David Lee Roth has declared his ambition to become the “king of Las Vegas” now that Van Halen can never return.

He’d said the band was “finished” in September 2019, before it was publicly known that guitarist Eddie Van Halen was suffering from a cancer that would eventually take his life on Oct. 6 this year. He kicked off a brief Las Vegas residency this January.

Asked if he had plans in mind for the next five years of his life, Roth told CBS Sunday Morning in an interview taped prior to Van Halen's death: “Showbiz. I’m gonna be the king of Las Vegas.” He continued: “Las Vegas is truly international. Think of it as what the old record stores were. You have the dance section, you’ve got the Latino section, you’ve got the country section… and you have to have an appreciation for the neighborhoods.”

He asserted that “music changes – shoes and haircuts” but that the “mainstays” included “those senses of humor, those senses of family, those senses of what’s dramatic, and those senses of what hits you right in the heart.” He added: “If you had participation in all those communities and you are a genuine fan, then you can say, ‘I have returned to be your king!’”

Earlier this year Roth said he’d been focusing on painting while coronavirus restrictions made it impossible for him to perform. He said of his artwork: “Social commentary is what I do. It’s what I’ve always done. My hand has always been in wardrobe, background sets, stage sets, album covers, video direction. This is part of it. And there’s craft involved, so there’s a little bit more heft to some of the statements.”


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