VHS Archives #23: David Lee Roth grilled by MuchMusic (1991)

I’ve long maintained that MuchMusic’s Power Hour was the best hour of Canadian television in the late 80s.  The music, the interviews, and the personalities made it a very special show.  Far better than anything MTV had on offer. Much respected the Metal. The Power Hour was a fun show, but not a lightweight one.

David Lee Roth sat with Denise Donlon in January of 1991, to promote his new album A Little Ain’t Enough.  She didn’t let him off easy.  “I think David Lee Roth is smarter than the music you make,” she says bluntly.  And she doesn’t let him wriggle out with rehearsed answers.  “Sure, the world’s a stage and I want better lighting!” Roth has a tendency to just go off on his own little segues, but Donlon doesn’t buy it and presses further.  Dave likes to go by rote, but she kept questioning.  Her point being that David Lee Roth is a witty, well read, worldly individual, and she was disappointed to see his new video (“A Li’l Ain’t Enough”) was another showcase for hot girls.  She also asks about the blackface, which was not nearly as front-page in 1991 as it is in 2019.

Gotta give Denise Donlon credit for this.  Even if you think she’s attacking him (which she’s not), you have to give her credit for being one of the few who are able to get David Lee Roth off script.

Unfortunately I was forced to edit out the musical clips from this video.


    1. Yep, she was one of the best interviewers they had. The Steve Vai interview she did was also good. She asked why they never had an interview with him before, and he answered “Dave wouldn’t pass on interview requests.” First time anybody knew that.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ll tell you what, that was great. I fucking love that guy… when he’s on script it’s a bit meaningless and rehearsed, but here he really does well for the majority of the 6 and a half minutes or so. His wall around his garden was smashed when she said she was disappointed… he put a brave face on, but as HMO says, he looks like he’s dying inside after that. All that was missing was someone shouting “finish him!”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. HAHAH! I can overdub that in my Chuckle Cut of this interview. LOL

      Scott’s right, he does sound dejected and disappointed at her disappointment! I think like a lot of people, Dave wants to be loved. She does bring up valid points though. As a young fan, as much as I appreciated the fun of the video, I was actually disappointed too. I wanted a band video, with Dave doing his best, on stage.

      However that wasn’t gonna happen because Dave didn’t HAVE a band. We didn’t know it yet but Jason Becker had Lou Gehrig’s disease. So there was never gonna be a “band” video.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha! You need to do that!

        I’ve only been a fan of the guy for the last 3 years or so, but I like the videos and, as daft as it may sound, I get what he’s saying about the imagery and hybrid nature it all. He’s a proper showman and I think part of his appeal is that he wasn’t doing what those around him were doing.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m gonna try. I don’t have the best software for editing but I will try.

          I get it too, I think Dave brings a unique mix of influences to rock and roll. I grew up with Al Jolson, I totally understand. I remember when Al Jolson was revered.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Classic showman stuff. Dave’s a classic showman, so I can understand why he’d draw on that and the innocence there. In hindsight he might acknowledge it wasn’t the best… but his music is still great.


  2. Dave got schooled…he was stumped and this was the start of the early 90’s Decline! Denise set off a verbal avalanche that Roth at time couldn’t dig out of…
    Indeed !

    Liked by 1 person

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