David Lee Roth’s Complete ‘No Holds Bar-B-Que’ Is Now Online
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Bar-B-Que‘s reappearance comes in the midst of a flurry of renewed online activity for Roth, who resumed posting several months ago after pulling a disappearing act in early 2015 — and more importantly for longtime fans of the once-and-again Van Halen frontman, it offers an opportunity to take a firsthand look at a release that raised more than a few eyebrows when it first appeared in 2002.
During an interview with the A.V. Club, Roth described the then-new film as “A variety of ingredients, I think probably that you’d recognize instantly. Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Soupy Sales, Groucho, Kurosawa, Hugh Hefner and on and on and on. But I’ve woven it together in a form that I think is much more appropriate for our national attention-deficit syndrome, or whatever it is we’re having. As in, ‘Too hip, gotta go, golly, look at the time. Gotta go change the air in my tires, love to hang, bye.'”
Of the project’s frenetic pace, Roth pointed to the modern consumer’s “frenzied” biorhythms and added, “I tried to create a different type of television — it’s not really a show and it’s not really a biography. There’s a lot of show-and-tell in there. I’m not really sure what it is. Perhaps that makes it pure. Like Picasso said, it’s bound to go over some people’s heads, so I created a version with a director’s commentary.”
No Holds Bar-B-Que never really saw an official release, although VHS copies inexplicably circulated among select press outlets at the time. CDNow offered a somewhat bemused take on the project, saying it “opens with Roth flailing about in a large city in some sort of Kung Fu/T’ai Chi-style dance with swords and poles” and “only gets stranger” from there.
“Roth dresses up like a sailor and hosts a luau, hunts gorillas in the jungle, sports a ninja costume (while his cover of Gerry Rafferty’s ‘Baker Street’ plays in the background) and plays with more swords (did we mention there are a lot of swords in this video?),” reads the description. “Not only that, but we also see Roth in army fatigues, carrying some sort of rocket launcher, wandering about a dark cave (presumably hunting for Osama Bin Laden?); cavorting with pregnant girls drinking Bud Light and dressing as an Arab sheik — all “live from the Mojo Dojo.”
For years, No Holds Bar-B-Que only circulated on the bootleg trading circuit, but thanks to Roth’s generosity, now it’s free for all to see. If you’re looking for a little extra Diamond Dave in your day — or just in the mood for some truly surreal entertainment — kick back and soak it all in above.
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