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John 5 on David Lee Roth's retirement: “Instead of us being upset and mad about it, I say, 'Thank you for the music and the memories'”

[L-R] John 5 and David Lee Roth
(Image credit: Getty Images)

John 5 has shared his thoughts on David Lee Roth's recently announced retirement, thanking him for “the music and the memories”.

In a new conversation on the Jeremy White Podcast, the guitarist – who earned his first big break playing on David Lee Roth's 1998 solo album, DLR Band – spoke on the former Van Halen frontman “throwing in the shoes”. 

“He's been releasing songs that me and [him] had done every couple of months,” John 5 says [via Blabbermouth]. “And then there's a song I really hope he releases. It's called Nothing Could Have Stopped Us, and it is absolutely my favorite David Lee Roth. And not just because we worked on it together, but it is so good and so sincere.

“These are our superheroes, and they are human, and a lot of 'em are starting to retire. And I think that's okay. They've given us so much great music and so many amazing memories. And if they want to retire, they know. I think it's good for certain artists to say, ‘Oh, I'm going to hang it up.’

“And instead of us being upset and mad about it, [we should say], ‘Thank you for the music [and] the memories.”

David Lee Roth announced on Monday (October 4), that he'd be retiring from music following his five-date residency at the Mandalay Bay's House of Blues in Las Vegas in January.

“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,” Roth told the Las Vegas Review Journal regarding his final shows. “That's what I did for the last 50 years.”

Back in June, David Lee Roth recruited John 5 to play on his new country-charged single, Giddy-Up!, part of an interactive online comic book created and narrated by the Van Halen frontman.

And prior to the single, the pair joined forces in October 2020 to pay tribute to late guitar legend Eddie Van Halen – who had passed away earlier that month – with a song entitled Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bar and Grill.

During his interview with the Las Vegas Review Journal, Roth made a reference to his former bandmate: “I am encouraged and compelled to really come to grips with how short time is, and my time is probably even shorter. I thought I might have been the first, frankly.

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

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.