Van Halen’s iconic frontman, David Lee Roth posted a new episode of his well-known and catchy podcast, The New Roth Show on his official YouTube account.
In that episode, Nairobi Telegraph, Van Halen star David Lee Roth revealed a never-told-before story about Alex Van Halen.
Metalhead Zone transcribed the story.
Here is his statement:
“Summer between 78 and 79 apartheid in South Africa is at its peak lots and lots of conflict. They just built Sun City Resort, I think Frank Sinatra decided to go there but he reflects old-school Reagan time Nixon sort of politics.
He’s really right-wing he’s not hip at that point in time people are really really avoiding the country because of the white vote there is really really Afrikaner is super racist.
At that point the government is super super exclusionary restrictive and I said to Alex Van Halen drummer of the band Van Halen, “Halen hey why don’t we get on a plane and go visit take a look for ourself.”
“We did fly to New York, New York to London and London to Nairobi got off the plane for a little layover in Nairobi and sent a telegram. Remember this day and age you gotta go did it stopped it at a hip stop and send something to Tom Rufino who was the director of international at Warner Brothers at the time.
Saying that we’ve been taken off the plane and held captive for ransom and how much money would Warner Brothers pony up to get us back and dig no clue that this was being faker that we were doing a practical joke.”
An hour later we got a telegram saying that:
“Warner Brothers had taken up a collection and then collected $11.23, stay posted stop.”
“Alex Van Halen and I decided we would go down. We’re gonna take a look for Ourselves and unbeknownst to our guides in our interpreters who were very prim and proper. I mean you know with the librarian collar and this kind of thing with a clipboard welcome to government we walk inside we do our interviews for 45 minutes and we’re gonna have to wait four days for them to go through the censorship they’re gonna pick through it make sure there’s no innuendo facade that there’s no subtext that was not politically oriented and much to our credit at the time.
We talked to our guides and a lot of folks who were in their 20s perhaps at that point in time we were driving around having lunch and dinner in what was kind of like Mormon country it looked a little bit like Salt Lake City in the 70s very squares cut very boring very regular and predictable and that was one of the times that just as our friends left the car to take a bathroom break or somesuch.”
You can watch the whole show below.