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The Roth's, who included Dave's parents, Dr. Nathan and Sybil and sisters Lisa and Allison, moved around quite a bit. First to New Castle, IN, then to Swampscott, MA, then to Brookline, MA, before settling in the Los Angeles area in 1963. Dave was expelled from his junior High School for fighting and attended the Webb School for Boys for one semester. He then attended John Muuir High School. It was at this time that he began his lifelong karate disciplines.

Dave's fist big band was the Red Ball Jets. It was in this band that he developed his stage persona known as "Diamond Dave." His influences at the time included the Beach Boys, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones, among many others.

He attended Pasadena Community College for a while, where the Van Halen brothers were also studying music theory, and took to the piano and saxophone.

His father was in the Air Force and later became an eye surgeon. It was his father's eventual success in his trade that allowed the rehearsal space in the Roth home that Van Halen used to write many of their first songs. Despite this, the band was never given anything they didn't earn. Dave learned the value of a dollar the hard way working in Pasadena Stables and as a janitor in a hospital.

By graduation of high school, Ed and Alex had formed a three piece band called "Mammoth" with a bass player named Mark Stone. Eddie had to sing lead and they rented their P.A. system for $35 a night from Dave, even though they were only getting about $50 a gig.

Around a year later, David Lee Roth had been asked to join the band because Ed hated to sing lead and they figured it would be cheaper not having to rent the P.A. from him. The band's name was also changed to "Van Halen" at Roth's suggestion.

When Dave joined Van Halen, he applied his philosophies about the danceability of rock music. Simply put, if a song didn't make you want to get up and dance, it was taken off the set list.

There's no doubt that the party attitude of the band through their first 12 years was mainly attributed to Dave. On the first few albums, Dave concentrated on his vocals and kept the parties mostly on stage and on the road. Beginning with Women and Children First, though, he brought the party to the albums. His philosophy here was say and do anything on the albums to convey and attitude, whether it meant mumbling the lyrics or picking up the harmonica. During concerts he started to rely heavily on funny and provocative phrases and stories that always kept the crowd either laughing or cheering.

In early 1985 Dave recorded an EP and began work on a movie. His hopes for further entertaining the world were a bit too ambitious for the rest of Van Halen, so on April Fools Day 1985 Dave announced he had left the band.

Dave returned to the band in 1996 to record two new songs for Best of Volume 1. What resulted was an ugly sequence of events that continues to be disputed. The reason is partly due to the direct contradictions in the stories of Van Halen and Dave.

Again Dave was out on his own. He wrote his autobiography and recorded a new solo album to good reviews.

In 2000 Dave secretly returned to Van Halen and recorded three new songs (these songs have not been released). Dave announced this on his website in April 2001 and said he hadn't been in touch with the band since July 2000.

As of early 2002, Dave's future with Van Halen remains uncertain, but he calls the reunion "inevitable." 

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 Picture Gallery
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David Lee Roth
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 DLR Links
Websites dedicated to the greatest frontman in rock history.
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 Quotes or "Davisms"

"They make this drink in Brazil Called cachaca.  It's sugar can alcohol.  Costs 35 cents a quart.  One quart of that stuff and you see God.  Two quarts and you grow a pair of tight pants and an electric guitar."  - Circus, June 1984

"I live and breathe and do four times as much four times as fast as anyone else."

"I know the world doesn't revolve around Dave, but I like to think so". - DLR, May 1984

"I am not this way the way I am, 'coz I am in a band. I am in a band, 'coz I am this way"

"Many of the critics have kids of their own. It scares the hell out of them to think that their kids could be anything remotely like David Lee Roth".

"I just wanted to be in show biz. I wanted to make music and sing and dance, tell jokes and stories, make ya smile, make ya cry - and charge you $ 8.50"

"I knew already when I was seven years old, that I wanted to be on stage and entertain people. I sell laughs. Here, you got one for free!"

"I know that people think I'm a party king; but, face it, if I finished the bottle every time I took a drink, I wouldn't be able to do the aerials I do onstage."

