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David Lee Roth shares reflective new single, Pointing at the Moon – but who’s the guitarist?

David Lee Roth and John 5 Pointing At The Moon
(Image credit: Bennett Raglin / Stringer / Steve Jennings / Getty)

David Lee Roth has shared a new song, Pointing at the Moon, which sees the former Van Halen frontman slowing down in a reflective acoustic guitar and piano-based ballad.

As yet there are no further details as to who the players are. But could this single be another cut from the unreleased album that Roth wrote and recorded with guitarist John 5 in 2014? The signs would suggest so.

We’ve previously heard country-style romper Giddy Up!, alongside Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bar And Grill, Lo-Rez Sunset, Alligator Pants and Manda Bala, all of which were taken from the sessions and released alongside the singer’s comic The Roth Project (opens in new tab), beginning in 2020. However, the latter two are not available on streaming services currently. 

Pointing At The Moon certainly has thematic and musical links to the previous material, which has seen Roth opt for a calmer, singer-songwriter-orientated direction. 

Collectively, it stands in notable contrast to his work with Van Halen, though the lyrical content of the tracks seem to find Roth trying to make sense of that chaotic period of his life, alongside the characters, places and personal ups and downs that he encountered during that time. 

The new track makes similar references, accusing the protagonist of treading a path from ‘the mildew to the barbecue’, ‘the classroom to the tomb’ and mentions ‘the next clown jumping on the mattress while I’m paying dues’. However, it feels a little rawer than the richly melodic Eagles-style rock of Lo-Rez Sunset.  

Appearing initially on YouTube, Pointing At The Moon has since surfaced on Spotify, but its arrival has notably lacked any other PR or fanfare (beyond a sparse tweet with the single’s artwork).

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Fans are baying for an album of the material, but we’re still none the wiser as to Roth’s longterm intentions for the songs. Roth has previously promised fans (opens in new tab) they would “start hearing that material” but was cagey on details.

John 5 has previously labelled the album "The California Sessions" and has said that the track he regards as the record’s highlight has yet to be released. Yesterday (July 10), he retweeted a link to a news story covering the Pointing at the Moon's release.

“There's a song that I just can't wait for Dave to release,” John 5 told Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz (opens in new tab) in October 2021. “It's called Nothing Could Have Stopped Us and it’s about Van Halen. It’s my favorite song that I've ever done with Dave, and it is beautiful. I don't know why he’s not releasing that one yet. And I just can't wait for people to hear that one. ’Cause it's about Van Halen. It's just absolutely wonderful. I just am really looking forward to him releasing that one.”

Us too... In the meantime, we‘ll have to make do with this 40-second clip of what is very likely Nothing Could Have Stopped Us, which John 5 has previously shared..

After that, keep an eye on David Lee Roth’s official site (opens in new tab) for more information. 

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Matt Parker
Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.