March 15, 2019

David Lee Roth explains jazz using The Beatles.

The Van Halen frontman was asked by Joe Rogan to explain jazz:
“…We will do it in the old Beatles style, here is the best way to go for somebody that’s interested [in Jazz]. The old Lennon note and McCartney note. The McCartney note is always kinda happy... There’s a darkness among those last three notes. That’s where you get a little bit of pepper in the chocolate, ya know. It’s a little wistful, a little melancholy and when you put them together it doesn’t sound like they do but if I could I would sing both parts and it goes together. Bittersweet like my fucking career, like my last three relatio-here we go!”
Rogan: "So you kinda have to listen to jazz like you’d taste wine?" Roth:
“The best for this is Thelonious Monk, the same thing, the right hand is Paul, the left hand is John, it’s working and you can’t tell is it happy or sad? I don’t know how was dinner last night? Same! It’s indicative of what’s around you because it’s not just happy, that’s Disney. It’s not just sad, think of someone just tuning his guitar to sad, think of Leonard Cohen. [Roth imitates Cohen] That sounded more like Bowie but whatever.”
Here's the whole interview.



I have not listened (yet), so I can't pinpoint the place where Roth plays the notes and Joe Rogan tries to sing like Leonard Cohen. If you know the timestamp, let me know.

41 comments:

Nonapod said...

He's sort of describing counterpoint.

chickenlittle said...

Classic DLR in the morning.

Fernandistein said...

Speaking of inspiring race-wars, McCartney wrote (and sang and mostly played, I think) "Helter Skelter", which title and at least some of the lyrics are based on an amusement park ride.

Earnest Prole said...

I recently returned to Van Halen's first album, which didn't interest me much forty years ago because I was Better Than That. Two words: masterful and effective -- not just Eddie's guitar but David Lee's vocals, which are outrageous but always in service to the song itself. And funny.

Known Unknown said...

"because it’s not just happy, that’s Disney"

Has Dave seen the first 10 minutes of Finding Nemo?

Captain Curt said...

Or the first ten minutes of Up?

Marc Lowenstein said...

starts around 12:30.

"Pepper in chocolate" 13:15

Leonard cohen 14:20


Also:
"I've been awake since the 80s..."

Seems it!

Thanks for posting

Known Unknown said...

Van Halen was a great band before Michael Anthony left. Very distinctive sound as Earnest put it that relied on Eddie's guitar work and DLR's vocals.

Known Unknown said...

And Anthony's harmonizing ... which I conveniently forgot to mention!

rhhardin said...

Jazz doesn't sound like music to me, except an occasional piece
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6AwjhoLqGk

that's nice for the cool way it omits a pause here and there.

(Movie In a Day (2006))

Maybe Brubeck Take Five too, back in the college snack bar jukebox days.

rhhardin said...

Better audio
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cge7XbzT_IE

chickenlittle said...

Earnest Prole said...I recently returned to Van Halen's first album, which didn't interest me much forty years ago because I was Better Than That. Two words: masterful and effective -- not just Eddie's guitar but David Lee's vocals, which are outrageous but always in service to the song itself. And funny.

My older brother practically begged me to go see them at a tiny Madison venue called "The Shuffle Inn" back in 1977 or so. I too was "better than that." A few months (weeks?) later, they broke nationally. Coulda shoulda woulda.

AZ Bob said...

The Lennon-McCartney analogy doesn't explain jazz. But I found the first 20 minutes of the interview very entertaining. (I expect to resume the video later.)

Finding narcissists entertaining is bittersweet.

Earnest Prole said...

You are my Little Dreamer.

MadisonMan said...

David Lee Roth looks a lot like Steve Martin. Similar mannerisms too.

CJinPA said...

Maybe Brubeck Take Five too, back in the college snack bar jukebox days.

I was a DJ at my college jazz station ("You're listening to WRTI, owned and operated by Temple University.") I was a Broadcast Journalism major who knew nothing about jazz and was just trying to get on air. I would play the 10-minute version of Chuck Mangione's "Feels So Good," which wasn't really jazz. Manhattan Transfer's "Baby Come Home to Me" - not jazz.

I called a vibraphone a xylophone.

But I liked Dave Brubeck.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The Van Halen frontman...

Glad we've finally settled that issue.

Nonapod said...

DLR is an odd one. He trained and worked as an EMT in NYT in the late 1990s. He went on over 200 ambulence calls. He talks about it at some point during the full episode.

rcocean said...

I listening to some Miles Davis 70s music which is labeled "Jazz Fusion" or "Jazz Rock" although its hard to identify the "Jazz" part. Its like calling a MacDonald's Hamburger - "German-American food".

PM said...

I like bop and Bill Evans.

Laslo Spatula said...

David Lee Roth is the Last True Rock Star.

After him: the Angst Deluge.

I read a book a few months ago about Van Halen in the period leading up to their first album. The musicians were very talented, but without Roth they'd never have made past being a cover band.

Roth is certainly overbearing, but he pushed that band up the hill. He was the impetus behind shorter songs rather than nine-minute jams, and rode hard on the band to use harmonies* and make music that people could dance to.**

(*"I'm The One"s 'shoobie-doo-wah' break as a particularly wonderful/goofy example, as is practically every chorus on their first few albums; Michael Anthony's voice is sorely missed).

(**which got the girls to the shows, not just the rocker dudes).

He also promoted that band non-stop, and would not take 'no' for an answer: rock star as salesman -- what a good lead in a band does.