"I simply have to be creative all the time. I have to sit down with a group of people and create new things. I can be the quarterback. I can be the cheerleader. I have to travel, to meet people. All different kinds of people. People are my enthusiasm and the source of my inspirations."

"Seriously, I don't have any rivals. You can't have me and a second-rate impersonation of me and tell me that here's my rival. No contest! There is such a thing as being original. Without it, no matter how good the impersonation, you're nothing."

"My aim is for this band to be the most colorful outfit on the map. I want the women who come to our gigs to remain the prettiest you will ever find at a rock'n'roll show. And I want our attitudes to be the highest.. Drama! Chaos! AND organization! It's a hell of a soundtrack to live by ... and that's exactly what we're going for!"

"See, I'm a total failure in my personal life, so I feel great when the audience loves a record, babe "

"I've got a surgically implanted disco beat. My show has to be 130 beats a minute or better.Let's hit it! Open up them pearly gates because I am the California earthquake!"

"The world's a stage, and I want the brightest spot"

""I'm gonna stand up for rock and roll tonight, baby... In fact, by the time we hit the stage, I'll be lucky to just stand up!"

"It hasn't got that much to do with ego. The world doesn't revolve around me. But I'm a competitor, not a spectator on this earth."

"What am I going to do, sing a million dollars harder at the US Festival than at the bottom line? Honey, I sing like a million dollars regardless."

"I have tried many different forms of presentation in the past years. I was proud of some and less proud of others... But I did them all superbly!"

"People ask me how far I've come. And I tell them 12 feet. From the audience to the stage!"

"Some of the audiences know my lyrics better than I do" � DLR

"If ever I do get really down in the dumps, though, I just pack a bag and take off for a month in the bush, just get lost in the wilderness somewhere away from all the bulls?!t" - DLR in Kerrang! Feb. 1988

"It's funny---here I am the son of a Jewish doctor, and the Van Halens are sons of a musician, a world traveler. They wound up married with children, and I'm by myself, never happy staying in any one place for too long."

"Most people are surprised that I spend most of my time alone. I lived with a girlfriend for a couple of years, but that's over now. Before that I lived on my own for twelve years. I do that now too and that's what makes me happy"

"I've shaken everybody's hand. I've had a drink with every guy or gal. But I spend most of my off-time by myself. I'm very much of a loner like that.

"Maybe it's all bullshit, but who cares? It's a cool rock'n'roll attitude anyway." - David Lee Roth on his image

Van Halen was one of the most hallelujah, tailgate, backyard, BBQ, arrive four hours early to the gig just for the parking lot bands. And still to this day is. It's an attitude. I think it's a spirit more than anything else is. � Dave 97

"Van Halen likes to keep things simple. All we're doing is giving our daily lives melodies, beats and titles."

"Van Halen's got nothing to hide. What you've walked into is a self-created fantasyland where everything happens four times as quick. Anything you desire you can find here, whatever your vice."

"Old Van Halen, when I was in it-classic Van Halen-makes you wanna drink, dance and screw, right? And the new Van Halen encourages you to drink milk, drive a Nissan and have a relationship".

"That music (Van Halen) is like the biggest Christmas present ever, I want to get in that and drive it around. I'm one of the few people in the world who have more than 5 or 10 songs like that."

"A lot of people think that a VH tour is just one long orgy with a few stops on stage in between.Well, let me tell you - they're right"

"I was the early Van Halen style. I wrote half of every song you heard from Van Halen, sometimes more than that" - MTV interview 1991

"Van Halen can keep providing the rain and I'll keep providing the parade."

"Yes, I was one of the architects of Van Halen. If I build you an airplane, you can damn well bet you could fly it without me"

"The sound of Van Halen was meant to spill out, all over your stereo and ruin the rest of your record collection "

"I was a virgin with a band called Van Halen. I don't ever expect that I'll find that situation again with a different group of guys when you're hiring quite literally right out of the parking lot."

