David Lee Roth is painting as a form of ‘performance therapy’

By tsell on July 14, 2020
David Lee Roth
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 04: David Lee Roth performs onstage at Staples Center on March 04, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ABA)

Roth has doubts of Van Halen touring again

By Trent Sell

The Van Halen frontman, David Lee Roth, is taking to painting amidst COVID-19 isolation and recent illness. He also speaks on the notion of a doubtful return for the full band.

“Social commentary is what I do”

With the Coronavirus still wreaking havoc on the live events industries, the Van Halen lead singer is finding other creative outlets during lockdown. Roth calls his recent paintings comics, as they are filled with satire and thought-provoking themes about Coronavirus. During a recent conversation, he told the New York Times, “Social commentary is what I do. It’s what I’ve always done.”

The singer has always had an inclination for the visual arts, he explained. “My hand has always been in wardrobe, background sets, stage sets, album covers, video direction.”

“This is performance therapy,” the singer said. “I’m venting. I’m angry. And I am not asking for forgiveness. And this is how I do it.”

At the beginning of this year, Roth had been touring with Kiss as a solo act for their North American shows. The Coronavirus has since canceled that tour and the remaining shows of Van Halen’s Las Vegas residency. During that stint of shows, he said he battled a pretty intense illness as well.

“I’m not so unconvinced I didn’t have the corona,” he admitted. “Man, they gave me enough prednisone to put boots on the moon! We left a trail of groupies, rubble and incandescent reviews. But I don’t want to go back through it.”

Life on the road

Life on the road has taken it’s a toll on David Lee Roth, as he talked about his recent back surgery. “It was a spinal fusion where they take a chip from somebody else.”

Roth proceeded to discuss his doubts about the band returning to the stage. Regarding the continuing health issues Eddie Van Halen is facing, Roth said, “I don’t know that Eddie [Van Halen] is ever really going to rally for the rigors of the road again.”

“I don’t even want to say I’ve waited — I’ve supported for five years. Because what I do is physical as well as musical and spiritual — you can’t take five years off from the ring. But I did. And I do not regret a second of it. He’s a band mate. We had a colleague down. And he’s down now for enough time that I don’t know that he’s going to be coming back out on the road. You want to hear the classics? You’re talking to him.” – David Lee Roth

Catch some of his most recent paintings on his social media.



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