Say It's Your Birthday: David Lee Roth

Today is the birthday of former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth,

born this day 1955. Hyperactive as a child, Roth found release for his

boundless energy when he formed the cover group Mammoth with brothers

Alex and Eddie Van Halen. In 1975 the band changed its name to Van

Halen and signed to Warner Bros. after playing the LA club circuit

heavily. In 1978 the band released their debut (self titled) album as

well as embarked on a U.S. tour; the group's touring exploits

,including parachuting look-alikes and wild Roth-inspired orgies,

tested the limits of conspicuous consumption and tasteless excess. On

New Year's Eve, 1983, the band released 1984 , which included

the mega-hit single "Jump." The "Jump" video featured Roth's

impressively acrobatic high kicks and mid-air splits, and, according

to Roth, cost $6,000 to record on home movie equipment. The next year

Roth released a solo cover of the Beach Boys' "California Girls," with

the video featuring more bikinis for your buck, and followed up this

hit with a medley of "Just A Gigolo/ I Ain't Got Nobody," and

announced he was leaving the band. Despite his first few successful

solo singles, Roth was unable to match the success he enjoyed with Van

Halen, while the band, with new frontman Sammy Hagar, continued to

churn out albums and tour excessively. And remain one of the biggest

hard rock attractions in the U. S.