Thursday, February 09, 2006
All we are saying is...give Dave a chance...maybe
Listening to David Lee Roth this morning on 92.3 FREE FM, he had on Billy Altman - legendary rock critic and a former editor of Creem, the best rock magazine ever, R.I.P. - talking about last night's Grammies. It was good radio, with both Billy and David intelligently and (fairly) humorously reviewing the previous evenings performers. David was too robotic in how he kept quickly bringing up different artist's names, as if he was reading the topics off a sheet and keeping the conversation too brisk, without allowing any particular line of conversation to develop, but I guess that's professionalism (of a kind) for a tightly formatted morning show.
Of course, David Lee talking about how well music stars pull off their "acts" is a comfort zone for him, a subject he's perfect for. I was a bit surprised that he nor Billy nor any of the callers brought up the brilliant old Dave quote that "all rock critics like Elvis Costello because all rock critics look like Elvis Costello." Maybe Dave's too polite, or maybe he's forgotten. Mr. Roth is a very smart guy, and has that jive-talking psuedo-Lord Buckley quality that a few other rock-star frontmen famously share, like Ted Nugent, Dee Snider* and Peter Wolf (all guys who do or have done radio, incidentally). I had a former brother-in-law with a similar gift of gab. It's the kind of patter that that semi-intelligent brother-in-laws or uncles or co-workers commonly use to cover up basic insecurities. It can be entertaining, at times.
But Dave also seems... I hate to say it... square. He sounds like a 50-year-old fairly-out-of-touch coddled former rock star. Now - there's nothing saying that a square 50-year-old fairly-out-of-touch coddled former rock star with a well-worn motormouth can't become a good morning radio show host. A metalhead friend of mine, a Dave partisan who's become a regular listener, says he's coming along fairly well and has an interesting take on things. And Howard himself has been saying that Roth deserves at least a year to get good at his gig. Yet the gig might not last that long, according to disgruntled 92.3 staffers. We'll see. I'm rooting for the coddled old bastard, for some reason.
* who had a touching reunion with Howard yesterday - details here - and may be getting a Howard-produced Sirius radio show of own soon. It's interesting how the King of All Media does alot of his radio-boss work on the air.