The new guy in Tokyo

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.)

4 thoughts on “The new guy in Tokyo

  1. More updates from you would be appreciated! The recommended approach to successful blogging, should that be your goal, is to set a schedule and stick with it. Regular, frequent updates of quality content = solid site growth, which sounds simple and self-evident at first, but is notoriously tricky to keep up!

  2. DLR’s memoir is actually a pretty good read. So is Hagar’s “Red” btw.

    I remember at his low point when he was kicked out of talk radio in NYC he tried to “innovate” and do talk radio … via CB.

    Someone must have forgotten to tell him that CB is for the exclusive use of truckers past 1979. Not to mention CB’s technical limitations: it has a range of only about 30 miles tops, it is not full-duplex (when you’re talking on a channel, nobody else can talk). Was hilarious listening to truckers trying to politely tell him that they needed the channel open to communicate and do their jobs.

  3. I just went through DLR’s twitter feed. He has some cool shots of him posing in downtown western Tokyo.

    Remember, this is a guy that dabbles very briefly in a lot of things. He was a licensed NYC ambulance EMT for a while, then gave it up after only a few months (despite lots of lots of training of licensing). For his wealth, purchasing an apartment in Tokyo is easy and not a sign of a commitment.

    Personally, I’m a fan, and I hope he stays. Maybe jams a bit with Marty Friedman in a club spontaneously. I’m not holding my breath, though.

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