Eddie Van Halen Bandmate Reveals ‘Emergency Medicine’

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As Eddie Van Halen’s wife revealed her family’s struggle with dementia, David Lee Roth discussed his own father’s medical background on a recent episode of The Roth Show. Alternative Nation transcribed his comments.

“My pop took me to the boxing matches when he was in medical school, because he always said emergency medicine was the shit. He loved contact sports, he thought that was a great vent for society. My whole family, the adult males were in the air force for years. My cousin Brandon went into journalism in the army, and served in the Balkans, maybe that’s part of the reason I [became an EMT]. To make a full circle, we used to sit by the boxing ring at the university, Indiana University, and then in Massachusetts.”

A Van Halen relative confirmed a horrible injury a few days ago. Roth continued, “I remember in Miami when we visited my grandparents. Jesus, in 1960? Earlier than that, 1958 or 1959. A boxer had a problem with his eye, it was a retinal detachment. It was pop’s speciality. So of course contact sports, rugby players, soccer players, American football players, anything that has that. Boom, your retina, and that was Dad’s specialty. Cryotherapeutic, how do we get that retina back into shape, and get you back into the ring.

We went down to the same gym, it’s no longer a gym, I believe it was on Collins Ave. and South Beach. It was the boxing gym that Muhammad Ali before he was Muhammad Ali, he was Cassius Clay, he boxed in there. We went there, and Dad tended to a young new boxer named Floyd Patterson. I had no idea then, I certainly do now. So my fascination with emergency medicine is the shit, contact sports is the shit, you are starting to see some of the DNA here.” Eddie Van Halen’s wife revealed a cancer scare last week.