FOLLOW US ON:
GET THE NEWSLETTER
CONTACT US
David Lee Roth and Ozzy Osbourne’s insane ‘cocaine challenge’ of 1978


 
In 1978 Van Halen and Black Sabbath teamed up for a tour to end all tours. Van Halen shared bills with a bunch of big acts in ‘78 during their first world tour, all of whom immediately regretted the decision because VH was next to impossible to upstage. I mean, how do you follow a band that shows up to a gig by parachuting from a plane, then catches a ride from a van waiting for them on the ground, and starts playing the show still wearing the jumpsuits they jumped out of the plane in? Oh, and they just happen to be Van fucking Halen, no big deal. Of course, the members of VH didn’t actually jump out of a plane in California just so they could play their set at the Anaheim Stadium Summer Fest in September of 1978, they had stuntmen do it, so they didn’t miss out on happy hour before the show. Priorities, Van Halen has ‘em.

In getting back to VH’s tour with Black Sabbath, Sabbath quickly learned their choice of opening bands might have been a mistake. Ozzy told writer Greg Renoff (author of the fantastic book, Van Halen Rising) that he and Sabbath were “stunned” after witnessing Van Halen’s set during the start of the tour in Europe in May of 1978. 1978 had been a rough year for Sabbath, and their collective drug and alcohol consumption was at an all-time high. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but this was especially true for Ozzy.

Ozzy was so messed up he actually quit the band, briefly forcing Sabbath to replace him with Dave Walker (Fleetwood Mac/Savoy Brown). Ozzy would return, and the tour rolled on through Europe, eventually wrapping up in the U.S. for the second leg of their North American shows. The night before the tour stopped in Nashville, Tennessee, Roth and Ozzy decided to stay up until nine in the morning doing blow to see which one of them would faceplant first. Score one for DLR for having the balls to challenge Ozzy to a competition involving drugs without dying in the process. Somehow, both Roth and Osbourne made it to the airport, got to Nashville, and checked into their hotel. Later on when it came time to head off to sound check, Ozzy didn’t show up. The tour manager had never given Ozzy the key to his room which would explain why Ozzy wasn’t found there either.
 

A photo of Dave Walker, a Brummie pal of Tony Iommi, during his short time with Black Sabbath. On January 6th, 1978, Black Sabbath appeared on the British TV show ‘Look Hear’ performing “War Pigs,” and an early version of the song “Junior’s Eyes” penned by Walker. Listen to it here.
 
Things got frantic quick given Ozzy’s less than stellar track record of not being a responsible human and it had everyone thinking the worst—the singer had been kidnapped or was lying dead somewhere in Nashville. At some point when it became clear Ozz wasn’t going to materialize in time for the show, Roth said members of Sabbath asked him if he could sing any of their material, but he didn’t know any of their lyrics. Van Halen would play their opening slot, but Sabbath would have to cancel for obvious reasons. By this time the hotel and surrounding areas were now swarming with the local police and the FBI, all searching for Osbourne. At the center of it all was David Lee Roth, as he was technically—as far as anyone knew—one of the last people to see Ozzy alive. Searches for the singer turned up no clues, no sightings, nothing. Then, as things were starting to seem quite bleak Roth recalls Sabbath had been hanging out sitting on a carpet in the hotel lobby, grim as fuck waiting to have their worst fears confirmed. What actually happened was a very out-of-it-Ozzy headed up to what he thought was his room, #616, as he still had the key from the previous night’s hotel in his possession. The room was being cleaned and Ozzy told the housekeeper to beat it so he could crash for eighteen hours or so after doing blow for half a day with DLR. According to the police report, when he woke up, he realized he was in the wrong room and toddled off to his real room where he picked up a call from a Nashville detective. Dave remembers at around 6:30 in the morning a not dead, maybe only half dead Ozzy walked out of the hotel lobby elevator. Here’s a hilarious quote from Lt. Sherman Nickens of the Nashville, Tennessee PD on the incident. Oh, Lt. Nickens, if you only knew!

“Ozzy Osbourne may have been kidnapped or been the victim of some other form of foul play. Here’s a man who makes a lot of money and has never missed a show in ten years. He doesn’t drink or use dope. He disappears and his people are so frantic. So it was possible that something had happened to this man. While all the time he’s sleeping.”

