DAVID LEE ROTH On First VAN HALEN Album: ‘I Wrote The Songs, Every Word, Every Melody And Guitar Solos’

David Lee Roth

During his recent appearance on KSHE 95, David Lee Roth discussed debut VAN HALEN album, and whether he needed to ask for permission to perform it from Van Halen brothers ahead of his Vegas residency.

“No. I wrote the songs. I wrote every word you heard, every syllable, every melody. I structured out even the guitar solos on that first album,” he said.

“Why do you think the solos [later] changed so radically? I sang the solos for ‘Jamie’s Cryin” and ‘Runnin’ With The Devil’… I structured those songs. 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.'”

In July, Roth spoke about his decision to leave VAN HALEN in 1985 to pursue a solo career.

He said: “We have always hated each other, right up until the last phone call.”

“There were always creative differences,” Roth continued. “We never got along. It was a beautiful, beautiful pairing of… You’ve seen cowboy movies where the guys are always sabotaging each other but they’re working to somehow accomplish something. And I think you’ll see that in a lot of popular bands. They may have gotten through it, but I don’t know that we ever really grew up and became gentrified. Now, that may not be a good thing; a part of me remained 23 years old forever.”

Roth reunited with VAN HALEN in 2007 after 23 years apart and released a comeback album, “A Different Kind Of Truth”, in 2012.

VAN HALEN‘s perfect, and I always sensed that perfect would get back together — perfect in its imperfections,” David said. “Think of your most ruined jeans that barely are jeans. They’re your favorite because of the holes in ’em… Your favorite part of your cowboy boots is the f*cked up part… That kind of imperfection, we value that and we still have it — it’s in the music, and it makes the music more popular than ever.”

Asked if he could sit down with the Van Halen brothers today and have dinner, David said: “Nope. Not even close. Not even close. This is not a golf club. This is a little closer to ‘The Wild Bunch’. There is a fury and an antagonism, and what comes out of that is, when it’s good — oh, man.”