DAVID LEE ROTH – as front man for the unreal legendary Van Halen, this is the man who revolutionized stage presence. Flamboyant is his middle name. As a solo artist, David Lee Roth mixed things up a bit… from Heavy Metal and Hard Rock to a Frank Sinatra cover song in That’s Life. Let’s face it, in the world of Heavy Music, it doesn’t get any more diversified than that. I pick the 1986 solo album from David Lee Roth – Eat ‘Em And Smile as one of the best damned good times album I have ever listened to. Seriously. This album is chock full of songs, that makes me not give a crap about what bills are due or the world economy. Eat ‘Em And Smile, I swear, was created by David Lee Roth to celebrate partying and having fun. Back in 1986… I did both to the upmost limit, with absolutely no regrets. Eat ‘Em And Smile was an album that added to my fun Summer of ’86, reminding me of once again – good times!

Having one of my favorite guitarists of all time with Steve Vai on this album only made it more sweeter for me. Add the Metal fact that Billy Sheehan is on bass and this album seethes with ultra credibility. Gregg Bissonette on drums proved to be a solid choice for this band and album as well. I did get the opportunity to see David Lee Roth live, at the Hartford Civic Center for theis Eat ‘Em And Smile tour. A truly amazing show it was. I went with my late sister and her boyfriend at the time, we had a blast! My sister’s boyfriend’s name was Charlie… he was one cool corporate dude that could drink and have a good time. Our concert tickets stated: limited view. Yeah, limited view my butt… these seats were on the side of the stage, about 15 rows up! Those are great seats according to my Metal standards! We saw everything just fine from those seats, especially with David Lee Roth giving our section equal attention.

I just missed out in catching the sunglasses that David Lee Roth threw up into our section. Gee Metal whiz, if I wasn’t so loaded that night, I would have been able to catch them. Metal memories. I also took quite a spill, falling down a great many of the concrete stairs inside the Hartford Civic Center that night. As I got myself up and shook it off, I was greeted by hundreds of cheering fans… cheering for my fall that is. I took a bow and proceeded on my Metal way, with just a few bumps and buises.

My favorite songs on Eat ‘Em And Smile are: Yankee Rose, Goin’ Crazy!, Shy Boy and Tobacco Road. Granted, I do enjoy the entire album. Any and every time I listen to Eat ‘Em And Smile, it seems like I have to smile. This is the effect that David Lee Roth and his band put on me. I always enjoyed the music video for Yankee Rose too… funny, entertaining and it flat out ROCKS. If you have never given this album a listen, take a chance on having a (gulp) fun and good time. In the event you never have seen the music video for Yankee Rose, well, you can now by clicking on that cool box below.


Track Listing For Eat ‘Em And Smile:

Yankee Rose

Shy Boy

I’m Easy

Ladies’ Nite In Buffalo?

Goin’ Crazy!

Tobacco Road

Elephant Gun

Big Trouble

Bump And Grind

That’s Life

* Eat ‘Em And Smile was released on July 7, 1986, on Warner Bros. Records.

* That’s Life was originally sung by Frank Sinatra and written by Dean Kay and Kelly Gordon.




  1. I saw this lineup live back in ’86. I quickly forgot that Dave left Van Halen. That was one sick line up that DLR had in that band.

  2. I bought this one the day it came out. It’s good, but I prefer Skyscraper because Steve Vai brings more of his own style on that one.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      Cool point… “Skyscraper” seemed to be of a more “serious” approach all around, if that sounds right. Well, then again… “Hot Dog and a Shake” was fun and loose too. Still, more serious of an album all around. Thanks for the Metal point of view on it.

  3. This is a good album. I listened to it quite a bit when it came out.
    I like both “Eat ‘Em And Smile” and “Skyscraper“….”Crazy From The Heat” was good too.

    I haven’t heard any of his albums after “Skyscraper” though.

    I saw the David Lee Roth band in concert in the ’80s too. On the “Skyscraper” tour in Lakeland, Florida.

    They were scheduled to play two nights…I had tickets for the second night.
    Neither show manage to sell half the seats in the arena…so the second show was cancelled and tickets for that show were honored on the first night.

    Also, Steve Vai had hurt his hand and couldn’t play…so his roadie took his place on stage.

    It was still a fun show though.

    If I remember correctly, Faster Pussycat was the opening act.

    I heard that David Lee Roth worked as a paramedic and as a radio DJ for a while in the ’90s in America.
    Is that true?

