David Lee Roth Says He’s Retiring After Las Vegas Residency: ‘I Am Throwing in the Shoes’

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Last week, David Lee Roth revealed plans for a short residency at the House of Blues in Las Vegas — and, apparently, they’ll mark his final live performances, at least if he sticks to what he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal regarding the gigs.

“I am throwing in the shoes. I’m retiring,” Roth is quoted by the Review-Journal as saying in an interview regarding the residency. “This is the first, and only, official announcement. … You’ve got the news. Share it with the world.”

DLR doubled down:

“I’m not going to explain the statement. The explanation is in the statement. These are my last five shows.”

That sure sounds pretty definitive, and would make these five shows particularly of interest for anybody who might be interested in seeing the legendary Van Halen vocalist one last (or first!) time:

Sharp-eyed David Lee Roth and Van Halen fans were quick to point out that the date of Roth’s retirement – October 1st – was curiously only 9 days earlier than Roth himself projected 30 years earlier in his “A Lil’ Ain’t Enough” video!

Other interesting bits in the Review-Journal piece include Roth saying of his longtime band mate, Alex Van Halen: “We speak to each other constantly, two or three times a day. We laugh like pirates.” He also refers to “the departure of my beloved classmate recently,” referring to Eddie Van Halen, adding that, “I am encouraged and compelled to really come to grips with how short time is, and my time is probably even shorter” as an explanation behind his decision to retire from tour life.

In response to this news, Wolfgang Van Halen, son of Eddie and DLR’s band mate in Van Halen in more recent years, shared this in tribute:

Both the residency and news of the shows being his final performances come during a particularly newsworthy stretch for Roth, whose previous Vegas residency at the House of Blues was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He opened for a string of dates on KISS’ End of the Road tour in 2020 before that tour, too, was postponed by the pandemic. When KISS revealed new dates for the rescheduled shows, Gene Simmons popped up in the news for his declaration that Roth would not be participating in the shows. When asked by Rolling Stone why Roth dropped off, Simmons said this:

“But it bears noting that during Dave’s heyday, nobody did what he did. He was the ultimate frontman. Not Plant, not Rod Stewart, nobody. He took being a frontman way beyond anything. And then, 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.”

This led Roth to go to his Instagram page and share an image of a child wearing sunglasses and extending his middle finger, accompanied by the words “Roth to Simmons:”

To make his point abundantly clear, Roth posted this photo 18 times:

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