David Lee Roth, former proudly Jewish frontman of Van Halen, retires from music – the forward
(JTA) – David Lee Roth is done running with the devil.
The Jewish rock star, best known for leading Van Halen during the influential group’s heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, announced on Friday that he was retiring from the music.
“I throw in the shoes. I’m retiring, ”he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “This is the first and only official announcement.”
Roth, 66, grew up with Jewish parents in Indiana and later in Southern California, where he performed with other bands before joining Van Halen in 1974. As a member of the renowned band world, anchored by the late guitar virtuoso Eddie Van Halen, Roth has become one of the most famous showmen in rock music. He first left the group in 1985 – he left and joined several more times – and embarked on a less touted solo career, releasing seven albums on his own.
In his autobiography “Crazy From the Heat” and in a lively interview with the Washington Post during part of his solo run in 2003, Roth explained his Jewish identity. He claimed, in the words of Post writer David Segal, that “much of his style and energy came from fury against anti-Semitism and a desire to crush Jewish stereotypes.”
“There aren’t a lot of Jewish figurines,” Roth told Segal. “Heroes for little Jewish children are very rare …”
“Jewish children take a paperback to the beach instead of a soccer ball,” he later added, “with half approval” according to Segal.
Roth was again a member of Van Halen when his guitarist died last year, after which the band disbanded.
He will perform a series of farewell shows in Las Vegas in January.
– The post office David Lee Roth, former proudly Jewish frontman of Van Halen, announces he is retiring from music first appeared on the Jewish Telegraph Agency.
David Lee Roth, former proudly Jewish frontman of Van Halen, retires from music