    • metalodyssey Says:

      I can vouch for the paramedic occupation… it was publicized from time to time. Metal be damned if I am wrong on that. As for the DJ, I would have to research that one… it doesn’t sound too far fetched though. Dee Snider has been a very successful DJ in the States for years. (I would have to double check to see if Dee is still doing the DJ gig though).

      Faster Pussycat is one Rockin’ band… Taime Downe is a talent… IMO. I saw the “Skyscraper” tour too… now I can’t remember if Steve Vai was onstage or not! For some reason, I believe he wasn’t and it is obviously due to what you stated. That East Coast trek could have had more than a couple of shows without Steve Vai… perhaps. Great point to bring out there.

      I really was blown away with David Lee Roth, Steve Vai and Co. covering the Van Halen classic “Unchained” live… (on the Eat ‘Em And Smile” tour). The Hartford Civic Center went bonkers!!

      It did appear as if David Lee Roth was losing steam with a “loyal” fan base after “Skyscraper” was released… IMO.

      • >I can vouch for the paramedic occupation…

        In California?

        > Dee Snider has been a very successful DJ in the States for years.

        Dee Snider was a radio DJ too? Have you listened to his show?

        >now I can’t remember if Steve Vai was onstage or not!

        I remember the radio station talking about the concert before it started and the DJ said that Steve Vai would be replaced by his guitar-tech due to a hand injury.
        His guitar tech played that crazy looking double-necked “heart shaped” guitar of Steve Vai’s.

        • metalodyssey Says:

          Dee Snider was a DJ for an FM station up in Connecticut, Radio 104 WMRQ, at the beginning of the 2000’s. (1999-2003). I can’t vouch if he is still doing the DJ gig or not, or where. More Metal research to be done! The times I listened to Dee Snider, he sounded very cool to me. Dee Snider isn’t a big mouth who rubs people the wrong way… IMO. I just call Dee Snider a Heavy Metal hero… just his standing up to the constipated PMRC all those years ago makes him a Heavy Metal Champion… for me!

          Stone – DEE fan 4 life!

    • metalodyssey Says:

      Wikipedia does verify that David Lee Roth was a DJ, back in 2006 for CBS radio and it’s affiliates. No mention of being a paramedic though. I’m still sticking to my Metal belief that he was! Maybe someone else out there can verify or (gulp) denounce that he was a paramedic.


  4. Mr. Roth, another quite famous Indiana Hoosier (2nd only to Axl Rose in the rock world).

    I always liked that album artwork. Thanks for posting and thus reminding me of this.

    I saw that tour too – amazing show! IMO they blew Van Hagar away when I saw them in the same era’. What a stellar lineup….

    can you remember who opened for them? I forgot here…

    I just looked at my (fan) pics from that show the other night! I am not sure how I smuggled that camera in, since we all know none were allowed back when.

    To answer Tokyo 5 (above) DLR was hired to “replace” Howard Stern when he went to digital radio. If I recall, that only lasted about a month or so.

    There’s only one “Diamond Dave”….

    Rock on…


    • metalodyssey Says:

      Kinger –

      I can’t believe you posed the same Metal question that I had in my mind tonight!! Who “opened” for David Lee Roth? I plumb cannot remember!! Was there even an opening act? There were those certain bands back then that just never had an opening band… this is gonna keep me up all night! (Maybe it won’t). Still though… we’re supposed to remember this stuff!!! Or, try to remember it anyways.


      • >There were those certain bands back then that just never had an opening band

        Most rock concerts in Japan have no opening act.
        Only occasionally do they have one.

        I saw Death Angel in Tokyo and they had the Japanese metal band Ded Chaplin open.

        But I’ve seen Judas Priest, L.A. Guns, Guns ‘N Roses, Aerosmith, and KISS (a number of times) here in Tokyo and none of them had an opening act.
        (That said, in 1999 KISS were scheduled to play here to promote their “Psycho Circus” album and the Japanese band “The Sex Machine Guns” were going to open for them…but that world tour ended prematurely and the Japan shows were cancelled).

        • metalodyssey Says:

          That’s different… that concerts in Japan have no opening acts for a headliner. Who knows… your probably better off sometimes… here is my point:

          When I saw Dire Straits in 1985, the opening act was: a juggler. You read that correctly… a juggler. I never booed so loud in my life. Why did I boo the juggler? Due to the fact I paid $$ for a night of Rock and Roll… not to witness a dude juggling glow in the dark bowling pins.


          • Dire Straits? That’s that “Money For Nothing And Chicks For Free” band, right? 😉

            I never heard of a rock concert having a juggling show before! 😀

            That seems dangerous in America 😉
            Japanese people are too “polite” too boo someone. 🙂
            It reminds me…when I saw “Guns ‘N Roses” in 1991 for their “Use Your Illusion” tour at the Tokyo Dome, Axl Rose was over two hours late.