Let this be a lesson to you folks: never challenge David Lee Roth to a cocaine duel—you will lose.

Sabbath returned to Tennessee with VH a few days later to make up the gig and by most accounts it wasn’t great, as Osbourne’s voice was shot. What follows are photos of VH and Sabbath (one is NSFW) taken during their massive tour in 1978. Also included below is footage of Sabbath’s incredible performance at the Hammersmith Odeon on June 1st, 1978, and equally impressive bootleg audio of Van Halen’s set the same night. Your speakers are about to get a well-deserved workout.
 

A collage of amusing headlines and articles about Ozzy oversleeping in the wrong hotel room in Nashville.
 

 
More coked-up mayhem and mischief after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
|
09.19.2018
08:42 am
|
David Lee Roth on Dongo Island: The ten-million-dollar film DLR left Van Halen for but never made
07.24.2018
09:28 am
Topics:
Tags:


It almost happened!
 
If you are a child of the 80s, you must recall one of the messiest rock band breakups ever when David Lee Roth walked away from his vocalist duties for Van Halen. Things got hairy between Roth and Eddie Van Halen after the decision was made in 1983 to record their sixth studio record, 1984, at Eddie’s new studio, 5150. Even though the album produced a few monster hits, Roth couldn’t shake the feeling recording 1984 at 5150 gave Eddie too much creative control over the band. And he wasn’t necessarily wrong. Here’s Eddie talking about the decision to move VH’s base of recording operations to his home studio:

“The bottom line is I wanted more control. I was always butting heads with Ted Templeman about what makes a good record. My philosophy has always been I’d rather bomb with my own music than make it with other people’s music.”

 
This wouldn’t be the first time things got intense between DLR, Eddie, his brother Alex, and bassist Michael Anthony. To help promote Women and Children First, the band’s label Warner Brothers engaged one of the art world’s biggest icons, Helmut Newton, to take photos of the band. Roth was an enthusiastic fan of Newton, but allegedly the rest of the group hadn’t heard of him and were unimpressed. Which was fine, as it turns out Newton didn’t vibe with the Van Halen brothers during the photo shoot at Dave’s house in 1979. Following the shoot, an all-out war in the VH camp started with accusations coming from the brothers claiming Roth was trying to be the “center of attention.” Warner Brothers would end up bringing in photographer Norman Seeff to shoot more images of the band in an effort to keep the peace. Two of Seeff’s photos were used for the cover and back of Women and Children First, and have since become iconic. As a compromise, Newton’s photo of a shirtless David Lee Roth in chains was included as a mini-poster inside the album.
 

Photos taken by Norman Seeff used for the 1980 album ‘Women and Children First.’
 
Rock historians have said this incident was the beginning of the band’s demise after relations between Roth and the band became super tense during the grueling seven-month tour in support of 1984. Roth wanted to do things—like acting—without VH but hoped Eddie Van Halen would do the soundtrack for upcoming film he was planning. At some point, Roth pointedly asked Eddie to do the score, a request Eddie declined. Roth responded by saying he couldn’t “work” with the band for a while, adding that once he was done with his movie, they would “get back together.” In August of 1985, Eddie Van Halen told Rolling Stone “the band (Van Halen) as you know it is over.”

Continues after the, er… jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
|
07.24.2018
09:28 am
|
David Lee Roth’s insane isolated vocals from ‘Runnin’ With the Devil’ make a really great ringtone


The great David Lee Roth back in the late 1970s.
 
So first off, yeah, I know that David Lee Roth’s isolated vocals from Van Halen’s 1978 juggernaut, “Runnin’ With the Devil” have been making the rounds out on the Internet for a while. But perhaps what you didn’t know is that there is a site that allows you to download them in neat little MP3 files so you could, as I’d strongly suggest, use them as ring tones for your smart phone. So let’s all help make our smart phones great again by ditching those irritating pre-loaded ringtones and replacing them with Diamond Dave’s straight-up mythical war cry from the stoner teen anthem, “Aaahhh Haaa YEAHHH!”

