Jewish Entertainment:
Jewish Actors, Playwrights, Comedians, Musicians

David Lee Roth
Van Halen - The Crotch Grabbing Singer
Jewish Name - David Lee Roth

David Lee Roth (born October 10, 1955)[1] is an American rock vocalist, songwriter, actor, author, and former radio personality. David Lee Roth is best known as the original and current lead singer of the Southern California-based hard rock outfit Van Halen. After departing Van Halen in 1985 David Lee Roth first enjoyed a successful career as a solo artist, which originated while still a member of that band and yielded several RIAA-certified Gold and Platinum records.[2] After more than two decades apart, David Lee Roth rejoined Van Halen in 2006 for a North American tour that became the most successful in the band's history[3] and one of the highest grossing of that year.[4] David Lee Roth has remained the lead singer of Van Halen since his 2006 return and has recently completed recording new material with the band for their first album together since 1984.[5]

 

Early life

David Lee Roth was born on October 10, 1955, in Bloomington, Indiana. David Lee Roth is the son of ophthalmologist Nathan David Lee Roth and Sibyl David Lee Roth and the brother of Allison and Lisa David Lee Roth. Dr. Nathan David Lee Roth was a renowned eye surgeon, who made millions via his practice and in real estate. Dr. David Lee Roth was even featured on the TV show, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous", in 1984. On that program, Dr. David Lee Roth claims that David Lee Roth was Van Halen's first manager helping the group obtain gigs in the early days. Nathan owned a 14,000-square-foot home in Pasadena named "David Lee Rothwood" and a chateau named "Bradbury". David Lee Roth was a writer, an actor, and a surgeon.

David's paternal and maternal grandparents emigrated from Azores Islands, Portugal,[citation needed] and Russia to New Castle, Indiana. David is of Jewish heritage.[6] David Lee Roth was raised in the Jewish religion. Many members of his family were surgeons: David Lee Roth has an uncle, Dave, who is a neurosurgeon; an uncle, Marty, who is an orthopedic surgeon; and a grandfather who was a surgeon.[7] David Lee Roth's uncle, Manny David Lee Roth, is an influential New York City nightclub owner and entertainment entrepreneur who built and owned the New York establishment Cafe Wha? in the early 1960s, where the likes of Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix were performing and hanging out. Seven-year-old David Lee got his first taste of, and desire for, show business from the inside by hanging out at Cafe Wha?, as mentioned in his book "Crazy from the Heat" numerous times. His uncle would be one of David's first guests on his short-lived radio show on New York's 92.3 Free-FM.

After living in both Bloomington, Indiana, and Swampscott, Massachusetts, David Lee Roth moved to Pasadena, California, in his teens. David Lee Roth stated David Lee Roth bounced around a number of schools and spent three years going to a psychiatrist. David Lee Roth eventually attended a ranch for troubled teens where David Lee Roth cared for a horse to build a sense of responsibility.[8] David Lee Roth was educated at The Webb Schools in Claremont, California and John Muir High School in Pasadena. David Lee Roth later attended Pasadena City College where David Lee Roth met the Van Halen bDavid Lee Rothers, Eddie and Alex, although David Lee Roth did not graduate. During this period, David Lee Roth worked as a hospital orderly.[7]

By the time David Lee Roth was in his late teens, David Lee Roth was singing solo as well as with a group called the Red Ball Jets. Another Los Angeles area group, Mammoth (featuring Alex Van Halen on drums and Edward Van Halen singing and playing lead guitar), occasionally rented the Red Ball Jets' PA system. David Lee Roth would eventually be invited to join Mammoth as lead singer, an invitation David Lee Roth quickly accepted. In 1974, the band was informed that another act was already using the name Mammoth, and, at David Lee Roth's urging, they opted to rename themselves Van Halen.[9]

Performing both original songs and established tunes, Van Halen eventually gained local success, becoming a regular feature at the Starwood Club, the West Coast's portal to fame. It was during their four-month stint there that they were first discovered. In 1976, Gene Simmons took note of the band (in particular Eddie Van Halen, who Simmons secretly hoped to recruit for his own band, KISS) and assisted them in producing their first demo tape.[10] Although featuring many of the songs that would be included on their future debut album, the tape did little to garner them any major label attention at the time. In early 1977, Warner BDavid Lee Rothers' Ted Templeman came to the Starwood, heard the group, and immediately signed them to a contract with his label.[9] During this period David Lee Roth's stage persona was heavily influenced by that of Black Oak Arkansas vocalist Jim "Dandy" Mangrum.