-"Music is something Van Halen makes when they run out of nothing to do" -- DLR 1984

"If you're a three-dimensional human being, if you are sassy, if you have the ability to be sexy and laugh at the same time, if you love a slam-dunk approach to music as well as a toast and a tear, if the bittersweet appeals to you, if you'd rather look over your shoulder and see two hot f?%k-me mambo babes doing that to your retinas with alarming frequency, if you want entertainment, celestial bodies ... this is adult music for adults. What Van Halen was designed to be."

"There's no pot of gold for us [Van Halen] at the end of the rainbow, we're just here to ride the rainbow"

"People say that life is a cesspool of darkness and despair. Well we of Van Halen are sailing through it in a yacht!"

"What are the characteristics of a good rock'n'roller? Rock'n'roll is in you. You either got it or you don't. You can't fake it. It has to be inside you just itching to get out. And when it does, POW! It's like a dam bursting. That's Van Halen."

"We've been together maybe ten years, straight out of high school and stuff. I'd say that in the whole ten years we've been together, we've put in ... oh. A good seven or eight hours of rehearsal."

"There's a little Van Halen in all of us, and we're just trying to bring it out. It's like something bursts inside of you, something that makes you not care what people around you are thinking. It makes you invincible, like if a car hit you, nothing would happen to you. That experience is about the audience, not us. All we do is provide the soundtrack."

"The Beatles,Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones all these people expanded with the times.Van Halen didn't want to do that. Van Halen had turned into Spinal Tap.."

"I always thought that song should be sung by a girl."- Roth about Sammy Hagar singing "Panama"

"There are three rings to marriage: the engagement ring, the wedding ring and the suffering" � Diamond David Lee Roth, Musician (95)

"People think I have this strange concept of women, but they're wrong. I'm a family-oriented kind of guy. I've personally started four or five this year already"

I don't get all the women that I want...I get all the women that want me! - DLR

"I was with a girl not terribly long ago and she said "Mr. Roth, I think you're the oldest person I've ever been with." I said "Honey I was gonna say the same thing to you."

"Love to me is when you can't think, when another person is always on your mind, in a positive way. If you see something you like and think, "My girlfriend should see this", that's it, you're in love."

"I've been going steady with my girlfriend for maybe two, maybe three... days!"

"I won't go down in history, Sylvie, but I _will_ go down on your little sister!" - From `Raw' a few years back, to Sylvie Simmons

"Music videos are like girlfriends. I'm constantly amazed on what other people do"

"I don't think that in comparison to some of our other book writers and basketball players that the numbers of girls that I slept with compares even remotely AT ALL! I always figured over quality over quantity. And half of these gals I still keep up with. You know I still travel and I still keep up them, I guess they're not that married."

"My visions and fantasies are pretty standard. The only difference is I got to do it, while most of us haven't. Beyond that, I'm a pretty standard guy. Give me a gal with a sense of humor, acidic wit, who's read a few books and has a body like a Swedish speed skater, and I'm quite content."

"If you're asking me what I look for in a girlfriend, to me that means a woman I'm going to wake up next to, somebody I'm going to have dinner with more often than not; that means a soul mate, a pal, someone to cover my back as well as make out with. I'm hyper demanding about that. Those special gals are few and far between."

"I found me a gal who is a Princeton graduate, front of the class, OK, comes from academic family, and plays roller hockey full contact, 2,3 times a week, and I mean full contact. She's taller than I am, and stronger than me, discovered that first time we went kayaking. Dry, critical, sarcastic, elitist, distant... hey baby want to get married?"

"Many people think that the end has come when one marries and gets kids - to me it would be a wonderful new beginning."

"Women are my hobby... every man needs something to keep his hands busy, and I don't have a guitar like Eddie and Michael, or some drums to bash like Alex, so I have to find some friends."

