Performer: David Lee Roth
Songwriters: David Lee Roth, Steve Vai
Original Release: Skyscraper
Definitive Version: None
How do you like Roth as the McLean Stevenson of rock? He went from king of the mountain to forgotten peasant working the spud fields in about a year. I love the idea of Dave sitting around the studio, circa 1985, with his handlers going, “Dave, listen, you’re big. You’re huge. The time is right to go solo. The public wants it. It’s time to get rid of that baggage known as Van Halen.”
Funny thing is some of Roth’s solo stuff is all right. By Skyscraper, he hooked up with Steve Vai and did his best to create Vai Halen. It didn’t work out for him, but I still like this song; it’s a guilty pleasure to be sure. I have a clear vision of doing laundry in the Shoebox complex to this song in the wintertime shortly after I moved to Mount Prospect.
The machines were pay machines, like at a laundromat, but I didn’t have to lug everything to my car and drive somewhere. All I had to do was cart everything one building over. It had enough washers and dryers for me to do two loads to get everything done, and of course, because I was on the night shift, I never had any competition when I did my laundry. I’d get it all done and run everything back upstairs to catch the beginning of Steve & Garry before heading off to work at the Daily Herald.
It was the perfect set-up for someone in hiding.