David Lee Roth (October 10, 1954) If you don’t know then where’ve you been hiding? He is, of course, the frontman (I wouldn’t dare call him the singer) of Hall Of Fame members Van Halen and solo artist in his own right. Lee Roth is also a published author, Radio Presenter, Actor and multi-platinum recording artist to boot now how about that? Most famed for his stints in Van Halen (or rather the first stint in Van Halen) and his incredibly succesful solo run where he had an EP ‘Crazy From The Heat’ in ’85 that was an MTV smash as well as a couple of massively successful records ‘Eat Em And Smile’ in ’86 and ‘Skyscraper’ in ’88 that saw him assemble an iconic band around him that rivaled anything he did in Van Halen or it certainly seemed like it on this side of the pond (possibly due to his touring here in the UK) something his previous employers didn’t do to the same extent thats for sure.

 

He managed to release six solo albums between ’86 and ’03 which was the same amount he recorded with Van Halen between ’78 and ’84 however its fair to say the quality of the Van Halen albums far outshines his solo efforts.

Roth was born in Indiana to art teacher Sibyl Roth and ophthalmologist Nathan Roth.  Roth moved to Pasadena in his teens. He “bounced around” a number of schools and eventually saw a psychiatrist for several years, when he attended a ranch for troubled teens he cared for a horse to build a sense of responsibility something they obviously thought he was lacking. It was in Pasadena, at the Pasadena City College (he did not graduate either) where he met the Van Halen brothers, Eddie and Alex. and his life would change forever.

His first band was called Mammoth and along with the two Van Halen brothers they mostly played covers and it when they found out there was another band with the same name it was changed to Van Halen.  It was when playing a residency at the Starwood that the band was discovered by none other than Gene Simmonds in ’76.  It is believed he took note originally as he wanted Eddie for his own band Kiss however he did record the band’s first demos.  The demos went on to form the basis of the band’s debut album which Warner Brothers’ Ted Templeton had them signed after also seeing them perform at The Starwood club. That debut album has since gone on to sell a staggering 12 million copies.

As a frontman, Roth was perfect for the time and perfect for the band.  he was considered the ultimate party frontman and reveled in his role. they were described as  “a nonstop booze-and-babes party train.” by Rolling Stone and a lot of that was down to Roth’s flamboyant style.

Fast forward to the MTV age of 1984 and Roth certainly knew how to make a video and he was always under the spotlight of every party damn there was no party unless he was there.  His first foray into a solo career came just after the huge success of ‘Hot For Teacher’ and ‘Jump’ and it was something of a sidestep and a touch of genius that set him up as a crooner to record ‘Just A Gigalo’ and ‘California Girls’ which suited his style and persona to a tee. The videos were humorous (at the time) and indulged his womanizing party-going lifestyle.  It’s fair to say it was perfect for the star and he was indeed the larger than life character that people came to know and love. Let’s be fair lots of boys wanted to be him and girls wanted to be with him – life must have been peachy for Roth throughout the ’80s no doubt about it.

Going from the Van Halen brothers seemed like madness at the time but as soon as ‘Eat Em And Smile’ hit the shelves and people saw what was on offer via the video for ‘Yankee Rose’ it was like Van Who?   I bet Warner Brothers couldn’t believe their luck when they heard what he was creating with Vai, Bissonette and Billy Sheehan and then the lycra of ‘Yankee Rose’ hit the TV sets and Roth was top of the class again.  The debut solo album reached number four in the Billboard charts whilst the singles just licked the top ten. The second solo record ‘Skyscraper’ also featured Vai and Sheehan reaching number six in the Billboard charts selling over two million which isn’t something you can sniff at. The single ‘Just Like Paradise’ also got to number six and featured Roth carrying out his love of rock climbing.

His third solo record saw a change in guitar player with Vai leaving to be replaced by Jason Becker and after MTV banned the video for the title track ‘A Little Ain’t Enough’ the record only managed Gold. Becker was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis a form of Motor Neurons disease which meant he struggled to finish recording the record and couldn’t tour which was a major set back. Roth struggled under the emergence of Grunge and his decline was rapid with more than half the albums tour getting canceled due to poor ticket sales.

Roth did go on to make a further three albums with the last being 2003s ‘Diamond Dave’ which in fairness was mostly covers two of them were almost ten years old that had never been used.  Roth was seemingly on the scrap heap – losing his locks and with music moving on so quickly he was in danger of being left behind. IT was in 2007 when news broke of an original Van Halen reunion but this time there was to be no Anthony in the lineup and due to Eddie’s illness he didn’t attend the induction into the Hall Of Fame and it was turning into a bit of a shower.

Roth did not attend the ceremony and the event was considered yet another public shit shower for the band. It was rumored to be based on the choice of songs to be played Roth wanted to perform ‘Jump’,   but Velvet Revolver would only agree to play “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” or “You Really Got Me.” When it was finally agreed upon that Paul Shaffer would perform “Jump,” Roth claimed there was no longer enough time to rehearse and opted not to attend the ceremony. Leaving Anthony and Sammy Hagar to acknowledge Roth’s contribution to the iconic band. Later that year Roth and Eddie Van Halen held a press conference to announce, finally, things were on the up for the band’s reunion.  In 2012 the band finally released ‘A Different Kind of Truth’.  In a different time, things might have been so different however this album charted at number two on the Billboard charts but only sold 400,000 copies compared to earlier sales of early albums its dwarfed.

In that same year Roth began broadcasting a  video webcast on his YouTube channel, and also on iTunes, called ‘The Roth Show’.  Roth has lived in Tokyo since May 2012 but maintains homes in New York City and California. Today Diamond Dave is 65 years young. Happy Birthday David Lee Roth!

