News Segment


June 25, 2004

Apparently, the bad boy of rock ‘n’ roll is looking to clean up his act.

Former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth has announced his intentions to add the unlikely title of emergency medical technician to his hard-rockin’ rsum, according to the New York Daily News.

Roth, 48, has reportedly relocated from his estate in Pasadena, California, and taken up residence in an apartment on New York’s Lower East Side, where he reports for EMT training several days a week.

The rocker says he hopes to earn his certification by November, at which point he plans to try to volunteer one weekend a month. He’s training under New York safety consultant Linda Reissman, who, he joked, “has a rsum as long as your femur.”

“I want to be working in the outer boroughs,” Roth told the Daily News. “This city promises great color and insight in each and every neighborhood. On the Upper East Side, it’s gonna be heart attacks and stomachaches. But in other areas, it’s all trauma.”

The “Runnin’ with the Devil” singer claims that his medical aspirations are not as far-fetched as they may seem.

“I used to be a surgical orderly in South Central, L.A.,” Roth said. “I started that when I got out of junior college in the early ’70s, and that led to a variety of things in the outdoor medical fire force and training with the Green Berets.”

It also seems that medicine runs in the Roth family. “My father was a surgeon and uncles and my cousin were also in the medical community, so I come by it natural,” the singer explained.

Bearing that reassuring fact in mind, we’re sure Diamond Dave will make a great EMT.

The rocker’s career reinvention may be a reaction to his former band’s current tour–on which Roth’s replacement, Sammy Hagar, is pulling lead singer duty with original members Eddie and Alex Van Halen and Mike Anthony.

Two years ago, Roth and Hagar shared headlining duties on the Song for Song: The Heavyweight Champs of Rock and Roll tour, unofficially known as the “Sans Halen” tour. However, the dueling frontmen apparently didn’t hit it off–Hagar said he would never take the stage with Roth again after witnessing some of his off-color antics.

Roth fans expressed mixed reactions to the rocker’s reinvention tactics on the Roth Army Forum message boards.

“Always learning, always giving, always funny and always inspiring!!!!” wrote a poster by the name of Northern Girl.

But poster meanstreet disagreed. “Not inspiring news at all. It’s like being a lawyer for 30 years and then deciding to work at a McDonald’s to ‘help out.’ Do you honestly think Dave would be doing this if his solo career was stellar or he was back in VH? No way, it’s the end of the road…”

Despite his seemingly noble aspirations, it’s possible that Roth has other motivations for becoming an EMT beyond simply helping mankind.

“My dream would be to save a Scandinavian hikerette,” the rocker admitted to the Daily News.

Sarah Hall courtesy of E! Online