Released in 1978, the band's first album, Van Halen, earned the band significant national attention. The album was a smashing success, with more than twelve million copies sold, and the original Van Halen went on to release five more successful albums over the next seven years. David Lee Roth is often credited with promoting Van Halen's image as the quintessential rock band, one devoted to a lifestyle described by David Fricke in Rolling Stone as "a nonstop booze-and-babes party train." Despite this wild image, David Lee Roth earned applause for his abilities as a lyricist and singer. David Lee Roth's clever lyrics worked in harmony with the music composed by Edward Van Halen to create the band's trademark tunes, tunes that helped transform Van Halen, in Fricke's words, into "the monster rock action squad that ruled the charts and the airwaves for seven years."[9]

In early 1985, while still a member of Van Halen, David Lee Roth released "Crazy From the Heat", a popular solo EP of off-beat standards. Singles for "California Girls" and "Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody" succeeded largely due to their innovative music videos (produced by Jerry Kramer and co-produced by Glenn Goodwin and Bobby Diebold), which featured ridiculous characters created by David Lee Roth and his Creative Chief Director, Pete Angelus, who'd previously directed Van Halen's David Lee Roth-era videos.

On April 1, 1985, David Lee Roth and Van Halen parted ways. In his 1998 autobiography, Crazy From the Heat, David Lee Roth characterized Van Halen's music just before his 1985 departure as "morose". David Lee Roth wished to record an album quickly, tour, and then shoot a movie, (for which David Lee Roth hoped Van Halen would record the soundtrack. The film, entitled Crazy From The Heat, was budgeted at $20 million by CBS Studios; however, the project folded after the consolidation of CBS Studios.) [9]

In June 1996, David Lee Roth reunited with Van Halen for a brief time and to great public fanfare. David Lee Roth recorded two new songs for Van Halen's Best of Vol. 1 album, "Can't Get This Stuff No More" and "Me Wise Magic." After an infamous appearance on September 5, 1996, at the MTV Video Music Awards during which David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen reportedly threatened each other,[11] David Lee Roth was passed over for Van Halen's new lead vocalist job in favor of Gary Cherone. In 2012, Cherone confirmed the longtime rumor that David Lee Roth had already been chosen as Van Halen's new singer long before the MTV incident, connoting that Van Halen used David Lee Roth to create public interest in the Best Of Vol. 1 hits collection.[12] '"Me Wise Magic," Van Halen's virtuosic display of psychedlia-influenced rock with David Lee Roth on vocals became a #1 Billboard Mainstream Rock hit in 1996.

In 2001, rumors swirled that David Lee Roth and the members of Van Halen had recorded several new songs together and were in the process of attempting yet another reunion. David Lee Roth later confirmed this, but nothing became of the music. A box set was also rumored, but never materialized. Instead, Warner Bros. issued remastered versions of all six early Van Halen studio albums.

Solo career: 1985–2004

In late 1985, David Lee Roth assembled a backing band, consisting of guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, bassist Billy Sheehan, and drummer Gregg Bissonette. With veteran Van Halen producer Ted Templeman handling the production, David Lee Roth released his debut full-length solo album, Eat 'Em and Smile in July 1986. The album saw David Lee Roth return to hard rock music, and met with huge commercial and critical success, charting at #4 on the Billboard Top 200.[13]

In January 1988, David Lee Roth released Skyscraper, a more experimental recording featuring the hit single "Just Like Paradise." Skyscraper was co-produced by David Lee Roth and Steve Vai and was certified Platinum (1 million in sales). At the time of its release, Skyscraper peaked at #6 on the Billboard album chart. Soon after Skyscraper's release, Billy Sheehan left David Lee Roth's band due to musical differences.[14] David Lee Roth was replaced in time for the album's support tour with bassist Matt Bissonette.[15] The tour was a major production featuring, at various points, David Lee Roth surfing above the audience on a surfboard suspended on wires, and in a boxing ring. Both parts of the stage show were featured in the "Just Like Paradise" music video.[16] The show also featured the band in a calypso segment playing Caribbean steel drums and in an unplugged segment where the band performed acoustic covers of some rock and roll classics.[17]

