I read about it in a free weekly that was delivered in the mail to my apartment, one of those local tabloids comprised of advertisements for tanning salons and burrito vans. At first, I was incredulous. In no way did I believe David Lee Roth would come to Manchester, New Hampshire. But it turned out to be true. He was doing a radio spot then a book signing at Barnes and Noble for Crazy from the Heat, his memoir about those rockin’ times on the road with Van Halen, when he wore parachute pants and did Teddy Bear jumps on stage and slept with so many beautiful women that their beauty became an afterthought.
Yes, sir, Diamond Dave was coming to Manchester, and I was hell-bent on getting my copy of Crazy from the Heat signed by him.
First, I waited on the sidewalk outside of the radio station, wearing black parachute pants and a shredded red tank top on top of a white tank top falling off my shoulder. I held the book to my chest while reciting the lyrics to “Yankee Rose” in spoken word.
But Diamond Dave must’ve taken the back way out of the studio. Someone must’ve tipped him off.
So I went to Barnes and Noble and waited outside the cafe and in front of the Psychology section with another guy who had a bald dome and inky black hair pulled into a tight ponytail. He was drinking an iced pumpkin-spiced latte, and the sticker pasted to the plastic cup read, The Seagull.
“Are you a big David Lee Roth fan?” I asked him.
He nodded. “I dig your pants,” he said. “I’m a huge David Lee Roth fan. I celebrate all things hedonistic.”
“Do you have a drink in your hands and your toes in the sand?” I asked.
“Come on, Dave, give me a break,” he said, correctly guessing my name.
“One break, coming up!”
The Seagull and I waited another forty-five minutes but the line never got longer and David Lee Roth never showed up. So we ordered iced pumpkin spiced lattes from the cafe then got Mexican food from a burrito van. I ordered a Grande Burrito, and The Seagull had the fish tacos.
editors note: True madness is thinking Sammy Hagar can replace anyone. – tyler malone
photo by Tyler Malone