Van Halen’s David Lee Roth Teases Coming Out Of Retirement
David Lee Roth alluded to coming out of “retirement” and plans to return to the stage with a “Van Halen” tribute band after performing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico over the weekend.
The 67-year-old “Van Halen” lead singer was spotted leaving the Los Angeles International Airport where he admitted he was “only in the middle of my first retirement” months after canceling a Las Vegas residency due to the coronavirus.
Roth was the original vocalist of the hard rock band, which formed in the early ‘70s with late guitarist Eddie Van Halen, drummer Alex Van Halen, and bassist Mark Stone. Roth embarked on a solo career in 1985, and Sammy Hagar picked up on lead vocals.
The “Runnin’ with the Devil” singer was in high spirits after performing at a “birthday party for somebody who grew up” listening to the band.
When asked if Roth was going back on tour any time soon, he simply responded: “There’s always a tomorrow for a singer, not so much for a trombone player these days.” He added: “How many times did Rocky retire? Seven. I think No. 3 was my favorite? How many times did Rambo have to come out of retirement in order to make the sequel?”
Roth announced he was stepping away from the stage in October 2021, which would coincide with a string of shows in Las Vegas at the end of the year leading into 2022.
“I am throwing in the shoes. I’m retiring,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal at the time. “This is the first, and only, official announcement.”
When asked about the possibilities of a “Van Halen” tribute band, including Pink and guitarist Joe Satriani, Roth said: “Ya, I wrote the songs… I was the one who named the band.”
Roth’s retirement came early as he was scheduled to perform a string of send-off shows at the House of Blues in Las Vegas earlier this year, only for the performances to be canceled due to coronavirus concerns.
He previously postponed shows scheduled for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day and was scheduled to play a total of nine shows as part of his farewell to the stage.
The shows were scheduled to take place on Dec. 31, 2021, and Jan. 1, 5, 7, and 8 of 2022.
When asked if Roth will whisk himself away in another capacity as his Vegas shows were to be his final curtain call, Roth told Fox News Digital in a statement, “It’s not about me anymore. When the benefits for Kentucky, Colorado, and Farm Aid kick in; Call me.”
Roth said that the recent “departure of my beloved classmate” — a clear reference to the late Eddie Van Halen — had been on his mind when he announced his retirement in October.
He admitted that he expected to be “the first” member of Van Halen to pass away.
“‘Hey Ed, objects in the rear-view mirror are probably me,’” the musician said. “And my doctors, my handlers, compelled me to really address that every time I go on stage, I endanger that future.”
He explained that for 50 years, he gave audiences his all, as he would ask any performer on stage to do, “whether you come out with a ukulele or a marching band.”
Roth recalled his early days with the band when they’d be paid less than $200 per night, spending most of the money on gas.
“It was the Saturday Night Supper Club, we’d get there at 3 in the morning, and order everything on the menu, all three banana splits, the Grand Slam Breakfasts with the bacon, and the ones with the sausage,” Roth remembered. “We pulled two tables together… This cop came walking in — this was Cop Town — and asked, ‘Who are you all?’ I said, ‘Sir, we’re a rock ‘n’ roll band!’ He said, ‘Do you have enough money to pay for all this?’ And we all pulled our $125 green, crisp, sweat-through-your-[expletive]-shoes, money.”
“I just found some pants upstairs. I save some of the old clothes,” revealed the star, who was also known for colorful and fashion-forward outfits. “I was a size 29. Eddie was a size 26. That’s where we came from.”
“I’ve got a band that is doing what Al and I used to call a ‘block,’ that means 75 rehearsals for one show,” Roth said of his upcoming shows. “We are bringing it in classic VH style. Alex and I are the only versions, that was his message. There is no other variation. There is no torch being passed. There is no other side to this coin. This is classic, in-your-face Van Halen.”
He concluded by saying that his career has “been an amazing, great run,” adding that he has “no regrets, nothing to say about anybody.”
The rocker added: “I’ll miss you all. Stay frosty.”