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David Lee Roth announces retirement from music: “I've given you all I've got to give”

David Lee Roth
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth has announced his retirement from music.

In a new interview with the Las Vegas Review Journal, Roth – affectionately known as Diamond Dave – announces that he's “throwing in the shoes”. “This is the first, and only, official announcement,” he says in the rather brief reveal. “You've got the news. Share it with the world.”

“I’m not going to explain the statement,” he continues. “The explanation is in a safe. These are my last five shows.”

David Lee Roth is scheduled to conclude his storied career with a five-gig residency in January at the House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Tickets for the shows are on sale now.

Regarding those final five shows, Roth requests: “I know that when I am in the audience, whether you come out with a ukulele or a marching band, all I ask [is that] you give me everything you've got to give. That's what I did for the last 50 years.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, Roth makes a reference to the death of his former bandmate Eddie Van Halen, saying he's been thinking about “the departure of [his] beloved classmate”.

“I am encouraged and compelled to really come to grips with how short time is, and my time is probably even shorter,” he says.

“I thought I might have been the first, frankly. I might have thought the Marlboro Man would've got me... And my doctors, my handlers, compelled me to really address that every time I go onstage, I endanger that future.”

Concluding the interview, Roth says: “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.”

Earlier this year, the singer joined forces with guitarist John 5 for a country-charged single, entitled Giddy-Up! It arrived as part of the Roth project, a 17-chapter interactive online comic book created and narrated by the former Van Halen frontman.

Sam Roche

Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.