"I saw a female photographer on one side of the stage, she had her back turned to me and looked into her purse. I saw her cute little ass and rushed across the stage and gave her a kiss. She spun round like I had kicked her ass and punched me, fist in the face"

"Love is overrated. I was in love once. Know what I found out? Love means having to say you're sorry every five minutes. Love is playing with yourself while someone is lying next to you,passed out. I'll tell ya -- don't worry about women. Overall, I go along with the guy who said, go out and buy some poor sinner a drink and wink at a homely girl. You gotta sail through life with a smile on your mug and a song in your heart."

"Whatever somebody else can't do in his 9-5 job, I can do in rock'n'roll."

"Life is not a popularity contest. Do not expect to see Valentino in the mirror."

"I think the two most difficult things to deal with in life are failure and success"

"When something goes wrong one should, instead of bitching and giving up, say "This didn't work out, eh? How can we fix it? What are we gonna do next?"

"It doesn't get better, it doesn't get worse, but it sure gets different!"

"He who knows how will always work for he who knows why."

"Remember, life is just a game and no one gets out alive"

"Trouble with dreams is, a lot of them do come true. By the time they do, you've turned into somebody else. That's what happens with time... It's always been important to me, that my dream come true, when I wanted. We turned our dream into reality by not even really pursuing either one. We didn't pursue the dream and we certainly didn't pursue reality!"

"When you get something like MTV, it's like regular television. You get it, and at first it's novel and brand new and then you watch every channel, every show. And then you become a little more selective and more selective, until ultimately... You wind up with a radio."

"You want to know if we're animals? When I'm on stage with the volume rippling my body like a glass of water and thousands of people are generating heat in my direction, there's no time for thought. My basement facilities take over completely. Sure it's animal. People might like to talk about art, but look where art is, in the gutter. "

"I want to be in control, I want to know everything. Not just to be the guy who walks into the studio or up on stage and sings and that's it."

"Now I make music without listening to my bank account"

"If a couple of strippers are fist-fighting in the hallway and you lose sleep and you show up gnarly and testy in the morning, then you record the fast song"- on the recording of ALAE (Rolling Stone)

"Nothing in here is worth dying for"- message on DLR's gate

"Babe I'm talkin' 'bout that summer, summertime. Yeah it's about time to break out them rollerskates, man, and them skateboards. Gotta get the VAN lookin' real good. And it's also the time of the year to harvest some of the best crops I do believe. And it certainly is time...to have a lil' bitta ice cream"

'Whatever guy said that money don't but you pleasure didn't know where to go shopping' - David Lee Roth

"I approach my concerts as if I were having a first date with a woman. I ask myself, `Would I still be here if I were blind? " - DLR in USA Today, Oct. 1995

"I would just like to say that after all these years of heavy drinking, bright lights and late nights, I still don't need glasses. I drink right out of the bottle."

"If a great surgeon insures his eyes, and a great pianist his fingers, why can't we insure my..."- DLR had a $10,000 policy with Lloyds of England!

"Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull up right alongside it"

"The beauty of rock and roll is that there are no rules and no schools. You just make it up as you go."

"Audience participation should extend from on-stage to backstage to under the stage"

"Let's play with the career, if we can't find anything else to do"

"We wouldn't lie to ya! We just met ya! Lyin's for LATER in the relationship..."

"I can tell you don't like me at all... do me a favor, spread it around!"

-You know what rock musicians are? -They are hung up, neurotic, over-weight hippies with sex problems. � DLR 1997

"If you can't do it in a white T-shirt and a pair of jeans under one white light bulb, you can't do it!"- About live performance

"A lot of bands mature, which means they get square; they start delivering messages. Hey, you got a message, use Western Union."

"A lot of rock bands are truly a legend in their own minds."

"You don't have to be in the arena at this point, and for half of the bands out there it's probably better if they don't show up. You rather watch the smoke bombs and the light show and the statues"

"If you took away every musician who drank or did drugs, you wouldn't have anybody left."

"Here today, gone later today" - about one-hit-wonder bands

"The only guy who puts iced tea in a Jack Daniel's bottle...is SAMMY HAGAR, baby!" � DLR impersonator from tribute band, 1997

"Look at all the people here tonight!!" � Every time, everywhere in the world.