It’s without a doubt KISS has become something of a worldwide rock’n’roll phenomenon. Since their initial inception in ‘73, they’ve racked up a sizeable amount of miles on the road, albums, and tours, spanning the length of the globe. I’ve been raised listening to this band and had the pleasure of watching them perform on numerous other tours over the years. This, however, seems to be the end of the road for them, hence the name of the tour I suppose… (Well supposedly… I mean look at Ozzy and Priest for example)

 

The evening started out not with a warm-up band, but a performance by David Garibaldi, an American painter. I have to say, it was really refreshing and different to see an opening act performing something totally different, and out-of-the-box instead of the usual warm-up band line-up. Garibaldi painted three paintings in his half-hour time slot, one of Mick Jagger, and upside-down painting of Freddie Mercury (there was a big gasp when he flipped it around, although all the Queen songs playing while he was painting it sorta gave it away…) Ahem, where was I? Oh! And finally a painting of all the KISS members. The final painting would be ‘put up’ as a prize, where concert-goers could make a donation to a children’s cancer charity. The painting would then be given at random to one lucky donor.

 

KISS took the stage at 21:55 with a blistering two-hour setlist. Everyone was greeted by the usual:

“ALL RIGHT BIRMINGHAM. YOU WANTED THE BEST. YOU GOT THE BEST. THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD. KISS.”

 

No matter how many times I hear that opening it never gets old. Whether it be on record or in person.

 

Detroit Rock City was first on the setlist, with the band lowering themselves down from the ceiling rafters on platforms. Alas, you’ve gotta expect the usual theatrics when it comes to Kiss shows. I’ve got to say, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are getting on a bit but man they still sound good. Gene especially. Paul can’t really hit the highs he could back in the day but he can still put on a damn good performance. That being said, instrumentally, they were totally flawless. I guess that’s what you get for playing your music for this long, eh? Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer returning as the Spaceman and the Catman respectively also performed to the absolute top tier.

 

Kiss classics old and new were on the setlist. The likes of ‘Cold Gin’, ‘God of Thunder’, ‘Deuce’, ‘Lick it Up’, ‘I Was Made for Lovin’ You’ were all present at this show. (Unfortunately so was ‘Crazy Crazy Nights’, if you like that song, more power to you but I can’t say I’m a fan sorry.) all the usual theatrics were present too. Gene spat some fire, Flew up and played a bass solo while spitting blood, the usual good stuff. Plenty of pyros and fireworks too.

The real curveball for me was Eric Singer rising from below the stage sporting a grand piano for the encore. I didn’t expect to hear Beth on this farewell tour but goddamn, I sang my heart out. Of course Rock and Roll All Nite was the grand finalé, let’s be honest you wouldn’t expect to leave a Kiss show on any other song. Looking back, all in all, it was probably the best Kiss show I’ve been too. Knowing they went out on such a high note (maybe, we’ll see) really added to the experience.

Author: Adam Hathaway

PLANET ROCK IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE GIG CARTEL PRESENTS

SWEET ANNOUNCE NOVATINES AS SPECIAL GUESTS ON THEIR NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 UK TOUR

TICKETS VIA – www.thegigcartel.com & www.planetrocktickets.co.uk

 

Following their sold-out “Still Got the Rock” European Tour legendary 70’s rock band SWEET embark upon the perfect Christmas gift for their UK fans, a 16-date nationwide tour November 28th until December 21st. Special guests on the tour will be alternative rock band Novatines. The four-piece from the UK recorded their debut album with Sweet’s Andy Scott as producer in 2018. Tickets go on sale via www.planetrocktickets.co.uk and www.thegigcartel.com, and from the 24-hour ticket box office – 08444 780 898. With over 55 million records sold worldwide, 34 number 1 hits worldwide, SWEET continue to tour and perform to sell-out audiences around the globe.

Gene Simmons of KISS says, “Without the Sweet there would not have been a KISS.”

 

 

“This is the band I wish I had been in.” – Joe Elliot – Def Leppard

By the early 70’s The Sweet were arguably the hottest ticket in town with a string of top ten records in the UK and Europe including BlockbusterHellraiserBallroom Blitz, Teenage Rampage and The Sixteens.

In 1975 the USA had discovered the band with Fox on the Run hitting the number 3 spot in the Billboard 100. Another self-penned hit Action followed in 1976 firmly establishing Sweet in the US charts.

On the face of it they were primarily a singles band however with albums including Desolation Boulevard (1975) and Give Us a Wink (1976), the band showed a much harder rocking band. The album Level Headed, released in 1978, brought with it another award-winning million-selling worldwide hit with Love is Like Oxygen written by Andy Scott.

In 1979 original lead singer Brian Connolly left the original line up leaving Andy Scott, Steve Priest & Mick Tucker to continue as a 3 piece. Sadly, both Brian Connolly & Mick Tucker passed away in 1997 and 2002 respectively and with Steve Priest relocating to the USA, Andy Scott was left to fly the flag. After a couple of line-up changes over the years, since 2006 the line-up has been primarily unchanged from what it is today.

 

Andy Scott (lead guitar, vocals), Bruce Bisland (drums, vocals) Tony O’Hora (lead vocal, bass) and Paul Manzi (guitar, keyboards, vocals). The Sweet still tour the world extensively with one of the most dynamic and slick live shows on the circuit. 1968 to 2019, 51 years and counting of hellraising, star chasing, trailblazing.

SWEET – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 UK DATES

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS NOVATINES

TICKETS: www.thegigcartel.com & 24-Hour Box Office: 0844 478 0898.