David Lee Roth Year by Year Photos: 1977-2020
It’s been more than four decades since David Lee Roth exploded onto the scene with Van Halen, and he remains one of the most fascinating and quotable stars in the music world.
As this year-by-year collection of photos shows, he’s also one of the most photogenic.
“Diamond Dave” has weathered the same career ups and downs as anybody who’s been in his line of work for such a long time. But he also already seems to have racked up two or three lifetimes worth of one-of-a-kind adventures. From exploring jungles to rock climbing to patrolling New York City as a licensed Emergency Medical Technician, he’s consistently shown a love for the path less taken.
You could argue Roth has even been a bit too far ahead of the curve sometimes -- launching a Vegas show and then a free-form talk program about a decade before residencies and podcasts became the popular thing to do. And as much fun as his early solo work was, Van Halen fans will always wonder what could have been if he hadn’t been away from the group for more than two decades.
The dozens of photographs below capture Roth during both his original and reunion stints with the group, as well as throughout his solo career. You’ll also see him mugging with Jon Bon Jovi, Pee-wee Herman, Iron Man and even his arch-rival Sammy Hagar.
There are a few missing years where we were unable to locate or license a photograph. But it’s pretty safe to assume wherever he was in 1989, 2010 or 2019, David Lee Roth was doing something unusual and interesting.