An unchained David Lee Roth has fixed his sights on Wolfgang Van Halen, ripping his former bandmate for his nepo baby status—among other perceived slights—in a surreal verbal tirade uploaded to YouTube this week.
Roth fronted Van Halen from 1974 to 1985 and again from 2007 to 2020, playing alongside Wolfgang, a bassist and son of the late Eddie Van Halen, during part of his second stint in the legendary rock group. On Wednesday’s episode of his on-and-off podcast project TheRothShow, Roth recalled their time working together mockingly, painting Wolfgang as an insecure and vindictive presence in the band.
The five-minute-32-second episode, titled “This Fuckin’ Kid,” begins with a bizarre spoof interview in which Roth interviews “Jesus Christ.”
“Bro, I want people to know I got this job because of my talent,” says the supposed Jesus, his voice artificially pitched up. “I would have this job anyway, even if my dad wasn’t God. I just want people to know I got this job because of my talent.”
The thinly veiled jab at “Wolfie,” as Roth later calls him, soon slips into a full-on assault. “This fuckin’ kid!” Roth explodes. “He’s complaining the entire tour like I’m not paying enough attention to him on stage… I’m giving him the best, everything I’ve got, in front of twenty, thirty thousand people at a clip, and he’s complaining to everybody around me—the business manager, the security guy, the clothing lady—‘Dave’s not paying enough attention to me.’”
Continuing to monologue, the singer calls Wolfgang a “schlemiel” (or “fool” in Yiddish) for then attempting to kick “two great dames” out of a concert that Roth had invited them to as his guests. The apparent act of revenge was stymied by the fact that the women weren’t fans but employees of the tour’s accounting firm, according to Roth, “carrying the paychecks for all 82 people on the road crew.”
Wolfgang repeated the stunt at a Los Angeles show shortly after, Roth alleges. “Wolfie Van Halen’s gonna teach me a lesson by throwing out what he thinks is my girlfriend,” he spits. “Guess what? Not only is this an accountant again, and not only is she carrying the paychecks for 82 of us on the road crew, but she’s carrying cash bonuses for everybody there.”
Reps for Roth and Wolfgang did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.
Roth’s diatribe comes just days after he raked Sammy Hagar—his replacement as Van Halen’s frontman—over the coals in a similar rant. The 69-year-old declared on a Jan. 19 episode of TheRothShow titled “The Ballad of Popsicle Sam” that Hagar had been “sex probed” by aliens. “Does it require apparatus? Is it a beam? We don’t know. We may never know,” Roth added. (Hagar claimed in 2011 to have been a victim of an alien abduction as a child.)
Roth and Hagar have feuded publicly for years, with the latter telling Jackass’ Steve-O last year that Roth was a “chest-beating motherfucker” with no career outside of Van Halen. Though the pair seemed to reach some kind of temporary truce last November, with Roth accepting an informal invitation from Hagar to tour together, their rivalry flared up again after Hagar rescinded the overture.
“No fucking way,” Hagar wrote on Instagram. “I know better than to have him on tour again. Been there, done that.”
Wolfgang, in comparison, has been taciturn about Roth. The furthest the bassist has ever gone in jabbing at his ex-colleague was to delicately suggest to Rolling Stone that Roth was the reason a proposed tribute concert to Eddie Van Halen never got off the ground.
“There are some people that make it very difficult to do anything when it comes to Van Halen,” he said in the 2022 interview.
This has been a big week for Van Halen beyond its former frontman airing his acrimony. Wolfgang, who departed Van Halen in 2015 and now fronts his own one-man project, Mammoth WVH, played Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday night. And last but certainly not least: Friday would have been Eddie Van Halen’s 69th birthday.