‘I knew we were going to be back together’: Van Halen’s David Lee Roth remembers his solo-career detour

Share this:

Van Halen has been one big happy family over the past few years, as David Lee Roth returned for the well-received Different Kind of Truth album and tour. It wasn’t always that way, of course.

In fact, one of the most popular rock-music parlor games of the late 1980s involved determining which band was better — the then-Sammy Hagar-led Van Halen or Roth’s talent-packed solo bands.

With Hagar, the group notched its first-ever No. 1 album; in fact, Van Halen would issue four U.S. charttoppers over his 11 years in Roth’s stead. Meanwhile, Roth’s initial two solo albums — both featuring Steve Vai and Billy Sheehan — would go platinum in America.

Currently on tour again with Van Halen, Roth says he understands the impulse to compare the two groups, but that determining a “winner” in such contests is impossible.

“How do you really compete in music?” Roth says in this video. “How do you really say one record is better than another? You can say somebody is faster or slower, but you can’t really compete. I was frankly taken by surprise a little bit when the competition element between Van Halen and myself solo sprang up.”

Roth, who intially fronted Van Halen from 1973–1985, has been back in the fold since 2006. Truth represented his first studio collaboration with Van Halen, however, since 1984. The project debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard charts.

Not that any of that surprised Roth, despite the long lay over.

“The band and I knew that ultimately at some point,” Roth adds, “we were going to be back together again.”

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B006UG90RM” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00000345P” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00004Y6O9″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000002NAA” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00004Y6O3″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Something Else!

Something Else!

The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Something Else!
Share this:
Close