Of course, it’s easy enough for most people to DIY this themselves, but on Soundboard.com you can even text DLR’s vocals to anyone you want in the United States. If DLR isn’t your cup of tea (???), don’t despair as there are over 485,000 other sounds on Soundboard, including famous quotes spoken by Samuel L. “Say WHAT again” Jackson and Christopher Walken. There’s also an entire category called “Nicolas Cage loses his shit” that includes a downloadable MP3 of Cage rage-screaming the word “fuck” for five full seconds. Nice.

In case you’ve never heard Roth’s isolated vocals from “Runnin’ With the Devil,” here’s a video compilation of that audio:
 

David Lee Roth’s isolated vocals from “Runnin’ With the Devil.”

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Van Halen wanted to crush a Volkswagen Beetle with a tank in 1979… just to piss off Aerosmith
Van Halen cover Bowie and KC & The Sunshine Band (while judging a dance contest!) in the 70s
Thundertrain: The band that was ‘Hot for Teacher’ before Van Halen
The Nightmare Before Halloween: Insane early Van Halen set from 1977
‘They tried to make us look like the Clash!’ Van Halen’s rejected first album cover

Posted by Cherrybomb
|
07.28.2017
02:42 pm
|
Weird VHS rarity ‘David Lee Roth’s No Holds Bar-B-Que’ is totally screwy and online in its entirety
07.06.2016
09:10 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
In 2002, for reasons that may have been clear only to him, former Van Halen singer and professional outsized ham David Lee Roth spent a reported $600,000 making a disjointed longform music video featuring himself cavorting with a dwarf, chugging beers with pregnant women, playing with an Asian sword to the tune of “Baker Street,” doing a totally unnecessary cover of “Tomorrow Never Knows,” brandishing military weapons, cavorting with models, playing jazz guitar…

It’s a lot like what might happen if a 14-year-old boy with a brutal case of ADHD was given a generous supply of alcohol and money, a shitty ‘80s VHS camcorder, and the chance to make the music video of his dreams.
 

 
The video was manufactured as a 2xVHS package—one tape was the regular video, the other was the video with Roth’s stream-of-Ritalin commentary, which would have to be exponentially more bonkers than the video alone—and it may have been sent out to entertainment industry movers in a quixotic endeavor to score a reality show, but it’s only been available to civilians as a bootleg, or in bits and pieces on YouTube, until a couple of days ago when Roth uploaded the whole damn thing to his own video channel, so that it can at last be seen uninterrupted in all its awkward-segue glory.

If your tolerance levels for Roth and/or the puerile display of women’s bodies are low, don’t even bother, you’ll definitely hate this 100% as much as you’re imagining you will. If you’re a sufficiently advanced ironist or a big enough actual fan of the guy to handle an hour of his mugging, you’ll be treated to a deliriously spastic mashup of early MTV and low-rent Jodorowsky for connoisseurs of breast implants and mind-bogglingly inept cover songs.

Watch ‘David Lee Roth’s No Holds Bar-B-Que’ after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Ron Kretsch
|
07.06.2016
09:10 am
|
Mabel: 1970s Danish disco glam rockers go all hair metal & take some bad advice from David Lee Roth
06.23.2016
10:33 am
Topics:
Tags:


An early promo shot of Danish band Mabel with a shirtless teenage Michael Trempenau (aka Mike Tramp of hair metal band White Lion) second from the left.
 
Hailing from a part of the world that seems to produce more blonde-haired people than anywhere else, Danish glam band Mabel got their big break sometime in the mid-70s when their vocalist Gert Von Magnus caught the eye of Tam Paton—a man who was overseeing the burgeoning career of the Bay City Rollers and got the band the opening slot for his teenybopper idols at a gig in Copenhagen.
 

Mabel, 1978.

But poor Magnus never got to taste the success Mabel would go on to have as he was quickly replaced by another Dane, fifteen-year-old Michael Trempenau who was going by the name “Mike Tramp.” And if that name has got your heavy metal bells ringing it’s for good reason as Tramp would eventually go on to front early-80s hair band White Lion. With Tramp’s addition to Mabel the band started their slow slide toward a more disco sound—a move that made the band a hugely popular attraction in Germany and Spain. In the late 70s Mabel moved their operation to Spain after gaining more notoriety when their catchy number “Boom Boom” was chosen as the official Danish selection for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1978. Things were going well for Mabel but their young vocalist wasn’t super into the band’s pop-music vibe and was instead digging heavily on bands like Van Halen and AC/DC. Tramp convinced his bandmates to switch things up by changing their name from Mabel to the more manly sounding “Studs” and trying their hand a more rock-oriented sound.
 