            In Japan, people have to take the train home and if they miss the last train it can be a problem.
            Even so, even though everyone in the audience was upset, they sat patiently and waited two hours for the band to finally come on stage.

            I heard that Axl caused the audience to riot in America.
            Quite different cultures! 😉

            • metalodyssey Says:

              I understand your point with the cultural differences in politeness. Just by watching the Japanese Baseball players in MLB over here: Hideki Matsui and Ichiro… they are class acts beyond belief! There is a “difference” in their overall attitude and patience, which I applaud. Just look at the National Hockey League, the “fist fights” are still a part of the game!

              Booing is so commonplace at concerts, sporting events and just about any other public assembly you can think of in America. It’s American. Impatience is a fact of life in America. Waiting is taboo for anything over here. It’s “shout and be counted” at any take out deli.

              I am patient to a degree… yet still more patient than most people I observe on a daily basis. Stopping to hear the Metal is my motto… otherwise life goes by too darn fast.

              Again, I respect and admire the fact that the Japanese culture can show restraint and respect as you have so described.

              Would I boo that same juggler today? Maybe not as harshly… I’ve seemed to mellow out a tad over the years! 🙂

    • >they blew Van Hagar away when I saw them in the same era’.

      I always liked Sammy “The Red Rocker” Hagar too.
      So I thought, if Van Halen had to replace their singer, he was a good choice (much better than Gary Cherone).

      I think Van Halen’s album title “OU812” (“Oh, You Ate One Too”) was in response to David Lee Roth’s album title “Eat ‘Em And Smile”.

      >To answer Tokyo 5 (above) DLR was hired to “replace” Howard Stern when he went to digital radio. If I recall, that only lasted about a month or so.

      Have you ever heard his show?
      (And I only know of Howard Stern.)

      • I love S. Hagar – just NOT with Van Halen.

        I saw Sammy solo several times. Standing Hampton and Three Lock Box LP’s are my. fav. V.O.A. is good too.

        Old/early Van Halen rocked hard but the Van Hagar was just too radio-friendly for me. Too “cute-sie” or 13 year old chic friendly.

        **But yes, of course much better than Gary Cherone.

        I was not a Howard Stern fan or listener, so I did not check out DLR as a replacement either.

        Rock On!


        • metalodyssey Says:

          Hey Kinger… “Standing Hampton” and “Three Lock Box” are my two favorite Sammy Hagar albums too. “Standing Hampton” was my first Red Rocker album.

          “Baby’s On Fire” is probably… my #1 Sammy Hagar song ever. Yup. It is.

          “Ten 13” is a kick butt Sammy Hagar album too… it is a great one.


  5. “Hey, don’t be throwin’ no sh** up on my stage, cos I saw who threw that bottle, and after the show… I’m gonna fu** your girlfriend, pal!” – David Lee Roth



    • metalodyssey Says:

      (Phew), at first… after reading the first few words… I thought you were telling me off! Wow, how corn dog of me.

      David Lee Roth was definitely no dude to mess with… from what I’ve read over the years, he was/is a pretty darn good student of martial arts.

      Scared Straight Stone

      • hilarious!

        well, yes you are correct, how do you think he was able to do those high-kicks on stage?

        that was no “poseur” ballet stuff or genuine glam metal “pussy” kicks.

        Dave’s rep. preceded him throughout the world…


  6. a friend just said CINDERELLA was the openers here -because he couldn’t believe those guys were tossing their guitars over their shoulder on their sig. move like that!

    *That might be the case because I also found some early 86′ Cinderella pictures in that same DLR stack.

    I will have to go back and check now…

    Useless Trivia:

    Who would believe John “Cougar” Mellencamp and David Lee Roth were born and raised in Indiana (and only an hour away from another).



  7. I am pretty sure Poison opened part of tour as well. Around here Kix opened a few dates on that tour as well. That’s when the alleged incident happened where KIX stayed on stage 10 minutes past when they were alotted. As the story goes when they came off stage Diamond Dave had his bodyguard grab Steve Whiteman and go on some rant about that they would never open for him again. At least that’s what some of the metal mags of the day reported. Don’t know how true it was.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      You know, I am starting to wonder two things, when it comes to the two tours I saw David Lee Roth on:

      1. Did I party too long outside and not give a darn about the opening act? It happened at times.

      2. Did the Hartford CT stop even have an opening act at all?

      I am going to dig out my concert stubs and see if the opening acts are printed on them. It may prove fruitless, many times the opening act(s) were not printed on the tickets at all.

