David Lee Roth: I Structured the Guitar Solos on Van Halen’s Debut Album

In a freewheeling interview, Roth also claimed that the addition of stripes to Eddie Van Halen's guitars was his idea.
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Van Halen perform live on stage at Lewisham Odeon in London on 27th May 1978.

Van Halen perform live on stage at Lewisham Odeon in London on 27th May 1978.

David Lee Roth has been busy of late promoting his upcoming Las Vegas residency. Now, Roth has always been a colorful interviewee, hinting at Van Halen reunions that never panned out and the like, but a recent interview with Missouri radio station KSHE 95 - even by his lofty standards - was truly something else. 

When asked if he sought the permission of the rest of the band before using Van Halen songs in his solo set, Roth emphatically replied in the negative.

“No, because I wrote the songs. I wrote every word you heard, every syllable. Every melody I structured out. Even the guitar solos on that first album.

“Why do you think the solos changed so radical? I sang the solos for 'Jamie’s Cryin’' and 'Runnin’ with the Devil,' et cetera.”

“I wrote those songs, structured those songs," Roth continued. "I designed the backgrounds on the stage. I came up with the album covers. I thought of the stripes on the guitar. I’m the one who said, 'Call it Van Halen.' And we take it with that attitude. We ain't talkin’ ‘bout love.

You can listen to the entire interview - during which Roth also reveals the colorful name of his new solo band - below.

Roth's Vegas residency begins on January 8. For tickets and more info, stop by davidleeroth.com.

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