DAVID LEE ROTH: 'I'm Only In The Middle Of My First Retirement'

May 31, 2022

David Lee Roth has hinted that he will take part in an all-star VAN HALEN tribute project with Alex Van Halen and Joe Satriani.

Last month, Satriani confirmed to the "Rock Of Nations With Dave Kinchen" classic rock show that the trio has been in regular contact over the past year "about doing something — a tour, something like that — that was gonna be a true tribute to [late VAN HALEN guitarist] Eddie [Van Halen] and the VAN HALEN legacy," he said.

The 65-year-old guitarist addressed the rumor just days after former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted revealed to The Palm Beach Post that he was approached by the VAN HALEN drummer about six months earlier about playing bass for the project. Newsted told the Florida newspaper that he agreed to go to California to jam with Alex and Joe and see if it felt right, but he eventually realized that it would be impossible to do justice to VAN HALEN's legacy. "How could you?" Jason said. "There's nobody that can top it, so how do you show it honor? I didn't want it to be viewed as a money grab. And then it kind of just all fizzled."

Roth, who announced he was stepping away from the stage in October 2021, talked about his participation in a possible VAN HALEN tribute tour when he was spotted earlier this week by Fox News leaving the Los Angeles International Airport. Asked if he was going back on tour any time soon, the 67-year-old VAN HALEN frontman 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?"

When asked about the possibilities of a VAN HALEN tribute band, including Satriani, Roth said: "Ya, I wrote the songs … I was the one who named the band."

He added: "I'm only in the middle of my first retirement."

In January, Roth canceled the remaining farewell shows he was set to play at the House Of Blues at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a February 2020 interview with StarTribune, Roth openly wondered whether his first tour since VAN HALEN completed its 2015 run of shows would be the last time he would perform.

"I'm calling it 'The Last Tour'," he said at the time, "and then underneath it in parentheses: 'Unless It Isn't'. ... At my age, everything is a possible farewell tour."

"It's been a long great trip, a long great run," he continued. "But this kind of music requires the kind of energy that people in their 20s bring. You know what NFL stands for: Not For Long. It's similar in rock. I remember the days when we would stand around and say, 'Let's go have a cigarette.' And that's what we did: Four guys having one cigarette. I remember those days. They go by fast, so enjoy them while you're in them."

In February/March 2020, Roth performed as the opening act for the North American leg of KISS's "End Of The Road" farewell tour.

Roth's 2020 Vegas residency wasn't the first time he had set up shop in Sin City. Back in 1995, David completed a Las Vegas engagement at Bally's Hotel and Casino and another short run at MGM Grand.

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