David Lee Roth's 'Crazy From the Heat' Autobiography

rolsen

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2,175
I just finished reading David Lee Roth’s 1998 autobiography, Crazy From the Heat. Don’t laugh, it was a fantastic read! Much more to DLR than meets the eye and the book confirms just how whip-smart, contemplative and worldly he really is. I was especially surprised by his observations and personal experiences of coming from a Jewish household and being a Jew as a young man, how that seems to have forged part of his world view. At least according to him, every action done by him in the public eye or behind the curtain was exacting, calculated to effect maximum impact of his ‘art,’ to provide a level of quality and diligence better than the next guy. That’s why I have a day job and play weekend warrior at local bars and he sold out stadiums – I never worked that hard at it!

Interesting to learn he is a bit of a loner once the lights go down. I knew of his adventure streak, his alpine and rock climbing, Amazon river exploring, etc. Of course, most here would be very interested in his time with Van Halen. I must say, if what he says is truthful, I feel DLR is a sympathetic character with regards to his leaving (or ouster from) Van Halen. I’ve read Sammy Hagar’s book too and there are some consistencies between the two accounts so far as being singers with the Van Halen brothers. Warning – the book intentionally reads manically. Some ‘chapters’ are half a page long, some crazy anecdote. Some are many pages – a thorough oral history complete with DLR's crazy vernacular.


Having reacquainted with DLR as of late, Van Halen reunion, his internet TV show and all, I feel he is a guy still bursting at the seams with creative energy and a desire to do more musically. I feel a little sad for the guy because it’s difficult to find acceptance for new rock music when the artist is 60 yrs old and counting, ya know? Plus, his vocal acumen isn’t what it was. All artists peak and it’s impossible to sustain that forever, or even harder, get back to that peak. Anyhow, I enjoyed the book enough to write about it here and I don’t do that all that often. Most my reading is historical fiction or non-fiction, so wouldn’t be appropriate in the Lounge anyway! Thought I’d share…
 
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As much as I respect all of the OG members of Van Halen, I definitely think that in many ways, DLR frequently found himself to be the smartest guy in the room, and probably was.
 

rickcard71

Gold Supporting Member
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You made me want to get the book. He is super smart and probably bored mentally hanging out with the band. But they partied so much that it didn't matter most of the time I'm sure.
 

aynirar27

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that was a really great read. one of my favorite bios for sure. dude is a great story teller.
my mom found it for a dollar in some bargain bin somewhere a while back. she said "don't you like this guy?" haha
 

John 14:6

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I read the book years ago and I remember thinking it was well done along with being quite entertaining. I had more respect for Roth after I read the book. He is a very smart guy who plays at being the class clown. The guy is not dumb in the slightest.
 

neoprimitive

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I gotta read this. Dave is 19 times smarter than most people would think he is. And one of the best front men in the history of rock n roll. As much as I loved the music of van halen, Dave was the wrapper of the whole damn thing. I'm gonna go buy it this weekend, I'm about due for a good read.
 

DRS

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My Fave Dave anecdote is when he and Valerie Bertinelli were hanging backstage during a VH tour, and Dave had the soundtrack to South Pacific on. She had a curious look on her face, so Dave explained that the singer in Zeppelin had used the vocal line from 'Bali Hai' for 'The Immigrant Song.' Dave was convinced that to this day, she believed Led Zeppelin wrote South Pacific.
 

TNJ

Gold Supporting Member
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I read it…and the guy was fearless, with a keen sense of adventure.
I believe he could vocalize this inner self quite well with Eddie and company.
Smarter than the average bear, for sure.

Of course, my fave era for VH was the Diamond era…but the book is really an eye opener.


S.
j
 
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He is a very smart guy who plays at being the class clown. The guy is not dumb in the slightest.
Indeed. There was a lot of intelligent playfulness and experimenting that was lost from VH without him. The older I get the more I appreciate that there's more to a good singer than being able to scream and hold a note. Glad he's back, another album with any other VH vocalist would not be that interesting to me.

Going to get the bio, looking forward to it.
 

Bogner

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I have always thought he was far more "talented" than given credit for. By talent I mean his choices, his ways, his knowledge of things and how to work a crowd whether on stage or even in an interview etc. I think he was and still is very misunderstood in many ways. He is far from the stereotype many apply to him. He is a sharp guy who I would love to hang with for a week and just pick his brain and listen/learn from him.
 

n9ne

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Read it years ago and really enjoyed it. I loved that it didn't read like an autobiography; it reads like you're just hanging out while DLR is telling stories. I should dig it up and read it again.

One of the most memorable stories was his explanation of the infamous "no brown M&M's" clause in the VH rider.

As DLR explained, a band's rider isn't just about food and dressing rooms; it's a huge document that details the band's requirements for every aspect of a concert venue, including things like stage construction and power requirements. The M&M's clause was buried somewhere deep in the middle of the rider....and if the band showed up and found brown M&M's in the bowl, it indicated that the promoter either had not read the rider thoroughly or was cutting corners.

The band would then go on huge tirade and trash the dressing room, and make everyone think it was about the brown M&M's....but they would secretly pull their stage manager aside and have him double-check the stage, rigging, and electrical circuits to verify that everything was done correctly and up to code. After all, if the promoter was cutting corners on something as simple as brown M&M's, there's no telling what other corners he might be cutting....and they had to ensure he wasn't doing anything that might place the band and/or crowd at risk.

My only complaint with the book was the way he glossed over the whole Eat 'Em and Smile era. Dave spoke glowingly of Steve Vai, of course, and gave Vai a ton of credit for inspiring him and helping him through the post-VH breakup period ...but as I recall, he barely mentioned Billy Sheehan or Greg Bissonette, and provided little or no insight into the creative forces that produced an absolutely tremendous album.

Yeah...I need to dig it up and read it again. It's been too long.
 

georgestrings

Senior Member
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1,506
I gotta read this. Dave is 19 times smarter than most people would think he is. And one of the best front men in the history of rock n roll. As much as I loved the music of van halen, Dave was the wrapper of the whole damn thing. I'm gonna go buy it this weekend, I'm about due for a good read.
Yeah, I've gotta check it out myself - sounds like a good read...


- georgestrings
 

snouter

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So apparently Dave is very clever, but pretty much has no idea how to sing. Not sure if anyone has an argument with that.
 

stbhorn

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I want to know how he has kept himself in such great physical shape at age 60! He is rockin' a six pack still!
 

tcdrover

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1,260
So apparently Dave is very clever, but pretty much has no idea how to sing. Not sure if anyone has an argument with that.
VH fanatics will have more than just an argument for you. ;)

I'm not a big Van Halen fan, but I do really love their first album and all those early bootlegs from before that. Those early shows are all fantastic.

He sang just fine back then, he seemed cooler & funnier too IMHO.

It's like he took the tone knob and pushed it to TEN after VH-I.
 




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