It’s time to stop running with the devil. Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth announced his retirement will begin after his final concerts.
“I am throwing in the shoes. I’m retiring,” the singer, 66, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday, October 1. “This is the first, and only, official announcement … You’ve got the news. Share it with the world.”
Roth declined to elaborate why he wanted to retire, adding, “I’m not going to explain the statement. The explanation is in a safe. These are my last five shows.”
The “Jump” performer met Alex and Eddie Van Halen in the 1970s at Pasadena City College in California. They went on to start the rock band that would become legendary. Van Halen’s self-titled, 1978 debut album has sold more than 12 million copies, earning diamond certification.
Roth left the band in 1985 — at which point he was replaced by Sammy Hagar — before a brief return in 1996 at the MTV Music Awards. Since then, Roth has been a solo performer.
When he announced his retirement, he revealed that Alex was aware that he intended to take his final bow since they speak multiple time a day. The “Hot for Teacher” singer added that he expected to be the first member of Van Halen to die, so it was a shock when Eddie was first to pass in October 2020 amid his battle with throat cancer.
Though Roth did not reveal the status of his health, he noted, “My doctors, my handlers, compelled me to really address that every time I go onstage, I endanger that future.”
His farewell residency will be in Las Vegas at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. His final concerts will start on New Year’s Eve and continue with four more shows on January 1, 5, 7 and 8. Tickets went on sale Saturday, October 2.
“I’ve given you all I’ve got to give. It’s been an amazing, great run, no regrets, nothing to say about anybody. I’ll miss you all. Stay frosty,” Roth added.
Fans have reacted to the news with both sadness and admiration, with many congratulating the Indiana native on a great run as a frontman. A few have also pointed out that Roth predicted his retirement decades ago.
In 1991, the singer’s music video for his solo single “A Lil’ Ain’t Enough” showed a flash forward to October 10, 2021, where a sign at Anaheim Stadium advertised his “Absolute Final Tour.”
It seems his career will end just a few months later than planned with is final shows set for January 2022.