People goof on David Lee Roth like it’s his fault he didn’t die in a car crash in 1982. Hipsters would be wearing tee-shirts with his face (and torso) on it today if he had, but Diamond Dave got old and weird; told all his jokes twice; lost his voice, hair.
But he had a voice: listen to this isolated track from Runnin’ With The Devil, especially when he screams at 1:20. Go listen. I’ll wait.
I remember having a disagreement with my 8th grade music teacher, Mrs. Ising. She said that the human throat could not produce two notes at the same time, and she was a tall lady who had perfect pitch (and enjoyed telling you about it) so I probably lost the argument. I did not know about the Tuvan throat singers at the time, or any number of non-Western traditions wherein people harmonize with themselves, but I did have every Van Halen record ever made–and two prized bootleg cassettes of their unreleased early demos–so I knew that David Lee Roth could hit both a head note and its overtone at the same time.
Now, I didn’t know those terms at the time. I did know that Dave looked like this:
And I figured that counted for something.
Oh, don’t do what you’re about to do.
I hereby call upon the Rock Nerds to critical reexamine David Lee Roth.
No one needs that.
And Rick Rubin needs to produce an album for him.
Please, God, no.
Call Pitchfork. This should be a longread. What is Jonathan Safran Foer doing?
What about Jonathan Lethem?
Congratulating Jonathan Safran Foer.
What about Jonathan Marquand?
You made him up.
He’ll work cheap.
Are we really doing Thoughts on Van Halen?
It’s come to this.