The Guitar Solos David Lee Roth Wrote For Van Halen
In the early years of his career, David Lee Roth performed solo with an R&B-oriented rock band named the Red Ball Jets before rising to prominence with Van Halen. Later, he joined Mammoth, which would later become Van Halen, as the lead singer after meeting with the Van Halen brothers, Alex and Eddie. The band gained recognition as a live act and got signed with a record label. Following that, the musicians achieved great success with their self-titled debut album, released in 1978.
After appearing in the subsequent five Van Halen albums, the creative and personal differences between Roth and Eddie Van Halen led the singer to leave the band in 1985. David Lee Roth was an important figure in Van Halen with his unique singing tone, flamboyant character, and energetic stage presence. Following his departure from the band, the singer pursued a remarkable solo career.
David Lee Roth’s Solo Career
David Lee Roth had started his solo journey while still a member of Van Halen. In early 1985, he released his debut solo recording, ‘Crazy from the Heat’ as an EP. Following that, his debut LP ‘Eat ‘Em and Smile,’ arrived in 1986. The album was a critical and commercial success, encouraging the singer to continue his adventure as a solo artist.
In the following years, Roth kept releasing new original material and collaborating with many other notable musicians. Although the musician announced his retirement in October 2021 following his run of now-canceled shows in Las Vegas, he still left the door open for new shows in his recent interviews.
DLR returned to Van Halen in 2006 and fronted the band until its dissolution in 2020, yet he just appeared on one album, 2012’s ‘A Different Kind of Truth,’ being the band’s final album. In his solo career, Diamond Dave has never hesitated to perform Van Halen songs since he always believed he played a prominent role in the band’s creative process and even wrote some guitar solos.
Which Van Halen Solos Did David Lee Roth Create?
Starting from 1985, David Lee Roth never took a break from his solo career, even when he reunited with Van Halen in 2006. Besides his solo works, Van Halen’s songs also held an important place on his setlists during his solo shows. So, the singer was asked about how he felt performing Van Halen tracks as a solo act and whether he had to seek permission to play them.
In a conversation with Missouri radio station KSHE 95 in 2019 before his Las Vegas residency shows, the interviewer wanted to learn whether Roth had had any dialogue with Eddie Van Halen or the rest of the band about singing the band’s songs, especially about the electric guitar parts. In his response, DLR claimed that he wrote every song on Van Halen’s debut album.
Then, he even asserted that he wrote the guitar solos on that record, including the ones in the band’s ‘Jamie’s Cryin” and ‘Runnin’ with the Devil.’ Later, he talked about his creative role within Van Halen in detail. The rocker explained that he was the one who came up with the name Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen’s guitar stripes were his idea, and he designed the album covers and the setting on the stage. According to the singer, he took an active role in the structure of all Van Halen songs in the debut album.
When asked whether he got permission to sing Van Halen songs, Diamond Dave replied:
“No. Because I wrote the songs, I wrote every word you heard, every syllable. Every melody I structured out. Even the guitar solos on that first album. Why do you think the solos changed so radically? I sang the solos for ‘Jamie’s Cryin” and ‘Runnin’ with the Devil,’ et cetera.”
He then continued:
“I wrote those songs, structured those songs. I designed the backgrounds on the stage. I came up with the album covers. I thought of the stripes on the guitar. I’m the one who said, ‘Call it Van Halen.'”
You can listen to the songs DLR claimed he wrote the guitar solos for below.