In a certain Venn diagram I believe David Lee Roth and Donald Trump overlap considerably.

I am Laslo.

Yancey Ward said...

Seeing Roth makes me feel really, really old.

Charlie Currie said...

For a couple of years I was friends with David's late uncle, Manny Roth. We would swim at the same pool most nights. Manny founded a couple of night clubs in the Village back in the day. His longest lasting, and most famous club, was The Cafe Wha?. He would tell me stories about the club and the performers. He told me about his nephew who would come and stay with him during the summer, and how he would sit on the stairs (Manny and his with lived above the club) and watch the acts. One night after not seeing Manny for a week or so, he told me his nephew, David, had taken him to Las Vegas to an awards show and how fun and exciting it was to see some of the old performers who had played at The Cafe Wha?. That was the night I made the connection between him and his little nephew, David Lee Roth.

Known Unknown said...

I love the Van Halen rider story. The brown M&Ms. It wasn't that they were difficult. It's that if they saw brown M&Ms (not removed) they knew that the promoter/venue had not thoroughly read the contract and knew it's possible they skipped on something vital for the safety of their crew.

Known Unknown said...

I was also never a huge fan of Joe Rogan, but man his podcast is essential. He will have anyone on to talk about anything. He is a true free speech advocate.

Did the Professor skip the recent Alex Jones episode.

Phidippus said...

"Joe Rogan tries to sing like Leonard Cohen..."

Chanting in a cadaverous monotone?

Leonard Cohen always sounded to me like I imagined Lurch (of the Addams Family) would sound in the shower.

Grant said...

Joe Rogan has the best long form pod cast on the internet. His conversations with Jordan Peterson are excellent. And the best part, their free to download or watch on youtube.

Jeff said...

Good interview, but there's something weird about seeing David Lee Roth with gray stubble. The original 80s hairband frontman. Van Halen sucked without him.

LakeLevel said...

If you want to understand Jazz, the Ken Burns documentary is a good place to start. It takes you musically, in small steps, from the place that Jazz started in the 1920's to where Jazz got so wacked out that it dissolved into chaos in the early 60's. Late 40's Bebop was an amazing achievement. The later stuff just got painful.

Lexington Green said...

Listened to the first hour, will listen to the rest. Was not a fan of VH back in the day. But their early material has aged well. They were a great band. The conversation is extremely engaging. DLR is a wild man, but in a good and happy way. He seems to have not a single malicious bone in his body. That was not true when he was young had something to prove. He focuses on good things and avoids criticizing others. It is a nice change. His enjoyment of life and his positive attitude is very enjoyable to listen to.

eliasfardo said...

I could only take about 15 minutes of it. All of the me, me, manic-behavior, me, ego, me, quickly wore me out.

walter said...

"the place where Roth plays the notes and Joe Rogan tries to sing like Leonard Cohen"
I listened to the whole thing days ago (on I heart radio)and seemed it was Roth solely doing the mimicking/examples.
Roth seemed a bit toward his more squirrely self in the very beginning. I was glad he buckled down (for him) for a decent interview.
Probably the oddest thing about it was he referred multiple times seeking out life experiences to better his creative musical output..but I don't recall him mentioning whether he has any of that now.

Nonapod said...

Over the past few years Rogan has also had Ted Nuggent, Henry Rollins, and Steven Tyler on. Along with Roth, these guys share a sort of rambling raconteurism that can be equal parts intriguing and tedious. With guests like these Rogan can't often get a word in edgewise. They'll absolutely dominate the dialogue. They often won't answer direct questions, or at least they won't answer them in a meaningful way. As members of the old time rock star set, they'll often have interesting stories, but they'll be scattered in their delivery.

He's also had Paul Stanley (Kiss) and James Hetfield (Metallica) on. In contrast they were far more receptive to direct questions and less likely to barrel over Rogan with rambling, scattered stories.

Anthony said...

A few months ago he put out a tweet that said “Music critics like Elvis Costello because music critics look like Elvis Costello.”

Killed me daid.

rehajm said...

rambling raconteurism

= drug addled.

tommyesq said...

"I would play the 10-minute version of Chuck Mangione's "Feels So Good," which wasn't really jazz. Manhattan Transfer's "Baby Come Home to Me" - not jazz.

I called a vibraphone a xylophone.

But I liked Dave Brubeck."

I think you mean "... AND I liked Dave Brubeck..."

Larry J said...

“Nonapod said...
DLR is an odd one. He trained and worked as an EMT in NYT in the late 1990s. He went on over 200 ambulence calls. He talks about it at some point during the full episode.”.

About 8 years ago, my youngest son was a Navy ER nurse working at 29 Palms. One hight, an east coast paramedic came there and shadowed my son for a 12 hour shift. This guy took his job very seriously and was even qualified as a tactical medic, meanng he could go into a tight situation with SWAT units instead of having to wait until the situation was over. That guy was David Lee Roth. My son admitted that “having David Lee Roth follow me around for 12 hours and calling me sir was really cool.”

walter said...

I suspect they "eschew" the drug addled for tactical EMT duties.

rehajm said...

DLR: I want to be an EMT

EMT: (lifts sunglasses): Can you roller skate???

Be said...

Eee! From a synesthesia point of view (aka someone who's never had to drop acid to expand their soul)!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia

Unknown said...

I always hated DLR, I Thought he was an arrogant prig, but I loved Van Halen, I loved Van Hagar, I have softened on DLR, he is very talented. This interview was amazing. I respect him more.