Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth was interviewed on a recent edition of Marc Maron’s podcast, WTF w/ Marc Maron. Here, the Van Halen frontman makes a surprising Jimi Hendrix revelation. Alternative Nation transcribed Roth and Maron’s comments. During the interview, Roth also detailed a bad phone call with Eddie Van Halen. A Van Halen reunion tour has long been rumored with Michael Anthony returning.
Maron: Did you play on Ice Cream Man?
Roth: Yeah, that’s me – flat pickin’ on an open tuning, alright? That kind of music was ingrained in our DNA and we were unaware of our that we were learning from seventy-five year old sharecropper, wanderer, men strolled traveling musicians. That was just cool stuff. There was a huge blues explosion in the sixties when Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, and The Doors were all happening, but at the exact same time you had B.B. King, Albert King – there were a lot of Kings.
Maron: You had John Hammond downtown too.
Roth: Oh everybody, John Lee Hooker came back around, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters and all of Keith Richards’ current record collection.
Roth: And I know you may disagree.
Maron: You were probably like, what, ten then?
Roth: Oh, kind of in that transitional phase.
Maron: When you are out here in Pasadena, when do you start singing, like with the band, with a band?
Roth: Well first time, I think I was – well, there is a phase, in your life, when you’re going to have all of your friends either, if they are Spanish-speaking they are having Quinceañeras or they are having Bat Mitzvah parties. Every Bat Mitzvah, every Spanish speaking anniversary or wedding would have a combo. This is how Van Halen started, we would play so times at Maharis Mexican Restaurant in the parking lot for every event that happened.
Maron: As Van Halen?
Roth: Oh yeah, we were named something else, we were called Mammoth at the time but the band was [the same]
Maron: And you were doing covers?
Roth: Oh yeah, nothing but covers, nobody wanted to dance to original music. [laughs]