The always controversial, envelope-pushing former Van Halen lead singer David Lee Roth parted ways with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band in 1985 (after six albums) to launch his solo career. (He was famously replaced by rival Sammy “I Can’t Drive 55” Hagar, and the band played on.)
On his own, Diamond Dave hasn’t ever quite matched the cultural prominence he enjoyed when Van Halen was flying high and he was famously “Hot For Teacher” — but his name, art, and unique style have kept him relevant, and kept fans excited through the twists and turns of his career.
That career includes recent, COVID-disrupted shows in Vegas and — as befits his fame — the ever-present narratives that attend his rock stardom, including a decades-long feud with Hagar and not a few other rock legends.
In the summer of 2021, after Roth served as the opening act for KISS’s Farewell Tour, a feud between Roth and KISS frontman Gene Simmons ensued.
Simmons told the iconic music magazine Rolling Stone that Roth was “the ultimate frontman” but now: “I don’t know what happened to him… something. And you get modern-day Dave. I prefer to remember Elvis Presley in his prime. Sneering lips, back in Memphis, you know, doing all that. I don’t want to think of bloated naked Elvis on the bathroom floor.”
Roth responded to Simmons’s comments by sharing the photo below, consecutively, 18 times. Although Simmons later apologized to Roth, those images are still on Roth’s Instagram timeline.
This summer, Roth has been very active on social media where he’s sharing a variety of short films including one of him with katana swords.
Inazuma II.. pic.twitter.com/jRNmPQLPf7— David Lee Roth (@DavidLeeRoth) August 11, 2023
While some fans appreciate Roth’s creativity and compare him to filmmakers David Lynch and Quentin Tarantino (“Deleted scenes from Kill Bill!”), others claim it’s just David Lee Roth “being weird again on the Internet.”
Above is Roth, in camo overalls, spying on a giant squirrel statue.