‘Don’t break into the house and try to steal them’: Van Halen’s David Lee Roth on gold records, good times

The latest episode of the Roth TV shows finds David Lee Roth giving a brief tour of the long hallway that leads across the length of the second-floor in flamboyant Van Halen frontman’s mansion — affectionately known as the Mojo Dojo.

As Roth walks toward his bedroom, he surrounded on both sides by framed records — one after another after another.

“You can see in the background, as we’re passing by,” he says, “that these are all of the gold and platinum records that I’ve earned over the years. Don’t break into the house and try to steal them; they’re worth nothing, except sentimental value. In fact, I think they’re just plastic Frank Sinatra records, or something, that have the little plaque on them.”

[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: When compiling our list of the suckingest Van Halen ever, it would have been easy to pick on the Gary Cherone stuff. Would you believe none of his songs made the cut?]

Van Halen’s eponymous 1978 debut went gold and then platinum in America, beginning a string of six straight through the end of Roth’s initial tenure with the group in 1984. Every one of the Roth-era albums also went at least gold in Canada, while the band also scored either gold or platinum records in the UK, France and Germany, among others.

As a solo artist, Roth added a platinum record and two gold records in America between 1986-1991, along with two UK golds and a Canadian gold. His 1985 debut EP also went platinum in the states. Fast forward to Roth’s return to Van Halen last year, and A Different Kind of Truth went gold in Canada, too.

“The joke was, for a long time,” Roth continues, still walking past the shiny awards, “that if I got the pretty girl to walk all the way, the entire length of the hall way, and she saw all of these records, it would cut my foreplay time neatly in half.”

Roth starts this episode of the Roth show, his ninth, with a raucous version of Steely Dan’s “My Old School.” The rest of this typically wacky installment — titled “The Ballad of Rikidozan” — focuses on the initial influx of American-style wrestling on post-war Japan.

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