What a ride it was.
David Lee Roth returned to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast to take Rogan through more trips down Van Halen memory lane.
Roth talked about the perfect musical chemistry Van Halen, which came out of the hard rock side of Eddie and Alex Van Halen and the funk and soul side of Roth.
“[Eddie & Alex’s] music was all Led Zeppelin, Stones, The Who, Sabbath, like this,” said Roth. “Starting in the seventh grade youth club dance for me, that was all Motown. My later record collection was everything from Rick James and, ya know, the funk. I took Eddie Van Halen to his first black concert at the [LA] Forum – I think it was the only one that he ever went to – [it] was Earth, Wind & Fire. [It was in] 1976 when all the hits lifted up.”
As he continued to take Rogan through Van Halen early history Roth revealed that he still keeps in regular contact with Alex.
“I know Al is listening right now, we laugh like pirates on the phone,” said Roth.
Later in the clip Roth spoke with pride while he recalled the tireless work ethic and unique vocal chemistry of the band.
“We put in five years (of playing live) compared to your three,” said Roth. “It is really hardcore training and that’s where you build who you are. That’s where you develop your ingredients. When I was comin’ up in music, that was the regular. Every club, every bar had to have a live band. To afford the speakers and the turntable and the music, you had to have a live band. And you would tear off the left hand side of the Billboard chart and learn it.
“Alex and I went through a list just recently that we found of a 120 songs that we could play at the drop of a hat,” he continued. “[They were] by everybody you could imagine. From ‘Smoke On The Water’ to ‘Get Down Tonight’. That’s where we learned to sing. [sings] ‘Get down tonight! mm-dit-dit-dit, Get down tonight! We didn’t have keyboard so you better sing. You better sing the cover of that fuckin’ ball. That’s where Mike Anthony was so unique. His bass playing? Ya we could find bass players but nobody sounds like that. That’s Garfunkel. Simon’s good but Simon & Garfunkel...Where do you think you built that? Thousands and thousands of vocal training hours so that when Mike and I sing, you recognize it like Hendrix’s guitar.”
At the beginning of the interview Roth explained why he was missing a tooth, saying it happened during a recent fall off of his bike. The event is likely the same that Roth recently recreated through his artwork.
“I fell off my bike going zero miles an hour,” said Roth. “The seat was too high, my leg was too short. It was a deadly combination Joe.”
You can listen/view the entire interview through Spotify below: