Original Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth has announced his official retirement from the music scene. Roth will play five final shows in Las Vegas, his last being on January 8, 2022, at the House of Blues.
“I’m throwing in the shoes,” Roth, who is 66 years old, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal via phone call interview. “I’m retiring. This is the first, and only, official announcement … You’ve got the news. Share it with the world.”
Roth’s band member Eddie Van Halen died of cancer last year, on October 6. Roth reflected on his loss. “I am encouraged and compelled to really come to grips with how short time is, and my time is probably even shorter,” Roth said.
“I thought I might have been the first, frankly,” continued Roth, who added that he’s been in frequent contact with Van Halen drummer Alex Van Halen. “I might have thought the Marlboro Man would’ve got me. Hey Ed, objects in the rear-view mirror are probably me. And my doctors, my handlers, compelled me to really address that every time I go on stage, I endanger that future.”
Roth was beloved for his flamboyancy on stage and nicknamed "Diamond Dave" during the 1970s and ’80s, when the group released hits like "Dance the Night Away" and "Jump."
The band formed after Eddie Van Halen and his brother, Alex, met Roth. Van Halen released more than a dozen albums over four decades, through a rotating cast of lead singers. Roth was replaced by Sammy Hagar, who was replaced by Gary Cherone. The band then went back to Hagar and, eventually, circled back to Roth.
Along with his last show, Roth will be playing his other final four shows at the House of Blues starting New Year’s Eve. He told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he was planning 75 rehearsals with his backup band for those shows. “These are my last five shows,” he emphasized.
Roth concluded his phone call by saying, “I’ve given you all I’ve got to give. It’s been an amazing, great run, no regrets, nothing to say about anybody. I’ll miss you all. Stay frosty.”
Tickets for the Las Vegas shows are available here.
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Article Image: David Lee Roth singing at Fiddlers Green in Denver in 2002. (TDCPhoto via DepositPhotos.)