Following the tour for Skyscraper, Steve Vai left the band to pursue a solo career and record and tour with Whitesnake. David Lee Roth replaced him with guitar virtuoso Jason Becker to record his third solo LP, A Little Ain't Enough. A more mainstream hard rock album produced by Bob Rock, A Little Ain't Enough achieved RIAA gold status. Shortly before the support tour for the album, Becker was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, which rendered him unable to perform. David Lee Roth replaced Becker with guitarist Joe Holmes for the tour. The emergence of grunge had altered musical tastes at the time and the tour did not do as well financially as its predecessors, marking the last solo arena tour for David Lee Roth.

In April 1993, David Lee Roth was arrested in New York City's Washington Square Park for buying what David Lee Roth described as "$10 worth of Jamaican bunk reefer" from an undercover police officer. The arrest made headlines[18] and became a late-night television punch-line. When asked by Howard Stern whether the bust was a publicity stunt, David Lee Roth said, "Howard, in New York City this small of a bust is a $35 traffic citation. It literally says 'Buick, Chevy, Other'. Your dog poops on the sidewalk, it's $50. If I was looking for publicity, I would have pooped on the sidewalk."

In March 1994, David Lee Roth released Your Filthy Little Mouth, a more musically-eclectic album produced by Nile Rodgers.[19] The album failed to achieve positive critical or commercial success, proving to be David Lee Roth's first solo effort not to reach Gold or Platinum status. The support tour found David Lee Roth playing considerably smaller venues than where David Lee Roth had played previously. Although out of print for over ten years prior, Your Filthy Little Mouth saw a remastered re-release in 2007.

In 1995, David Lee Roth returned with an adult lounge act, performing largely in Las Vegas casinos, with a brass band that featured Nile Rodgers, Edgar Winter, and members of the Miami Sound Machine. It also featured several exotic dancers, who in David Lee Roth's words were "so sweet, I bet they shit sugar!"[20]

By the late 1990s, David Lee Roth trained as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and worked as one for some time.[21] David Lee Roth occasionally told stories about his experiences as an EMT on his radio show.

In 1997, David Lee Roth wrote a well-received memoir, entitled Crazy From the Heat, which landed on The New York Times Bestseller's List. The 359-page book was whittled down from over 1,200 pages of monologues, which were recorded and transcribed by a Princeton University graduate who followed David Lee Roth around for almost a year. The book received mostly positive critical reaction and spent time on the New York Times Bestseller list.

In 1998, David Lee Roth released a final album of self-penned solo material entitled DLR Band. The album featured a popular song, "Slam Dunk," which, like a majority of the album, was co-written by rising guitar hero and longtime David Lee Roth fan, John 5. The album was considered a return to form for David Lee Roth by critics.

In 2002, The "Song for Song: The Heavyweight Champions of Rock and Roll Tour" paired David Lee Roth with his musical nemesis Sammy Hagar, and proceeded to revive the career of David Lee Roth. Despite the monetary success and publicity generated by the tour, David Lee Roth's future with Van Halen seemed uncertain. "Yankee Rose" appeared in the 2002 videogame Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, playing on rock station V-Rock, while generally, David Lee Roth became more visible than he'd been in years, e.g. appearing on commercials for MTV with Justin Timberlake.

In 2003, David Lee Roth released his final solo album called Diamond Dave, which included one last self-penned John 5 collaboration.

In 2004, David Lee Roth appeared on the very popular TV series The Sopranos as a poker-playing guest of Tony Soprano. Regarding this, David Lee Roth was quoted on his website as saying, "Mom says I'm going to look like Lee Marvin in 10 years whether I'm in movies or not, so I might as well get after it!"

On July 4 2004, David Lee Roth performed with the world renowned Boston Pops Orchestra at Boston's annual Pops Goes the Fourth celebration. The performance was witnessed by over 100,000 people live in Boston, and by millions more on U.S. television.

