In high school I tried to form a David Lee Roth support group. You know, sort of a twelve step group committed to the idea of wild-eyed positivity.
We would meet up around town, our Jack Daniels bottles filled with instant iced tea, and talk about any progress we might have made in our personal lives towards wild-eyed positivity.
Agenda: Was anyone learning to rock climb? Paddling canoes around Manhattan? Planning to hike across South America? Was one of us learning new dance moves integrating multiple katana swords? Ice fishing?
Very super usually, not.
We tried to build up our Rothist cred by assuring ourselves that high school was only a fixed point in time, that the future had to be much more Rothist than the present.
It had to be. It was our hope.
The hell of cafeteria food, moldy gym towels, acne that would not die, and life sapping buzzers mounted every 8 feet couldn’t last forever.
At some point we would be free, and we saw freedom as the center of the Rothist movement. In our testosterone infected minds, Roth was somehow free. Oh sure, he had his back up against the record machine, and later on, we would really begin to see what that could mean.
He too was telling us that he was trapped by the strictures of commerciality that limited his mighty expression of freedom. The freedom at the center of our Rothist ideology wasn’t real. The Roth in-concept was free, but maybe the real one wasn’t.
For instance, in 1983 he had to be flown back from excursions in the jungle in order to appear at the US Festival earning an amount of nutty money that put Van Halen into the Guinness Book of World Records. Then it seemed his back was up against the WORLD record machine.
Our support group eventually fizzled out when no one could finance much of anything towards our wild-eyed positivity hopes. We continued to split 75 cent burritos at Taco Bell and wait for the right moment to start another movement.