"The only people who put iced tea in Jack Daniel's bottles is the Clash baby!!" US Festival 1983

"You bet your ass this is real Jack Daniel's.. I don't see fuckin' Quiet Riot up here"

"Take'em out back and give him a fuckin' drink, man. He made it this far, give him a fuckin' shot. Gimme the bottle, man!" - about a fan who ran on-stage at Donington 1984

"Alex Van Halen is f?!ked up on Guinness tonight!!"

"I'm feeling pretty fuckin' good myself tonight!"

"We get to the hotel, there's people partyin' in the parking lot, people gettin' down in the elevator, wow! I swear to God I had this one chick, this chick was poundin' on my door, she was kickin' and screamin' at my door 'til about 6.30 this morning. Finally, I just said, "Fuck it!" and let her out of my room"

"Baby, don't stick that tongue out at me, unless you're gonna use it.. Ah, she's ready to use it!!" - to a girl in the audience

"Hey, don't be throwin' no shit up on stage pal, cos I saw who threw that bottle and after the show... I'm gonna fuck your girlfriend, yeah!" - Donington 1984 (all the above quotes)

"We played at Donington the other night and you guys make them sound THIS small" - holding his thumb and index finger an inch apart. � Stockholm 1984

"AALEX! I'm sorry, the motherf?!ker's been drinking since the 4th of July!" - DLR in N.Y., July 17, 1981

"I'm taking whiskey to the party tonite, looking for a.. SLUT!!!" - US Festival, 1983

"Son of a gun... I FORGOT THE FUCKING WORDS!" - US Festival, 1983

"What am I going to do, sing a million dollars harder at the Us Festival than at the bottom line? Honey, I sing like a million dollars regardless."

"I used to have a drug problem, now I make enough money."

(1986): "It wouldn't be fair to compare my band of the future with something that belongs in the pasture"

"I used to jog but the ice-cubes kept falling out of my glass."

"The National Enquirer is the only paper I use for more than rolling joints."

"The perfect woman has an IQ of 150, wants to make love until 4 in the morning, then turns into a pizza!"

"I would just like to say that after all these years of heavy drinking, bright lights and late nights, I still don't need glasses. I drink right out of the bottle."

"I can tell you don't like me at all... do me a favor, spread it around!"

"Van Halen can keep providing the rain and I'll keep providing the parade."

"The Breakfast of Champions isn't cereal, it's the competition!"

"Let's play with the career, if we can't find anything else to do"

"People ask me, "so what about Van Halen today?" I tell 'em "hey I'm not in it, I don't give a shit." They say "so what about Valerie Bertinelli?" I say, "same answer."

"One of my friends took me to one of these all-you-can-eat salad bars recently. I passed out and it took 3 Snickers bars and a Coke to revive me."

"Hell, if I wanted to be serious, I'd have joined the Boston Symphony."

"I say to the guys in the band: "You know what Voltaire said?" They think Voltaire is an air conditioning company."

"My Daddy told me when I was a boy - Dave, It doesn't matter if you win or lose, it's how good you looked!"

"I only have two flavors baby, bubblegum and dick... and I'm all out of bubblegum."

"The two most difficult things in life are success & failure"

"There are two rules to living well. The first is, don't sweat the little shit. The second is, it's all little shit. In other words, it's all okay. We may be lost, but we're way ahead of schedule."

"Always had it, always WILL have it!"

"It's not who wants to sleep with you; It's who wants to sleep with you again."

"The guy who said that money doesn't buy happiness didn't know where to go shopping."

"He who knows how will always work for he who knows why."

"With me in the band, it's one of those miraculous 97-97 deals. It's 97 percent you and 97 percent moi. Is it Mick or Keith? I don't know. I'm currently the fun part, and I'll always be the fun part. I ran into one of the current managers not terribly long ago, and he said, "Hey, Dave, you know, it's just another chapter. And I told him "No. Classic VH is the whole book, all right? The rest of you are just disposable chapters."

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