studio musician Tommy] Tedesco played with. It was The Wrecking Crew, it was Motown. Most of my heroes, almost all of them, wore suits to work and yes that included The Stones and The Beatles.”
Here is the entire July 4th episode of The New Roth Show: