David Lee Roth announces retirement after five upcoming Las Vegas shows & hints his time is short
David Lee Roth announces his retirement after five upcoming Las Vegas shows & hints his time is short
The Van Halen News Desk has received some very heavy news as Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth has announced in an audio statement today that he is retiring after his five scheduled shows in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA that run from December 31, 2021 to January 8, 2022. You can listen to Roth‘s audio statement via the Van Halen News Desk website.
Roth states the following in his audio statement (as transcribed by Sleaze Roxx):
“We’re celebrating our 50th anniversary, Alex [Van Halen] and I of arguing, plotting and planning together. I showed up… Geez. I graduated in ’72 and a few months later, we were making music in his parents’ house. We started working in clubs, in bars. The work started coming pretty fast and furious. We’d play five 45 minute sets a night and we would play four nights a week. OK. We would put all the materials into our cars, our vans, and we would pullover sometimes depending on the weather. you’d change that electric [inaudible]. you’d put a bass drum up on top of the car and you could wipe the rain off it. Electrics, not so much. We stopped eating right after high school. All the money went into the gas tank and I remember the sandwich that Al Van Halen would have half in his mouth. the other half, he would just hand me when he got into my car. We would drive around the corner to the villa where the gas station was and we would both get out of the car so we could go through both of our pockets for every coin we had to go through and put it in the gas tank.
We made $120 per night and we worked four nights a week, and we would get paid on Saturday nights. And we would go with our girlfriends; we were always within two hours of getting back to base here. The only place in Pasadena [California, USA] that was open was the Denny’s. It’s 1973, ’74, ’75, ’76. And we would pull in for what we called the ‘Saturday Supper Club’ and we would get there at three in the morning and order everything on the menu. Everything — all three banana splits, the slam dunk breakfast with the bacon and then the one with the sausage, and you’d get all the kinds of pasta and just extra ketchups, and extra sugars, and extra [inaudible] packs, and everything we could. We would pull two tables together — always the same ones in the back and just — it looked like one of those double album feasts. It was amazing! At first, the old ladies were horrified! It’s 1973.
I remember — I just shared it with Al — he told it back to me before I asked him to remember it [laughs]. The cop came walking in — and this was ‘Cop Town’ — and he came in and said, ‘Who are you all?’ He looked right at me. Remember what we looked like. And I said, ‘Sir, we’re a rock and roll band.’ He said, ‘You all got enough money to pay for this?’ We said, ‘Yes sir, we do.’ He said, ‘Show me the money.’ And we all pulled our $125 green crisp ‘sweat through your fucking shoes’ money. ‘Here it is.’ He said, ‘OK. OK.’ And he took two steps. I remember like it was yesterday, last night. He took two steps, turned around and said, ‘You make sure you pay these ladies. You give ’em, you give ’em a good tip you all.’ And we did ’cause only people that stiff you on the tip is rich folks. Hard working — knows who’s hard working. And the ladies would giggle and they’d say, ‘Here comes the ‘Saturday Supper Club.’ And they’d act like little girls. ‘Run that little pitty pant dance like you’re ten years old, and they’re in their 70s.
We would eat, and eat, and eat, and we know tomorrow is Sunday so every butter patty, every ketchup, every napkin, every paper cup was carefully put into the bags and taken home and you would spend all Sunday eating, ’cause on Monday, it’s back to practice and singers don’t eat. Tuesday’s practice. Wednesday, I’ll see you at 9:15. ‘Hi, my name is Dave. These are the Van Halen brothers. You know Mike [Anthony]. We’re going to put some smoke on your fuckin’ water.’ And we would, we did for five and a half years, OK? I just found some pants upstairs. I saved some of the old clothes. I wore size 29. Eddie was size 26. That’s my beginnings, OK? That’s how I’ve run there and I’m running up here today with the departure of my beloved classmate recently — Ed [Van Halen].
Al and I have been talking. I can’t speak for him just yet. I spoke to him. He knows everything that I am about to tell you. I am encouraged and compelled to really come to grips with how short — and my time is probably even shorter. I thought that I might go first frankly. I might have thought but the Marlboro man got me. Hey Ed — objects in the rear-view mirror — probably me. And my doctors, my handlers compel me to really address that every time that I go on that stage, I endanger that future. I know that when I sit in the audience, all I ask, whether you come out with a ukulele or a marching band, all I ask is that you give me everything that you got to give. That’s what I did for the last 50 years and err, I’m throwing in the shoes. I’m retiring. this is the first and only official announcement. Al, my handlers, you’ve got the news. Share it with the world. I’m not going to explain the statement. The explanation is in the statement.
These are my last five shows. I’ve got a band that’s doing what Al and I used to call a ‘block’ — 75 rehearsals for one show. The warm up for one somersault is the same for ten. So we’re going to bring it in classic VH style. Alex and I are the only version. that was his message. There is no other variation. There is no torch being passed. There is no other side of this ‘heads up, tail’ coin. This is classic in your face Van Halen and we’re going to be playing to you for the rest of your time and your great grandchildren. I gave you all I had to give. It’s been an amazing great run. No regrets. Nothing bad to say about anybody. I miss you all. Stay frosty.”