Friday, June 16, 2006

David Lee Roth: Friendless?

Did you get a chance to see David Lee Roth's recent appearance on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," doing Van Halen's "Jump"?

I received a link to the video clip, posted on the amazing youtube site. There, you can also find clips of DLR doing Panama, and recent performances from "The Late Late Show With Chad Ferguson."

Take my word on this: The bluegrass-flavored "Jump" is one of the worst pieces of musical performance I've ever seen in my life. I don't think I can ever listen to Roth-era Van Halen again, and I'll never again be able to enjoy "Jump."

The backing band is fine -- clearly, they're superb bluegrass musicians, happy to take a nice pay day for once.

But the arrangement is impossibly wrong, and DLR's singing is smarmy and absolutely horrible. Once upon a time, he possessed a funny, campy shtick that perfectly meshed with the strutting cock-rock toons of Van Halen. The old VH was a kick.

Something happened, though, shortly after DLR left VH and/or was kicked out of the band. His over-the-top antics became simply embarrassing. The former Clown Prince of Rock and Roll lost his way.

My burning question about all of this (aside from, uh, WHAT HAPPENED?) is this: Does David Lee Roth have any friends? I think not, because if he had any friends, they wouldn't have let the guy travel so far in the wrong direction.

Rod Stewart and Michael Bolton singing "the standards" was bad enough. What did we do to the pop-culture gods to deserve this kind of punishment?

Scary stuff, and if you need to check it out for yourself, go here.

Warning: It sounds like it could be a laugh riot. It isn't. It's merely pitiful, and more than a little bit painful.

Looking into this a bit more, I discovered that the guy has released an album's worth of this sick stuff, titled Strummin' With the Devil: The Southern Side of Van Halen. It was released on 6/6/06. Horrors.

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