Say It's Your Birthday: David Lee Roth

Eddie Van Halen (pictured) has ensured that this is not a happy day for David Lee.

Today is the birthday of former Van Halen frontman David

Lee Roth, born in 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. Earlier this year, Van Halen fired

Hagar, then brought in Roth to do a couple of tracks that will appear on an

upcoming greatest hits package. Roth somehow got the impression that the

reunion would be long term. He has learned otherwise. Meanwhile, Van Halen are

currently finalizing a deal with former Extreme singer Gary Cherone, who they

have been working with in recent weeks.