David Lee Roth cancels his remaining Vegas shows, starts retirement

David Lee Roth at a Van Halen reunion concert in 2007
Van Halen’s lead singer, David Lee Roth, is retiring early. David, 67, announced his retirement back in October but said that he was going to complete his shows in Vegas before hanging up his mic. It’s thought that, due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, David has decided to cancel the rest of his Vegas shows and go into early retirement. David didn’t announce that he was retiring early. However the House of Blues website shows that his remaining show dates were canceled. In David’s actual retirement announcement, he said the loss of his dear friend, Eddie Van Halen, and time being short, were motivators. Below are a few more details from Entertainment Weekly:

After previously announcing in October that he’d be “throwing in the shoes” following a round of concerts at the city’s House of Blues venue throughout January, the venue’s website indicates Roth will no longer move forward with performances slated for Jan. 5, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, and 22.

Representatives for Roth didn’t immediately respond to EW’s request for confirmation on the reason the shows were nixed, though the spread of the Omicron variant amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has prompted the postponement and/or cancellations of several other in-person events around the world, from numerous Broadway shows to concerts by artists like Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, and more.

“I’m retiring,” Roth told the publication last year. “This is the first, and only, official announcement… I’m not going to explain the statement. The explanation is in a safe.”

Still, he referenced “the departure of my beloved classmate recently” with reference to Van Halen, suggesting that health concerns might’ve played a part in his decision to retire.

“I am encouraged and compelled to really come to grips with how short time is, and my time is probably even shorter. I thought I might have been the first, frankly… ‘Hey Ed, objects in the rear-view mirror are probably me,'” he said. “And my doctors, my handlers, compelled me to really address that every time I go onstage, I endanger that future.”

[From Entertainment Weekly]

It truly is an end of an era. I grew up listening to Van Halen. My uncle Leon was a 6’9″ Black man who lived in the hood in Houston and loved Rock n Roll. And Rock was one of the many gifts he gave me growing up. He and I used to watch MTV together and that was how I was introduced to Van Halen, Def Leppard, and Motley Crue. Seeing David retire feels like I am losing my uncle all over again. There are so many memories attached to Van Halen’s music and David’s voice for me. But, truthfully, I admire David for being responsible not only for his life but also for the lives of his fans. At this point, as rapidly as Omicron is spreading there is no reason to create a super spreader event just to say farewell. I am sure it wasn’t financially prudent to cancel sold out shows, but life is more important than money. Also, I like how David says that life is short. It feels like losing Eddie so early made David take stock of his life and how he wants to live his final years. Morbid I know, but necessary. Anyways, I never got to see Van Halen in concert which is something I regret but I’ll never forget the first few chords of “Jump” and how it makes me feel when it comes on. My air guitar is always at the ready. I do hope that David gets a chance to just enjoy life and do the things that he wants. Perhaps spend quality time with his family and friends. Like David said, time is short and there is no better way to spend it than with those who love us.

Van Halen performing in 2015

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images


Photos credit: Avalon.red, Backgrid and Getty

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

26 Responses to “David Lee Roth cancels his remaining Vegas shows, starts retirement”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Kalana says:

    IDK. It feels like something happened behind the scenes and this is their nice way of saying he was fired.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      I was also thinking something else happened, but my suspicion was more towards a health crisis.

      • Kalana says:

        Maybe that instead. It just seems very sudden to retire rather than just cancel his dates at this particular venue.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      it may just be that the remaining shows are scheduled at a time where they’re likely to be greatly impacted/canceled by COVID. Since he’s an EMT, he may be hearing about friends/former colleagues getting COVID via work and just be at a point where he’s beyond ready to tap out from the rock star gig

    • The Hench says:

      According to the article he cancelled seven dates in early January, starting on the 5th. Looks to me like he took a break for Christmas, looked at the health/pandemic/life situation and figured it wasn’t worth coming back for just one last week.

  2. Zen says:

    I don’t know anything about his personal life. Has he ever married? Had children? Does he have a girlfriend or a boyfriend?

    • Amy T says:

      According to Wikipedia, he’s never been married. Dated Apollonia in the ’80s, says there have been “four great loves” in his life that he doesn’t name out of respect for their (and presumably his) privacy. But thanks for sending me down this rabbit hole, @Zen, because evidently offstage he’s an EMT who’s made more than 200 runs in New York state, where he lives part of the time.

      • Missjo says:

        I always thought that he was deeply in the closet

      • tempest prognosticator says:

        An EMT?! Wow… who knew? I hope he enjoys his retirement.

      • AbominableSnowPickle says:

        I work at a small, rural ambulance service (though I’m an Advanced EMT), but never knew DLR was an EMT-Basic. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. In my off time, I work medical for events and it’s fulfilling and definitely keeps me on my toes as a provider. I can’t imagine all the illness and injuries that can occur while a band is touring. Yeah, you can contract local EMS agencies to run medical for your concerts, but I think having an EMT (ir even an EMR) on staff makes quite a bit of sense, actually.