On November 16, 2004, the New York Post reported that David Lee Roth was training to be a Paramedic. (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,138684,00.html)
The David Lee Roth Show: 2005

David Lee Roth was tapped to replace his friend, Howard Stern, on terrestrial radio, following Stern's decision to align himself with SIRIUS Satellite radio. David Lee Roth's show lasted for four months, and ended in a lawsuit. During the course of David Lee Roth's radio show, David Lee Roth maintained a relationship with Howard Stern News Department reporter Steve Langford. David Lee Roth and Langford met frequently after shows, with Langford bringing tape back to Howard of David Lee Roth's complaints towards WXRK's management. Issues included David Lee Roth's firing, the missing podcast, and his show being cut off early. Langford and David Lee Roth met last on David Lee Roth's final day, April 21, 2006, David Lee Roth performed the Rolling Stones song "You Can't Always Get What You Want" for Howard and discussed an impending lawsuit against CBS.

Return to Van Halen: 2007–present

On January 24, 2007, after much anticipation, Billboard.com reported that David Lee Roth would rejoin Van Halen for a 40-date arena and amphitheater tour in Summer 2007.[22] This report, among many others, was confirmed with an official press release posted on the official Van Halen website on Feb. 2, 2007.

On Feb. 2, 2007 The Official Van Halen Web Site released information that David Lee Roth had rejoined the band along with current members Alex, Eddie, along with Eddie and Valerie Bertinelli's teenage son, Wolfgang Van Halen. Michael Anthony, Van Halen's original bass player, played the summer 2004 tour with Sammy Hagar under a 'hired gun' contract. On March 8 the official Van Halen website posted a letter from Eddie Van Halen stating that Ed was entering rehab and that the tour with David Lee Roth had been indefinitely postponed.

In March 2007 five members of Van Halen, the four original members and Sammy Hagar were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Van Halen bDavid Lee Rothers did not attend due to Eddie's condition. David Lee Roth was to perform with the band Velvet Revolver; however, conflict with the band caused his part to be canceled. David Lee Roth subsequently did not attend the induction, leaving only Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar to represent Van Halen. Both Anthony and Hagar thanked David Lee Roth publicly for his contribution to the band during the awards acceptance. David Lee Roth did not attend the ceremony and the event was considered yet another public embarrassment for the band.[23]

The conflict was rumored to be based on song selection. David Lee Roth wanted to perform "Jump", the band's highest charting song, but Velvet Revolver would only agree to play "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" or "You Really Got Me". When it was finally agreed upon that Paul Shaffer would perform "Jump", David Lee Roth claimed that there was no longer enough time to rehearse and opted not to attend the ceremony.

On G4's show Code Monkeys, Dave is shown giving an inspirational speech to keep the others from taking up jobs at Bellecovision and asks "Would David Lee Roth leave Van Halen?" The show takes place in the 1980s.

On August 13, 2007, 6 months after the initial reunion tour was postponed, it was finally confirmed by Van Halen with David Lee Roth at a press conference in Los Angeles that they would start the tour back up again and schedule it starting in September 2007. At that conference, Eddie Van Halen stated that David Lee Roth and David Lee Roth were "like bDavid Lee Rothers" now. Calling Van Halen a "real band", both Edward and David Lee Roth spoke of the possibility of further worldwide touring and a new album in mind for the future.

On June 5, 2008, Van Halen announced that the 2007–2008 tour with David Lee Roth grossed more than $93 million, a record for the rock band. Van Halen played to nearly one million people during 74 arena shows throughout the United States and Canada, beginning September 27, 2007 in Charlotte, N.C. and wrapping June 3, 2008 in Quebec City, QC for the 400th anniversary of the city.