Keep rockin’ after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
|
06.23.2016
10:33 am
|
‘Whoooo!’ Watch this ridiculously over-the-top David Lee Roth karate kick compilation
01.05.2016
08:46 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
This is so dumb, but by the end of it I was nearly hyperventilating from laughing so hard.

Some genius put together this superb supercut of David Lee Roth jumps and kicks—which would have been amusing enough on its own—but then they took it completely over-the-top with the addition of grunts, whoops, and yells pilfered from Roth’s “Runnin’ With the Devil” vocal take.
 

“Whoooo!”
 
By now everyone’s probably heard the hilarious acapella track from the sessions of Van Halen‘s debut album. It’s taken on an Internet life of its own, first as a viral YouTube video, and then having been used in countless mashups (including the “Can Halen” track we wrote about a couple of months ago), and even as the soundtrack to a David Lee Roth-themed, asteroids-inspired video game. But THIS, my friends, is by far the best use of that track yet.

The video starts to get REALLY good about 40 seconds in as it reaches a fever pitch. I absolutely lose it on the “Oh God!” at 1:03.
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Can Halen: Some genius mashed up David Lee Roth with everyone’s favorite Krautrock band

Posted by Christopher Bickel
|
01.05.2016
08:46 am
|
David Lee Roth awesomely botches a TV interview with a rambling story about the Screamers
10.08.2015
10:32 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
In 1985, a possibly (probably?—it was the ‘80s) high David Lee Roth misunderstood a question, blowing two and a half minutes of his network TV airtime on a rambling story about a cult LA punk singer. The Nielsen families may have had no idea what he was talking about, but for fans of the seminal LA synth-punk band, the Screamers, it was an unexpected treat.

David Lee Roth appeared on Late Night With David Letterman on January 2, 1985, promoting his then upcoming solo EP, Crazy From the Heat

During the course of the segment, Letterman asks Roth standard scripted questions which are typically revealed to the guests by show staff during a pre-interview. Early in the conversation, Roth expounds on directing videos, his system and code for identifying the most fuckable groupies (“red right, red t-shirt, out of sight, six feet back”), and the future of Van Halen (at this point he believed he’d be going back into the studio to record a follow-up to 1984.)
 

 
Things get interesting when Letterman asks about a “club” Roth belongs to. Letterman is prompting Roth to open up about “the Jungle Studs,” a group of adventurers Roth hung around with in the 80’s, making extreme sport-style expeditions to places like Nepal and the Amazon. Diamond Dave epically misses the prompt and instead launches into a story about an after-hours LA bar and an artist named “Ta-mata.”

Roth is probably referencing Zero One Gallery, an after-hours bar and art-space on Melrose, which was considered by glitterati of the day to be LA’s lowbrow answer to Warhol’s Factory.

He’s also unquestionably talking about Tomata du Plenty, lead singer of massively influential LA punk band, the Screamers
 

 
Despite remaining unsigned and never recording a proper album, the Screamers were one of the top-drawing LA club acts between 1977 and 1981. Unfortunately breaking up just before the dawn of MTV, the band was determined to record their first album as a video-only release. Sadly they dissolved before seeing that project through to fruition.

Tomata du Plenty’s post-Screamers art career began in 1983 with a one-man exhibition of watercolor portraits at the Zero One Gallery, and apparently—as evidenced in this interview—David Lee Roth was a massive fan.
 

Sadly, Tomata died of cancer in 2000 at the age of 52.
 
It’s fascinating to watch David Lee Roth blow (cocaine pun intended) over two and a half minutes of his network television screentime on a rambling anecdote about the Screamers frontman hanging art in a bar, and if you’re a fan of the Screamers (which you should be), then it’s an interesting bit of punk art history related to their brilliant lead singer.

Here’s an excerpt of Roth’s interview on Letterman:
 

 
And here’s “Ta-mata” before he was one of David Lee Roth’s favorite artists, performing live with the Screamers:
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Punish or be damned: LA punk legends The Screamers live at the Whisky A Go Go, 1979

Posted by Christopher Bickel
|
10.08.2015
10:32 am
|