David Lee Roth Takes Most of the Credit for Van Halen’s Success
David Lee Roth is planning to include some of Van Halen’s biggest hits in his upcoming Las Vegas residency. When asked if he asked for permission from the Van Halen brothers to perform the songs, the singer did not mince words.
“No. I wrote the songs. I wrote every word you heard, every syllable, every melody," Roth insisted during an interview with St. Louis radio station KSHE 95. "I structured out even the guitar solos on that first album. Why do you think the solos [later] changed so radically? I sang the solos for 'Jamie's Cryin'' and 'Runnin' With the Devil.'”
The frontman also declared that his Van Halen contributions went beyond music. “I designed the backgrounds on the stage. I came up with the album covers. I thought of the stripes on the guitar. I'm the one who said, 'Call it Van Halen.’”
The legendary vocalist was clearly excited to discuss his Vegas residency, especially his backing band, which he says he's dubbed Horses of God. “We do not sound like Van Halen live. You have not heard this,” Roth confidently declared. “Van Halen live is lead [guitar], bass, drums, sing. Here, we start with three, four guitars, and we bring it with an unforgiving attitude. We're not up here strumming with the devil. This is not some tribute band.”
The Vegas residency runs two separate stints in January and March of 2020. Roth suggested that those who cannot make the trip to Sin City should keep an eye out for future tour dates. “Once we get this up and rolling, then, of course, we're going to start to take this out on the road.”
Listen to Roth's full interview with KSHE 95 below.