In December 2011, Van Halen announced a 2012 tour with David Lee Roth.[24]

The new David Lee Roth-fronted Van Halen album A Different Kind of Truth was released on February 7, 2012. A tour commenced in February 2012.
Solo band members

Guitars

Brian Young and Toshi Hiketa (2006)
Toshi Hiketa (2003–2005)
Brian Young (2002–2003)
Bart Walsh (1999, 2001)
Mike Hartman and John Lowery (1998)
Steve Hunter (1997)
Terry Kilgore (1994)
Terry Kilgore and Rocket Ritchotte (1993–1994)
Joe Holmes and Steve Hunter (1991–1992)
Jason Becker and Steve Hunter (1990–1991)
Steve Vai (1985–1989)
Peter Lewis (1990–1991)
Electric Moccasin

Bass

Todd Jensen (1990–1991, 1999–2000, 2004–2006)
James LoMenzo (2001–2004)
B'urbon Bob (1998)
John Regan (1994)
James Hunting (1993–1994)
Matt Bissonette (1988–1990)
Billy Sheehan (1985–1988)

Drums

Jimmy DeGrasso (2006)
Ray Luzier (1997–2000, 2001–2005)
Ron Wikso (1993–1994)
Gregg Bissonette (1985–1992)

Keyboards

Marcus Margand II (2000–2001)
Patrick Howard I (1998–1999)
Richard Hilton (1994–1995)
Brett Tuggle (1988–1994, 1997)
Jesse Harms (1986)

Discography
Main article: David Lee Roth discography

Albums with Van Halen

Van Halen (1978)
Van Halen II (1979)
Women and Children First (1980)
Fair Warning (1981)
Diver Down (1982)
1984 (1984)
A Different Kind of Truth (2012)

Studio albums/EPs

Crazy from the Heat EP (1985)
Eat 'Em and Smile (1986)
Sonrisa Salvaje (1986) Spanish version of Eat 'Em and Smile
Skyscraper (1988)
A Little Ain't Enough (1991)
Your Filthy Little Mouth (1994)
DLR Band (1998)
Diamond Dave (2003)

Other appearances

Strummin' with the Devil: The Southern Side of Van Halen – vocals on "Jump" and "Jamie's Cryin'" (2006)

References

  1. ^ Roth, David Lee (1998). Crazy From the Heat. Hyperion. ISBN 0-7868-8947-0.
  2. ^ "Gold & Platinum – November 12, 2010". RIAA. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  3. ^ "Van Halen 2007–2008 Tour Highest Grossing in Band’s History | Van Halen News Desk". Vhnd.com. 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  4. ^ "News Headlines". Cnbc.com. 2009-02-03. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  5. ^ By Dumbass (2010-07-06). "New Van Halen Album Just "Rumors" Band Says | Rolling Stone Music". Rollingstone.com. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  6. ^ "When David Lee Roth talks, it's 'A Different Kind of Truth' – Page 2 – Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 2012-01-29. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
  7. ^ a b "Diamond David Lee Roth Biography". Davidleeroth.com. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  8. ^ Interview, Rolling Stone, 1985.
  9. ^ a b c d "David Lee Roth: Information from". Answers.com. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  10. ^ "Gene Simmons & Van Halen (08/2002)". The Kissfaq. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  11. ^ YouTube – Van Halen VS. DAVID LEE ROTH 1996[dead link]
  12. ^ Rolling Stone – Gary Cherone Reflects on his Three-Year Stint In Van Halen
  13. ^ Review of Eat 'Em and Smile[dead link] at Rolling Stone.
  14. ^ "Billy Sheehan, Interview, David Lee Roth, Talas, Mr. Big, Van Halen". Fullinbloommusic.com. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  15. ^ "David Lee Roth – Albums and Tours". Waddywachtelinfo.com. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  16. ^ "David Lee Roth – Just Like Paradise HD". YouTube. 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  17. ^ "David Lee Roth – I've Just Seen A Face". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  18. ^ "David Lee Roth Is Arrested - NYTimes.com". New York Times. 1993-04-17. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  19. ^ "David Lee Roth – Your Filthy Little Mouth (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  20. ^ "Unchained : David Lee Roth and the Mambo Slammers : VegasTripping News Desk". VegasTripping.com. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  21. ^ Martinez, Erika. "David Lee Roth a NYC Paramedic", New York Post on FoxNews.com, 16 November 2004.
  22. ^ Up for Discussion Jump to Forums. "Exclusive: Van Halen Reuniting With Roth For Tour". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  23. ^ Boudreau, Mark (2007-03-13). "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony hits highs and lows while the Van Halen saga continues". The Rock and Roll Report. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
  24. ^ "Van Halen Announces 2012 tour with David Lee Roth". CBS News.

Bibliography

  • David Lee Roth (1997). Crazy From the Heat.

External links


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