David Lee Roth on ‘Unforgiving’ Touring Life: ‘It Kills People’
Currently opening up for Kiss, David Lee Roth is wondering if his first tour since Van Halen got off the road in 2015 is the last time he'll perform.
“I’m calling it ‘The Last Tour,’ ” he joked to the StarTribune, “and then underneath it in parentheses: ‘Unless It Isn’t.’ ... At my age, everything is a possible farewell tour.”
He added that the time he's put in has taught him to not take anything for granted anymore. “I’m a 40,000-hour man now, and I’m guessing the fellas in Kiss are 50,000-hour men now,” he said. “With all those hours [of work experience] comes confidence, but also a good, healthy fear of what reality can really bring for you, consequently an intense appreciation of being able to do what we do for a living. I know a lot of people who hate what they do for a living.”
“It’s been a long great trip, a long great run," he continued. "But this kind of music requires the kind of energy that people in their 20s bring. You know what NFL stands for: Not For Long. It’s similar in rock. I remember the days when we would stand around and say, ‘Let’s go have a cigarette.’ And that’s what we did: Four guys having one cigarette. I remember those days. They go by fast, so enjoy them while you’re in them.”
His decision to return to his solo career, first with the Las Vegas residency and now on the Kiss tour, came from having "waited five years" for another trek with Van Halen, "and now it’s time [for me] to shine."
Roth refused to speculate on why the 2019 stadium tour he talked about never materialized. He only said, "You know what I know” and admitted that he doesn't know about the health status of Eddie Van Halen.
“Ed, God bless him, may have a fair amount of time ahead of him,” he said, “but going out on the road is an unforgiving task. It kills people.”