‘I WAS THERE WITH THESE TWO GIRLS ONCE; THEY WERE STRIPPERS. THEY SAID ‘DAVE, WE’D LIKE YOU TO GO UPSTAIRS, THE TWO OF US, WITH YOU. ‘ SO I SAID, ‘OKAY’. IT WAS AUGUST, AND IT WAS HOT AND SWEATY AND HUMID, AND WE COMMENCED TO DELIVER THE GROCERIES AT 138 BEATS PER MINUTE OR MORE. ONE OF THE GIRLS HAD $1500 IN SINGLES AND FIVES AND TENS, HER END-OF-THE-WEEK TIPS AND PAY AND EVERYTHING IN HER G-STRING. NOBODY NOTICED, YOU KNOW, WHEN THE G-STRING CAME UNDONE — WELL, I NOTICED — NOBODY NOTICED THE MONEY, LIKE, FLOATING AROUND. I WOKE UP AT SOME POINT AROUND DAWN, THE TWO OF THEM WERE ASLEEP, AND ALL THREE OF US WERE COVERED WITH MONEY, EVERY SQUARE INCH OF SKIN HAD A DOLLAR BILL PASTED TO IT — THERE WAS NOTHING BUT. THE WHOLE BED WAS COVERED WITH BILLS. OUR BODIES WERE COVERED WITH BILLS. THERE WAS BILLS IN MY UNDERWEAR. TAKE A LITTLE PICTURE OF THAT. ‘ So begins perhaps the ultimate rock autobiography. Throughout the late-seventies and eighties Van Halen were the archetypal American rock group. Whats more they were also the highest paid band in the history of show business, taking a cool $1 million for a night’s work at a festival in 1983 and making the Guiness Book of Records.
I’m a big fan of rock and roll memoirs. They are always entertaining for one reason or another. Diamond David Lee Roth does not disappoint. This is a no-holds-barred look into the 1980’s hedonistic culture that once populated the pages of magazines like Circus and Hit Parader.
Roth, known for his rapid-fire linguistic reportage, shares snippets of his time traveling the globe both with and without the mighty Van Halen. From a glimpse into the childhood that formed the man, to his tumultuous years in one of the biggest bands ever, to his alone time, away from the rock and roll life, traveling through the jungles of South America, Dave lets us have just a peek into his wild and crazy world.
This is a fun read, to be sure. The only downside is, he barely scratches the surface when discussing studio time with Van Halen. As a fan of their music, I really hoped to learn more about the creative process of this amazing band. Overall, I recommend this book—especially if you’re looking for a few good laughs from the Diamond one.
Grab a copy of Crazy From the Heat