David Lee Roth says he’s calling it quits on his music career, and without any elongated farewell tour. In a shocker for Van Halen fans, the singer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal Friday that he plans to retire after doing five last shows at the House of Blues Mandalay Bay in three months.
“I am throwing in the shoes. I’m retiring,” Roth said in a phone call to the newspaper. “This is the first, and only, official announcement. … You’ve got the news. Share it with the world. … I’m not going to explain the statement. The explanation is in a safe. These are my last five shows.”
The Review-Journal’s man-about-town columnist, John Katsilometes, reported that Roth did not take a single question during a phone call it characterized as “more a spoken-word performance than interview,” during which he asked not to be interrupted. The rock legend’s disinterest in fielding questions didn’t mean he didn’t have a lot to say in his monologue, however, including frank talk about such serious topics as health, mortality and the death of Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen as well as lighter topics like the band’s origins.