WHY ROTH LEFT VAN HALEN
This is a partial transcript from The Howard Stern Show from 12 July 1992 with Dave. This was the first time Dave has stated why he left VH in full. Also, Dave talks about his father's kidnapping. (Special thanks to Slawterhouse)
DLR: Well, the reason that I left Van Halen wasn't based on money at all. It was a completely artistic thing.
Howard Stern: It was not.
DLR: Well, no. I'll say it for the first time here, ever, on a radio interview.
HS: Wait a minute. Say that without using the F word.
DLR: I want it to sound just as serious as it actually was.
HS: The reason you left Van Halen was why? Without using the F word.
DLR: Because they were completely stoned all the time. How do you make music with someone who has a hangover or is copping a buzz on a regular basis?
DLR: You've got kids, right?
DLR: Would you like your daughter to spend any amount of time with somebody who's constantly hung over or constantly coppin' a buzz?
HS: And he's in Van Halen? Let me think about it. My daughter gets to be with the guy, but he always has a buzz... There's ups and downs to everything.
DLR: You've got to think about it in a personal context. The first time that Edward graduated from Betty Ford I called and said "hey, you remember when I said when you get your act together then maybe we can do it?" ...and I'm no saint, and then the second time that he graduated from Betty Ford I tried to call and I got his manager. He called back and said "If you want to talk to those guys you talk to me". Then the third time that he graduated from Betty Ford I called and said "Guys, this is what we talked about if we get back out on the line then we go". I didn't leave Van Halen to pursue some movie career, that would be crazy.
HS: Look at David. How proud he is...
DLR: This is the very first time I've ever done it. I've always said "Aw, it was musical differences, and aw, it was this, and aw, it was that".
HS: Something about Eddie playing keyboards I kept hearing...
DLR: Nonsense. Then you've got Sammy Hagar, who at best is a mediocre talent...
HS: I agree with that. I'll rate him lower than mediocre...
DLR: And Sammy would sell the property rights to his butthole to get fame.
DLR: Because he was a complete failure till he got with the Van Halen bunch.
DLR: And he does all the talking...
DLR: You've got someone who's enfeebled himself with dope and alcohol who's gonna go along with the situation.
DLR: But you know what, Howard, there is a God. Because I left and I said "I really want to make music and I'll take a cut if that's necessary to be an artist". But listen to this. The last album sold a million and a half, theirs sold a little more than that, but I don't break it up five ways.
HS: You got a point there.
DLR: It's not even something I really thought about, but lo and behold, there is a God.
HS: Well, let's face it. When you were with Van Halen that was THE group. That was a great group.
DLR: It still could be a great group. It still absolutely could.
HS: You think you might get back together with those guys?
DLR: I've been saying it for years. Guys, get on track, here. We could make history again.
HS: I hate Sammy Hagar, period.
DLR: Well, Sammy is a mindless little bridge-troll drone. You know, everything that comes out of his mouth is word-barf. You know? It's the lowest common denominator. It's meant for children. Jimi Hendrix never made music for children. Children may have loved it, but he never made music like "Hey, the 14-year-olds will love this". The guys in Led Zeppelin and the Beatles never said "I'm gonna aim this at the 12-year-olds".
HS: Why are you talking about this now?
DLR: I've always backed off and said "Hey, we had our differences" but they keep slammin' me and slammin' me.
HS: They are still slamming the good name of David Lee Roth.
DLR: Yeah, you know, Sammy is my boy. He works for me.
HS: That's right.
DLR: He's my bitch, and when he says my name we just sell that many more records.
DLR: Somebody tried to kidnap my father with a gun not terribly long ago.
HS: Is that right?
DLR: Yeah, you buy the land, you get the indians and not all the indians are friendly.
HS: Right, right...
DLR: A few things like that happen to you and you simmer way down.
HS: You mean they actually went to his house and tried to abduct him?
DLR: Yeah, you know, walked into his office.
HS: For ransom or something?
DLR: You bet. Yeah, and the guy got killed in a shootout about two weeks later.
HS: What do you mean he got killed in a shootout?
DLR: He got shot in Highland Park. He had a shootout with the police.
HS: For something else?
DLR: No, no, the police were chasing him.
DLR: Oh yeah.
HS: The guy who tried to kidnap your father was killed over that?
DLR: Yes, he was.
HS: That's a fascinating story.
DLR: You know, people ask "Dave, where are you in-between albums"?
HS: Laying pretty low.
DLR: Yeah, cause I ride my bicycle around on the streets. I'm not hiding in back rooms.
HS: Yeah, I got you...
DLR: People say "Dave, haven't heard from you" and it's because when I'm not making music I disappear. I evaporate. It's only been 12 or 14 months...
HS: That's a frightening story, that someone tried to take your father.
DLR: Makes you aware. We get all kinds of characters. I had some gal calling herself Yankee Rose who sent out wedding invitations all over the world that we were getting married in the football stadium in Rio De Janero. I was getting phone calls from Japan going "Dave san, finally you do this".
HS: You're kidding...
DLR: People from all over the place R.S.V.P.-ing. "I can't make the wedding, but I want to be at the bachelor party".
HS: How did the cops catch this guy who was trying to get your father?
DLR: They tracked him down. Evidently they had a little bit of history on him. They tracked him down and threw him in the Pasadena lockup. He stayed there for six or seven nights. When he was coming out of the jail to be transported to central a couple of his buddies busted him out. Stole the cop's guns, busted him out and they caught up to them about five days later. He died under a Toyata.
HS: Well, good for him. That's good. What a happy ending. You should write a song about that.
DLR: Well, you know. You wanted to know what happens in-between albums.