Eddie Van Halen’s Resentment Toward David Lee Roth

When the Van Halen brothers thought forming a band would be a great idea, all they needed to find was a bassist and someone to sing all the tracks. The brothers were in luck as they connected with David Lee Roth, and with Eddie’s genius in guitar playing and Roth’s showmanship, we all know how the story went.

However, the curse of successful bands is that their egos might get even greater with great publicity and fortune. Soon enough, the good old pals who once formed a promising act might become rivals envying and outshining one another. So, when Dave felt that Van Halen didn’t fulfill his wishes for a bright career he might have, he famously left the band to pursue something new, a solo career.

Yet, even though we might think the resentment between the former bandmates for Roth’s departure was a thing of the past, Eddie still had another reason not to be fond of Dave. You see, the guitarist wasn’t a fan of the rocker even when the band was about to reunite several years ago, and Van Halen’s reasoning for the dislike was… well, quite personal.

So, when Van Halen was preparing to hit the road for a nationwide tour, Eddie sat down with Billboard in 2015 to have a chat about how he didn’t like listening to any music, his home studio, the upcoming tour, and, well, his dislike of David Lee Roth. As the guitarist discussed his relationship with the frontman, he said that Roth couldn’t ever grow up.

“He does not want to be my friend,” Van Halen said before emphasizing the importance of knowing when to stop acting young. “How can I put this? Roth’s perception of himself is different than who he is in reality. We’re not in our 20s anymore. We’re in our 60s. Act like you’re 60. I stopped coloring my hair because I know I’m not going to be young again.”

Working with Dave was also challenging because they had creative differences in their taste in music, and Eddie discussed why producing an album was tough by saying, “It’s hard because there are four people in this band, and three of us like rock n’ roll. And one of us likes dance music. And that used to kind of work, but now Dave doesn’t want to come to the table.”

So, even when Eddie was reuniting with Dave to tour nationwide, the guitarist didn’t really like Roth’s personality and didn’t enjoy working with the singer. Van Halen resented DLR because the frontman was desperately trying to preserve his youth, but the late guitarist wanted his old friend to know it was time to get older.