Rock icon David Lee Roth has gifted fans with a brand-new solo track titled “The Sh*t That Killed Elvis,” and it’s a lively acoustic tune that delves into the dangers of fame. In this catchy ditty, Roth humorously addresses the temptations of the rock and roll lifestyle, singing, “Give me the babes and the dames, the groupies and hoes. The ones with no last names, I’m talking best in show,” before wryly acknowledging that such a lifestyle might lead him to a “tomb with a view” due to “death by pizza.”
The origins of this spirited song trace back to a stage musical Roth had been working on with guitarist John 5 titled “Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bar & Grill.”
Roth envisioned this musical as a jukebox production, akin to the style popularized by Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s acclaimed musical, “Book of Mormon.”
In a conversation with Rolling Stone, Roth revealed,
“I saw the play and went home and we started putting together what I guess is called a jukebox musical, but it’s not particular to Van Halen. Indeed, we can create Van Halen material as the interstitials, but we have 15 songs ready to go, and it’s my story. Indiana kid goes to the big city, sells his soul to the devil. Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets Dave. It’s knockout stuff.”
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However, this musical project never came to fruition despite Roth’s enthusiasm.
The songs he recorded with John 5 remained unheard for years until Roth decided to release them. In 2020, he dropped the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bar and Grill” as a tribute following the passing of his fellow bandmate, Eddie Van Halen. Following this, Roth shared five more songs as part of an interactive online comic book.
The musical material has continued to emerge gradually, with tracks like “Pointing at the Moon” and “Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Back Then” making their way to fans. The Latin-tinged song “Manda Bala,” initially featured in Roth’s webcomic, was also recently released as a stand-alone single.
Despite these releases, there’s been no official word on whether this collection of music will culminate in a full-fledged album. For now, fans can enjoy the playful charm and musical prowess of “The Sh*t That Killed Elvis,” yet another gem in David Lee Roth’s storied career.