David Lee Roth's recent comments about his upcoming 2020 Las Vegas residency suggest there's more behind his coming return to the stage than just his enduring love of the city's particular brand of show business.
By the time the show, 'David Lee Roth: Rocks Vegas' begins, it will have been almost five years since Van Halen has performed live. The waiting has been the hardest part for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame front man, who recently explained that he doesn't know what's next for his band.
Roth explained to VH fan site Van Halen News Desk that he doesn't know how much longer he'll be fit enough to perform live; he doesn't want to waste what time he has left.
"Four summers have gone by [since Van Halen's last concert]," he said. "And for a singer, that's paralyzing. Like a boxer or a tap dancer, I am dependent upon my whole rig — my whole body. Perhaps playing a guitar, or piano, for example, with your hands is a bit more forgiving over the years. If you come watch me now, I'm 65 going on 23. If you saw my X-rays, I'm 65 going on 80 (laughs)."
During a round of interviews last fall, Roth sparked speculation that Van Halen was gearing up to go back out on tour this past summer. Then rumors began circulating that the band was planning a reunion with its legendary bassist and backing vocalist Michael Anthony. Anthony later confirmed that he had been asked about a reunion, but the band never followed up.
Now Roth says, like Anthony, he's unsure where Van Halen stands.
"I've paid a price for the time off, frankly," Roth added. "Enough said there. I hope the best for the fellas. But I don't know what's coming up with Van Halen. It's time for me to use whatever talents and skills that I have. I'm bettin' the rent on it. You're going to have a ball! This is the smile that launched a thousand hips."
Roth's Vegas show is advertised as a rotating 26-song setlist featuring a gauntlet of hits from Van Halen, Roth's solo band and other classics.
It was rumored that Van Halen's touring plans broke down due to health problems Alex or Eddie Van Halen were facing. Those rumors have not been confirmed. And it's possible Roth himself doesn't know the whole story; he revealed in an interview earlier this summer that its been decades since he socialized with anyone named Van Halen, even when they were working together.
'David Lee Roth: Rocks Vegas' premieres January 8, 2020, at the House of Blues Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, with additional dates Jan. 10 - 11 and March 18, 20 - 21, 25, 27 - 28.
Photo: Getty Images