David Lee Roth gave fans a July 4th treat. The longtime Van Halen frontman resurrected his rare 2002 video package, No-Holds Bar-B-Que, and posted it on his YouTube page in its entirety. According to the rock website Anti Music, Roth’s rarely-seen production was written, directed, and produced by Diamond Dave himself and mostly filmed at his Pasadena, California, mansion. The bizarre piece was originally designed to be a part of a media kit but quickly turned into a full-scale musical extravaganza.
David Lee Roth previously revealed that he spent over $600,000 to make the film for fans.
“I spent the mortgage, literally,” Roth told the A.V. Club in 2002. “It grew beyond a simple ‘here’s a kinda the day in the life,’ because my day is full of fantasy and literary references.”
“[There’s] a variety of ingredients, I think probably that you’d recognize instantly,” Roth said. “Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Soupy Sales, Groucho, Kurosawa, Hugh Hefner and on and on and on. But I’ve woven it together in a form that I think is much more appropriate for our national attention-deficit syndrome, or whatever it is we’re having.”
David Lee Roth admitted that the piece, which includes him dressed as a sailor and a ninja, is “frenzied,” adding that he didn’t really know how else to describe the project.
“I tried to create a different type of television — it’s not really a show and it’s not really a biography,” David said. “There’s a lot of show-and-tell in there. I’m not really sure what it is. Perhaps that makes it pure. Like Picasso said, it’s bound to go over some people’s heads, so I created a version with a director’s commentary.”
David Lee Roth’s No Holds Bar-B-Que features an inexplicable mishmash of images and musical performances. Roth belts out some original songs as well as covers of songs by everyone from ZZ Top to the Beatles. Roth’s film never saw an official commercial release, but bootleg VHS copies turned up in 2002 during the “Sam and Dave” tour, the ill-fated concerts that had Roth co-headlining alongside fellow ex-Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar.
David Lee Roth originally shot to fame in the late 1970s as the lead singer for Van Halen, but he broke away for a solo career in 1986 with the album Eat ‘Em and Smile. Van Halen hired Hagar, and there was bad blood for a while, even after Roth attempted post-Hagar reunion a decade later. In 1998, David Lee Roth published his memoir, Crazy From the Heat, and in more recent years, he recorded a 2012 comeback album with Van Halen titled A Different Kind of Truth.
Still, Roth doesn’t have any type of a relationship with his on-and-off bandmates outside of their mutual music. In an interview last year with Billboard, VH founder Eddie Van Halen said he and David Lee Roth are not friends and have little in common off stage.
“He does not want to be my friend,” Eddie revealed. “How can I put this: Roth’s perception of himself is different than who he is in reality. We’re not in our 20s anymore. We’re in our 60s. Act like you’re 60. I stopped coloring my hair because I know I’m not going to be young again.”
Eddie also said David Lee Roth’s musical tastes has changed in the 40 years that he’s known him, so it’s hard to get together to make an album.
“It’s hard, because there are four people in this band, and three of us like rock ‘n’ roll. And one of us likes dance music,” Eddie said. “And that used to kind of work, but now Dave doesn’t want to come to the table.”
Table or not, David Lee Roth has cooked up a smorgasbord for fans with his No Holds Bar-B-Que.
You can see David Lee Roth’s complete No Holds Bar-B-Que below. Keep in mind the video is NSFW.
[Photo by David Becker/Getty Images]