Saturday, August 31, 2013

Follow Your Dreams. Even If You Suck.

American rock band Van Halen, formed in 1972, has sold almost 100 million records in its forty-some years of existence. Fifty-six million of those sales are of the albums released between 1978 and 1985, during the first tenure of lead singer David Lee Roth: Van Halen, Van Halen II, Women and Children First, Fair Warning, Diver Down, and 1984.

Roth was replaced in 1985 by Sammy Hagar, who in 1996 was almost replaced by David Lee Roth. Neither Roth nor Hagar were in the band in 1996, so technically neither one was replaced as lead vocalist by Extreme’s Gary Cherone, who was with the band until 1999 and then replaced in 2003 by Sammy Hagar . . . who was replaced in 2008 by David Lee Roth.

The band’s latest release, 2012’s A Different Kind of Truth, has sold one million copies, far lower than the usual for their other albums but still several hundred thousand copies per lead singer.

What’s more interesting than the band’s legendary inability to get along is, frankly, that David Lee Roth has been able to make a lifelong—and very lucrative—career as a singer:

The moral of the story here is that America is, even today, still the land of opportunity. If you work hard and find something you’re good at, you can be a great success . . . but even if you’re no good, no big deal. Follow your dreams, even if you kind of suck at them.


  1. I don't think that David Lee Roth ever dreamed of being a "singer." DLR's dream was to be a rock star, which means having long hair and wearing spandex to work and copying your on-camera moves from porn stars and treating yourself to some hard-earned cocaine now and then, but still somehow getting tons of girls. Since when does that have anything to do with singing?

    I give the guy a lot of credit for not getting derailed by the whole "talent" thing. Roth was more than a rock star, he was a visionary who saw that karate moves and bandanas are really what's important. A good guitar player helps too.

    1. Doctor, you make a very good point—the part where David Lee Roth had to say things in a sort of musical fashion was probably not even in the top twenty on his priority list.

      We believe some anonymous stranger who we'll never know (or give credit to) summed it up perfectly by writing that "David Lee Roth is more Dr. Rockso than Dr. Rockso ever could be."