Bob Dylan’s David Lee Roth-Related First Job
Although Bob Dylan is now one of the greatest songwriters of all time with many achievements, he was once a young boy trying to find a place in the scene. He was born on May 24, 1941, in Duluth and developed an interest in blues, country music, and rock and roll after spending most of his time listening to the radio.
Dylan then attended Hibbing High School and formed several bands, performing covers of artists like Little Richard and Elvis Presley. He then enrolled at the University of Minnesota and shifted towards American folk music. At that time, the singer began to perform at a coffeehouse named the Ten O’Clock Scholar. At the beginning of his career, Dylan also had his first job at a club, making his first experience related to David Lee Roth.
Which Job Formed A Connection Between Bob Dylan And David Lee Roth?
Among other venues important in the history of rock and folk music, the music club Cafe Wha? also was prominent. Located at the corner of MacDougal Street and Minetta Lane in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, the club presented numerous musicians in their early music careers, including Bruce Springsteen, Jimi Hendrix, and Bob Dylan.
Bob Dylan first performed at Cafe Wha? on January 24, 1961, while hitchhiking across the country. He then continued to play at the club as a backup harmonica player. At that time, Manny Roth was the longtime owner of Cafe Wha?. As it turns out, he was the uncle of David Lee Roth and Lisa Roth. As reported by New York Business Journal, Roth’s sister Lisa stated that Manny gave Dylan a job as a backup harmonica player for visiting musicians and fired him after he got late for a few shows.
Here is what Lisa Roth recalled about those times:
“I understood that what my uncle created was very special, and the legacy of talent that played the Café Wha? during the ’60s was phenomenal. A very young Bob Dylan played there. My uncle found him a place to crash, gave him a job backing up visiting musicians on his harmonica, and then fired him after he was late for a few gigs. That always makes me laugh.”
In an interview with MTV’s Martha Quinn, Bob Dylan revealed his thoughts on Van Halen icon David Lee Roth. He then admitted he didn’t know Diamond Dave, but he knew who his uncle was. Moreover, Dylan recalled that Roth’s uncle gave him his first job at Cafe Wha?.
Speaking to MTV, Bob Dylan said the following about David Lee Roth:
“I don’t know him. I know who his uncle is. I used to work for his uncle. As a matter of fact, his uncle gave me my very first job.“
So, it appears that Bob Dylan’s first job experience was at David Lee Roth’s uncle’s music club, Cafe Wha?. Later, Diamond Dave played at the club with Van Halen on January 5, 2012. Although Dylan didn’t know who Roth was then, this is indeed a pleasant coincidence.