        *pardon typoes, been at work too long and the caffeine’s wearing off, lol. So I hope this makes sense.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        My understanding, from things I’ve read, is that his parents split up when he was 17 and that family dynamics were very dysfunctional. Marriage may not have appealed to him.

        The Vegas Review journal article from October he hinted at health issues. He also said he thought the ‘Marlborough Man’ would get him before Eddie.

        Dave’s (& VH’s) MTV videos/songs were a staple of my high school life. They were mandatory to watch before going out anywhere.lol His Just a Gigolo video is still one of the most fun videos to see. Dave TV. Not sure if I’m spelling it right but “Bozdee bozdee bop didy bop” is still something I’ll say in certain situations.

        Love the sharing of your Uncle Leon stories.

    • MsGnomer says:

      To the person who quoted Dave: thank you, I love you!!

      My spouse and I have relied on Van Halen’s 1984 hit “jump” more than a few times this pandemic. Like when it really sucks, put this song on and dissociate/cope for a couple of minutes. Works like a charm.

      Boze boze boze dop.

  3. Ariel says:

    I’ll Van Halen was the first rock band I LOVED. 1984 came out when I was 12 and I was crazy for them.
    Didn’t get to see them in concert until 88 with Sammy Hagar. Had to wait until 2008(?) to see the original Van Halen with Diamond Dave.
    Worth that wait- what a showman he is.

    I hope he is financially secure and enjoys retirement.

    • petee says:

      David comes from a well off family and is co-writer on all the songs with Eddie Van Halen that are not covers so he is probably not hurting for money.The first Van Halen album came out when I was fourteen and I knew they were something special.I have seen all the Van Halen’s except with Gary Cherone.I finally got to see them at The Forum when I was 18.My sister and I had front row center.I had a huge crush on Eddie and actually was pleasantly surprised at how handsome and good-looking David Lee Roth was in real life.This was on the Diver Down Tour.Imagine how I felt when David sang Pretty woman to me.I had seen them many times afterwards but none of them where as good as that first show.By the time of the 1984 show’s the strain and cracks were showing.After a interview I read in Kerrang Magazine I knew they were going to split up which is exactly what happened.1984 was a disappointment to me because the hard rocking band I knew was gone.The first four albums were the best.

  4. Lisbeth says:

    I hope he does well, wherever he goes!

  5. Lucy2 says:

    It almost sounds like maybe he is dealing with an illness or bad diagnosis, Hope that’s not the case.
    Whatever the situation, I don’t blame him for saying forget it, I want to retire!

  6. detritus says:

    Thank you for sharing about your uncle, Oya. He sounds like a great man.

    I’m happy Roth is retiring too, it sounds like his health isn’t great and he’s protecting what he has left.

  7. Anne Girardot says:

    Happy to see he still wears the assessment chaps.

  8. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    Oya, I saw never saw Van Halen, but here’s my story about David Lee Roth
    I was working downtown in my city when Roth first went solo, and I’m standing at a bus stop waiting for my bus when this gorgeous guy rides up on a bicycle and waits for light to change to cross the street.
    Like people do sometimes we just kinda chatted…how are you? Nice weather, that kind of stuff. Light changes, he gives me this incredible smile and a “take care” and off he goes. I had this nagging feeling I had seen him before, but it didn’t dawn on me till I got halfway home that “HOLY SH*T THAT WAS DAVID LEE ROTH”

    • Vernie says:

      Holy cow, what a great anecdote! I understand you kicking yourself when you realized who he was, but I’ll bet he genuinely appreciated the chance to just have a friendly chat with a fellow human and enjoy a brief connection with a pleasant stranger who wasn’t shrieking for an autograph.

  9. helonearth says:

    I have seen David Lee Roth twice in concert and he was fantastic and extremely energetic on stage.

    I would think age has caught up with him and he decided within everything else going on, it was a good time to stop.

    I have a couple of friends who have met him and said he is intelligent and funny. I wish him the best in his retirement.

  10. Chaine says:

    Yikes! From the header photo I thought this post was going to be about Chris Kattan!

  11. Kristen says:

    I am another person who is extremely regretful that I didn’t see VH in concert – both Roth and Hagar.
    Roth is the quintessential front man – so energetic, sexy, fun, everything you want.
    This made me so sad, I’m still sad over Eddy.

  12. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    There wasn’t a school notebook or book cover of mine that didn’t have Van Halen written all over. But the band has certainly had a lifetime of issues. Roth may say he’s retiring, but I don’t believe he can exist without a stage lol.

  13. washappy21 says:

    I love all of these VH memories!! I wish Diamond Dave all the best in his retirement. I don’t think I’ve ever read a bad thing about him that wasn’t obviously a rumor.