Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth was the recent guest of Steve Batlin of Forbes and revealed who are his role models.
Roth responded with lots of names such Elvis Presley, Goerge Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein.
Here is what he said:
“When I was doing rock and roll and learning stage craft we were imitating all the European act, who were schooled from old British music hall and Vaudeville. All those Odeon’s and theaters were still open when I did my first tours.
And all the old guys and everything, Alfred Lagarde, in Holland and he would comment and stuff. And he would comment, he was a critic as well as a supporter. Old school, so that was very much in our DNA. I came from classic training, which was George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, classic music like this. That edge is in Van Halen music.
That dark minor key tone is in everything we ever made and that’s why we have two diamond albums [Van Halen and 1984]. Elvis Presley doesn’t have two. He has one and it was Christmas tunes and he didn’t write them.
That darkness, that little shot of sea salt in the caramel is what makes it work, the John Lennon note. Not the [Paul] McCartney note. The reason I’m so funny is because I ain’t even vaguely happy. And that’s in your music all the time, from midrange down to here.”
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