      One thing is for certain however… we are all becoming re-schooled on 80’s Diamond Dave solo legacy.

  8. no opening act(s) on the ticket sub:

    hell, while you are there, you might as well peep the entire article:

    it will give you more cool HISTORY and u will get to see some dope pics from those tours (and a lot of ticket stubs) that I have been scanning and collecting lately!

    Let me know how you like it….it’s a work n-progress.

    P.S. oh, there was a local (70’s hippie) artist that lived 2 blocks away from me where I grew up in Indiana, and he was an amazing painter.

    He painted a huge color mural of KISS (Destroyer era) and Ted Nugent on one side of the large building (i.e. garage I think)….and on the other side he had the VAN HALEN (debut LP) logo + band painted on the other (street side).

    Wow, it stopped traffic every day is was so killer.

    I used to go over there when I “heard loud music”, as they had a local garage band, and I would listen to them jam. I couldn’t get enough of that. They also had a 70’s custom van with paintings on the side (go figure)…man I miss those days.

    Funny thing – my aunt moved into that house one day and then I was able to get to visit the artwork up close n’ personal and I was just in awe (I used to draw and paint and at one point in my life wanted to pursue being an real “artist” for my profession).

    Sadly, eventually the paint fell off and the artistic legacy of that mural was slowly slowly lost over 2 decades.

    I remember my cousin called me all sad one day because Gene Simmon’s face fell off! She was a little kiddo KISS fan.

    I will search for some pics….

    Indiana Stix

  9. elabryth Says:

    A couple of things about ROTH solo. 1) He stated that the reason he left Van Halen was the use of keyboards and how they were going to be more prevalent on future albums. He wants to keep things more ROCK by not having keyboards. Then “Skyscraper” is released and it begins ROTH use of keyboards, courtesy of Brett Tuggle. On that release, the songs were not as RAW & sounded sleaker. I know that lost some fans for him down here. 2) Also, Dave played my hometwon (Montgomery, AL) on the Eat Em’ & Smile Tour. I personally had no desire to go. What I do remember is the next day getting phone call after phone call from friends who went to the show, asking for me to make them a copy of my TESLA: MECHANICAL RESONANCE vinyl. It seems they were the opening act and in everyones opinion, blew the DLR band off the stage. I had been raving about them for about a month and blasting the album from the speakers of my ’78 Camaro. How SOUTHERN is that! I don’t hunt, or fish, or even have an accent, I just love living in the South. Anyway, there you go. DLR is a one-of-a-kind, I am just not the biggest fan in the world… and I prefer Hagar.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      I just for the life of me, cannot remember an opening act for the two DLR shows I saw, (both “Eat ‘Em And Smile” and “Skyscraper”). I have commented earlier, maybe I never got into the venue early enough to know back then or maybe in Connecticut there was no opening band? Or… this is the result of a “Metal mind fart” that I just can’t shake when it comes to this particular topic/moment in my life.

      I have always approached it this way – there was Van Halen, then there was Van Hagar. “1984” pretty much was the commercial route. You make a valid point on the keyboard story and DLR… I never knew of that “side of the story”.

      DLR just entertained the living heck out of me back on that “Eat ‘Em And Smile” and “Skyscraper” era. Steve Vai was a big plus for my ears.

      Sammy Hagar has had a much more extensive catalog of albums than DLR. I can’t compliment Sammy Hagar enough. For me, it’s a tale of two Van Halens and two very different front men… both The Red Rocker and DLR brought their own unique style to Heavy Music.

      At the end of the Metal day, it’s the fans that have truly benefited from the past Van Halen saga(s)… a variety of albums have been the result of this band and their infamous 2 lead singers. (3 if we count Cherone).

      In Metal –

      Stone \m/

  10. I have a vinyl copy of this excellent album and DLR has recorded the entire album’s vocals in spanish. I imagine it might be quite rare??

  11. metalodyssey Says:

    UPDATE: As to my not remembering who opened up for David Lee Roth on the Eat ‘Em And Smile Tour… thanks to Metal buddy Curt at Demolish Fanzine, his pics he has emailed to me tell the story – CINDERELLA. Or, at least for some portion of this tour Cinderella was the opening band. Poison has been mentioned as well, in that they were an opening band for DLR.

    Curt’s pics are absolutely true documentation of Cinderella being on the same stage that DLR was on… the backdrops in these pics are proof of this. Thank you Curt for your Heavy Metal research!

    My missing out on Cinderella being the opening band is still a Metal mystery to me… either I was too late walking/stumbling into the show or whatever the Metal case may have been. In the end… it’s all still good to me.


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