David Lee Roth drummer Francis Valentino says the most challenging of all DLR songs to perform is “Unchained”. The reason? Nothing stays the same.
Valentino, who was part of Roth’s shows on KISS’ End Of The Road World Tour in early 2020, was a recent guest on Paltrocast with Darren Paltrowitz. Paltrowitz asked Valentino to name the hardest DLR song to play.
“That would be ‘Unchained’ because of the wacky pre-chorus,” said the New Jersey native Valentino. “Other than that, they all kind of float the same. [Like] Patty’s Pizza [in New Jersey]. Once you have one slice they’re all kind of the same except for [‘Unchained’]. That’s a weird topping. The pre-chorus, for those who keep track of things within the songs, the pre-chorus is bizarre and that reoccurs under the solo so that’s the only little quirk that is, uh, it makes you think for a second.”
Valentino was part of Roth’s initial dates on KISS’ End Of The Road World Tour until COVID-19 postponed future dates in March 2020. Still in the Roth camp after touring restrictions lifted, Valentino was slated to be part of Roth’s rumored nine farewell concerts in Las Vegas. However, the first show of Roth’s Vegas residency was canceled about 1 day before its December 31, 2021 kick-off, with the following shows at the House Of Blues also called off days later. Following the cancellation of Roth-related touring, Valentino was summoned into the studio in 2022 alongside his DLR bandmates to re-record some of Roth’s hits from his Van Halen and solo days. Valentino is also rumored to have performed alongside Roth at a private gig or two, per a report published in Paltrowitz’s new book DLR Book: How David Lee Roth Changed The World.
Below is the entire interview with Valentino, who talks about how and when he wound up joining Roth’s band, how much material he had to learn versus what he knew how to play beforehand, and which of the Roth live shows he did was most important to him.