So David Lee Roth has an apartment in Tokyo now, which is unexpected, I guess. There’s a good interview with him in Rolling Stone that paints him as a pretty interesting guy with interesting approaches to music at this stage of his lengthy career. He’s attending language classes to pick up Japanese and working on remixes of old Van Halen songs. This causes angst among fans of the classic sound, apparently, to which he responds:
We’ve had great success with it already. Alex [Van Halen] and I were laughing that anybody cares at all, much less there’s a rallying cry or whatever. You just don’t change the smile on the Mona Lisa? Well, the fuck you don’t.
The “Jump” remix is available at his website. Not sure it’s as compelling as the original was when I heard it at age 13 or 14, but he’s plainly willing to stretch out in totally different musical directions, which is nice to see. The “letters in the alphabet” advice he has for younger artists in that interview is great.
He also talks a bit about life in the Big Mikan. Sounds like he’s connected and enjoying it a lot.
I went to the Sumo tournament with Konishiki as my teacher, and we went not only to the tournament, but we went to the beya, which is the gym. And we had what in music is called an encounter, question and answer, back and forth. And I asked them, “What inspires you? What compels you?” And variously one would say, “I do not want to dishonor my parents.” Another said, “I would like to be a great champion.” We went around the circle, and one of them said to me, “Dave-san, what inspires you?” I said, “Fear and revenge.” They asked, “Revenge against who?” I said, “People who have a whole lot more talent than I do and then threw it away. Sometimes friends of ours have Maserati-style talent and they treat it like a fucking lawn mower.” And they all laughed.
Worth a read. (Unlike this blog, by the way, but I’m thinking of getting back into the game of writing things to go up here. The desire waxes and wanes, but right now I think it’s waxing. So more to follow.)