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David Lee Roth Decries Lack of Stagecraft in Today’s Bands

David Lee Roth
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

David Lee Roth has always been as much style as substance, and in an interview with the New York Post, he says today’s bands are lacking that proper mixture — an opinion he says is shared by other (unnamed) artists as well.

As always, the interview was full of priceless Rothisms, including this little gem: “The questions I want to ask most of my colleagues are, ‘Can you even do the whole song from beginning to end? Can you do it onstage like you did it in the studio? Do you float like a butterfly or sting like a pre-recorded bee?’”

The 56-year-old Van Halen frontman still packs venues with women who come to see him move his hips and fill out his tight pants. “Every night is ladies night and that feeling is right,” Roth says, but adds that since the band is now in its fifth decade, the show has to be about a lot more than just undulating pelvises and coy looks.

“We throw a sick party, and if you get invited you gotta go,” Roth says, and mentions that inviting Kool and the Gang as an opener brought the band full-circle. “Because we used to play ‘Hollywood Swinging’ in five-sets-a-night-beer-bars. And the first three songs on our new record are thunder-funk. What we’re giving is the best of the old and the new — think of it like watching ‘Dragnet’ on your iPad.”

Van Halen resumes its 2012 tour Wednesday night in New York City.

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