A Portrait In Dignity

« November 2005 »

You really hate to see it happen to a guy like Diamond Dave.

Wait, no. That's not right. That's the kind of thing you say sarcastically when you don't want to seem like you're reveling in the career ebb of an undeserving cultural icon. So lean down, between your legs, and ease the seat back, it's time for DAVID LEE ROTH: A PORTRAIT IN DIGNITY.

Oh, my. We have to start with the hair. Or, rather, we have to set out on an months-long expedition up the Scalp Delta to try and discover where the hair actually begins. That, my friends, is a combover in name only. It's like the essential concept of a combover, but expressed in only the flimsiest sense due to an innate lack of natrual resources.

But that really only begins to sum up the essential dignity of Mr. Roth. Let's take a look at the shirt. Dave, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you're fifty one years old. BUTTON THAT SHIT UP, for God's sake. I beg you. And if you don't button it up, at least do us the favor of not pointing at it. We can be horrified without your visual aids, thanks.

See also the "I'm still a crazy rocker!" face he's pulling for the camera. Unless he's just been hit with Joker gas, or has otherwise lost any and all voluntary mustle control over his lower jaw, there's no excuse for that expression. Unless you have to keep it in shape for the reunion tour in 2009 or thereabouts, and even then, I'm not sure it's justified.

Lest you think I am randomly pulling up pictures of old rock stars to mock them for no good, non-tautological reason, this is tied into a current event that also points up the current state of Roth's dignity. Roth will, in about a dozen markets, be replacing Howard Stern as a drive-time radio DJ.

It's fascinating, really. See, Stern, a big-haired personality with a cult following who peaked in the mid-90's, is taking his shrinking fish's worth of cult followers to the much smaller pond of satellite radio, where he will reign for several more years as his medium's tallest midget.

And replacing him is Roth, a big-haired personality with a cult following who peaked in the mid-80's. But I'm sure Roth is keeping this whole thing in proper perspective, not constructing an elaborate fantasy to justify a career move that Danny Bonaduce and Dee Snider already thought of first. Thanks to USA Today's decision to gratuitously paraphrase, it's ACTUAL QUOTE OF A QUOTE TIME!

"'Most of the morning personalities that are current and popular are comedians and humor-driven. I'm not,' Roth says. Instead, he says, his show will reflect his personal mix of liberal-arts establishment meets the military and stock-car fans. 'I don't know a lot of individuals who can transcend that.'"

Fuck, I don't know a lot of individuals who have the slightest idea what you're talking about. I mean, the last time someone asked me who might be able to transcend their own personal mix of liberal arts establishment meets military and stock-car fans, I didn't turn to David Lee Roth. I turned to Gen. Sarandon Earnhardt. Roth also claimed he'd always wanted to do radio, and pointed out the following statistical anomaly:

"I'll be performing for more people in one morning than the Rolling Stones will in an entire summer."

Yes, Dave, you will. Because radio is free, and people are stuck in traffic anyway while you'll be yammering. Try charging seventy five bucks to have people come and listen to you flap your coke-shrunken gums for three hours in an arena, and see how many people show up. I'm guessing even fewer than the number of people willing to play the I Saw Keith Richards Die On Stage Lotto.

So, Dave, now that there has come a day, when youth has passed away, and you're wondering what we'll say about you? The end's come, you know, and you're stuck on radio. Life goes on without you. You big, steaming pile of dignity.