In the aftermath of David Lee Roth’s acrimonious departure from Van Halen, fans were left to decide where their loyalties resided…with the Sammy Hagar version of the band, or with Roth’s upstart band featuring Steve Vai and Billy Sheehan. I personally felt Roth’s direction was more fun, and more in keeping with the original spirit of Van Halen. 1986 saw the release of Eat ‘Em And Smile, a terrific collection of hard rock, lounge music, and Dave’s zany personality. Two hysterically funny and entertaining videos received heavy air time on MTV, and the tour was sensational. Self promotion was never a problem for Diamond Dave, and he obviously knew a thing or two about assembling a band. Yankee Rose and Goin’ Crazy (the 2 video songs), along with Tobacco Road, Ladies Night In Buffalo, and Shyboy were among my favorites, but That’s Life and I’m Easy (the lounge numbers) were really solid swingers as well. I doubt if anyone enjoyed the ’80’s quite as much as DLR!
Written By Braddon S. Williams
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