What Was David Lee Roth’s Primary Focus With His Solo Band, Ex-Guitarist Explains

Former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth‘s ex-guitarist Jake Faun recently looked back on his tenure with the rocker in an interview with The DLR Cast. The musician revealed Diamond Dave’s priority in his solo band and said he wasn’t primarily focused on his solo music.

Following his first departure from Van Halen in 1984, David Lee Roth formed his solo band with many celebrated musicians like Steve Vai and Billy Sheehan. The band released numerous successful songs and albums from the mid-1980s until the late 1990s. They experienced lineup changes in the meantime, and Roth worked with other well-known rockers, including guitarist Jason Becker and Steve Hunter.

Jake Faun joined the David Lee Roth Band as their guitar player for one of those lineup changes. He played shows at arenas all over the United States alongside Ryan Wheeler, Al Estrada, Francis Valentino, and Danny Wagner until the COVID-19 pandemic halted Roth’s tour with KISS. Since he’s been with Diamond Dave for more than a couple of years now, the guitarist reflected on his musical direction in a recent conversation.

Starting with the first time he heard David Lee Roth, Jake Faun said he was first introduced to DLR while playing the popular video game named GTA Vice City, in which his song ‘Yankee Rose‘ appeared. Upon hearing the track, Faun became a massive fan of the singer, and many years later, he became his guitar player. Apart from looking back on his introduction to Diamond Dave, Jake Faun reflected on his musical direction regarding his solo band.

David Lee Roth wasn’t fond of playing his solo material during live performances. Instead, he’s more focused on playing the early Van Halen material because he believed they were more iconic. Considering he was the lead singer during those times before the Van Hagar period, hearing his tendency to play that music didn’t surprise his longtime fans.

About DLR’s musical focus, Faun said:

“I knew some of the solos. My first introduction to solo David Lee Roth was 15 years ago on a game called GTA Vice City. One of the songs was ‘Yankee Rose,’ and I just picked up the guitar. That was really cool. The guitar was talking. His playing is like nothing else because he’s Steve Vai. So I was always a fan of David after that.

We only did a couple of David’s solo stuff, ‘Just Like Paradise,’ ‘Tobacco Road,’ and all the greats. David mainly was focused on the early Van Halen stuff because it was more iconic. I was like, ‘Let’s play ‘Yanke Rose’ because that’s a great song, and everyone was asking about it,’ but… So, I only played a few of them.”

You can listen to ‘Yanke Rose’ below.