When David Lee Roth Made Steve Perry Cry
Former Van Halen lead singer David Lee Roth has dozens of unbelievable stories from his tours with other bands. Usually, bands musicians highly enjoy hitting the road since they get a chance to visit new cities, try out new things, and get together with their fans. However, if a rock band gets bored while on the road or backstage, this may have catastrophic consequences since they have unlimited access to freedom when it comes to doing whatever they want.
Considering the infamous disputes and feuds between Van Halen members, it shouldn’t be surprising that the musicians found themselves in a similar position. After getting bored while waiting, Diamond Dave wanted to start a food fight with his fellow musician Eddie Van Halen. What began as an innocent backstage joke became the reason Journey frontman Steve Perry cried. Let’s look at this hilarious story to see what Roth did to cause Perry to cry.
David Lee Roth’s Prank Made Steve Perry Cry
Van Halen was touring as the supporting act for opening act Montrose and headliners Journey back in 1978. The then-young band was having a blast backstage as David Lee Roth started a food fight by throwing a bowl of peanuts at Eddie Van Halen. In retaliation, the guitarist threw a bowl of guacamole at the singer but missed Roth and hit Journey lead singer Steve Perry instead.
Covered in guacamole from head to toe, the musician ran into the bathroom. As Van Halen’s manager Noel Monk wrote in his book entitled ‘Runnin’ With The Devil,’ he followed Steve Perry to see how he would react. While Monk was expecting Perry to fire the band from the tour and ask to pay for the damage done to his luxurious jacket, the singer’s reaction was the exact opposite.
As Perry turned around, he told Monk that he was planning to wear that outfit during that night’s show. After that, the Journey frontman began crying. Although it wasn’t Diamond Dave who covered Perry with guacamole, he was the person who started the food fight by throwing peanuts at Eddie Van Halen in the first place.
Monk explained the incident in his book as follows:
“I found Steve in front of the sink. From the top of his luxurious mane of silky black hair to the middle of his shimmering new saying Journey jacket, he was completely covered in guacamole. ‘Hey Steve,’ I tried to keep my tone gentle and the gentle sheer out of my voice. ‘You okay?’ Steve slowly turned around so that I could get a full-frontal view of the onslaught.
‘I was going to wear this on stage tonight,’ he told me, tapping the chest of his jacket, his lower lip quivering. Words failed him, and for a moment, I thought he was about to erupt, to start screaming, to demand that we pay for the damages and leave the tour immediately. But instead, he simply began crying.“
While the manager detailed the incident in his book as if the Van Halen members bullied Steve Perry, the musician revealed a much different aspect of this story. As you may expect, he claimed not having cried over being covered in guacamole.
Steve Perry Has A Different Story
Three years after the book was published and the story was out, Steve Perry eventually opened up about whether he cried over a jacket. During an interview with Rolling Stone, the musician said that he went to Van Halen’s place backstage to tell them how much he loved their music. As he opened the door, Perry saw David and Eddie having a food fight.
Just as he opened the door, he saw a container of guacamole hitting the mirror on his left side, splashing onto his ‘most prized possession.’ Apparently, that jacket meant the world to him at that time, which was the reason he was pissed after seeing the green dip over it. However, he didn’t cry over getting guacamole stains on his jacket and stressed that the story was inaccurate.
About his side of the story, Perry said:
“One night, I decided I had to go tell him, ‘I just love you guys.’ I opened the door and was about to say, ‘Hey, guys…’ Now, back in these days, guacamole came in cottage cheese–like a container. The band was having a food fight. Just as I was opening the door, a container of guacamole bumped off the mirror to my left and splashed against my most prized possession, being a small-town kid from Fresno. It was my satin tour jacket that had “Journey” on the back of it. Wearing that, I felt like I was finally somebody.
The guacamole went on my left shoulder and my left arm. I looked down on it, and I looked up at them, and they sheepishly laughed like, ‘Oh shit.’ I just looked at them, and I closed the door and left because I was pissed. I went into the bathroom, and I was just pissed. That was my prized jacket. I still loved them, but I couldn’t give them props anymore after that. I wiped my guacamole off my satin jacket. There was no crying. I wouldn’t cry over guacamole. It becomes folklore at some point. It becomes silly.”
It appears that both sides have different recollections as to what really happened that night. However, Perry has a point in saying that stories like this can turn into rock myths. While the manager might have distorted the incident, it is also possible that Perry cried that night but doesn’t want to admit it now.