'Crazy From The Heat'
David Lee Roth on drugs, lesbians, and Lady Di
(Part 1 of 3)
Published August 9, 1999 in Dirt

See: Crazy From the Heat: Part Two

See also...
... in the Dirt section
... from August 9, 1999
Crazy From the Heat: Part Three

When David Lee Roth loosed his autobiography, Crazy From the Heat, upon the world last year, he set aside one full page to thank his editor, Paul Scanlon, who cut the Diamond One's opus down from a whopping 1,200 pages to a mere 403.

Surely, this was one of the great intellectual losses of the 20th century - until now. GettingIt heard that Diamond Dave was hard up these days, so we offered him a case of bourbon whiskey, a crate of papayas, and a one-legged Nepali whore in exchange for his old PC. Dave took us up on the deal, and after scouring his hard drive, we are proud to present the lost chapters of Crazy From the Heat.

Van Hatred

The first thing I ever told Eddie Van Halen was "It's not about how many notes you can play, it's the order that you put them in that counts." So he went home that night and composed an entire symphony for electric guitar and zither that only used one note repeated over and over again. I says, "Can you dance to it?" So he put it in 5/8 time and sped up the tempo every 14 bars. I says, "Look, I got this song about molesting cheerleaders with the stickshift of my Maserati. Can you get something going on that?" He thought for a second and then said that maybe we ought to just cover a Kinks song instead.

I probably should have quit right then, but I couldn't remember what we were talking about.

Another big roadblock was the "Hot For Teacher" video. I had to fight every step of the way for the now classic busty babes with glasses and librarian hair motif. The Van Halens wanted it to be the story of a boy who falls in love with his music teacher because he loves to practice so much. I said, "What's so hot about that?" They said it was "conceptually hot." I told them, "You wanna talk about conception? Let's see some busty babes with glasses get naked and wrestle a giant statue of Beethoven, winner take all if you catch my meaning, now you've got what I call conception."

Of course, there were some good times, some unforgettable times. I'll never forget the look on Valerie Bertinelli's face when she found the rotting mackerel I'd left in Eddie's bunk. He told me later that he couldn't tell the difference once the lights were off, but who am I to judge? One man's mate is another man's person, right? Personally, I think domestic life is what killed Van Halen in the end. That and the demise of the twelve-minute guitar solo. It's all a cycle of Eruption, Corruption, and, ultimately, Destruction. That's a lot of heavy stuff. And it all kind of rhymes.


By Junior Downey
Junior Downey is the author of
Greedy Media: The Blind Leading the Retarded and a past recipient of the PEN/Faulkner award for bad writing.