David Lee Roth is back with a new skinline product designed to “preserve, protect, and highlight tattoos and keep them from fading,” according to Blabbermouth. During a new chat with Vogue magazine, “Diamond Dave” explained how he became involved in the new company: “Simple: The product that we're dealing with now goes hand in hand with what I think is the true Esperanto: It's a language — ink — that everybody shares, especially if you don't speak the same language. With ink, we read each other's signs and icons. In that way, it's much like music.”
He went on to say, “I started this project with three of us sitting around an upended plastic bucket for a table at my house in L.A. Now, there's 34 of us and we have offices in New York as well as L.A. It's taken three years and close to $7 million, and I'm involved in every single element of every part of it. Surprisingly, there's almost no competition. And what we have built is absolutely specialized to our community. My business partner, Ami James, is the curator and one of the three owners of Tattoodo, which has more than 500,000 artists curated on their site. They get two billion views a month and have 20 million social media followers.”
Roth charted his course for becoming a tattoo connoisseur, recalling, “I got my first tattoo 40 years ago, a little seahorse on my ankle, at a place called Cliff Raven Studio on Sunset Boulevard in '77, '78. That was very outre then — the only people who got tattoos then were bikers, rock 'n' rollers to a small degree; the gay community was into it. Eventually, though, I took a much more gentrified approach: I waited until I was 60 and got the whole Japanese tuxedo. It took me 300 hours of sitting over two years. But I planned it for the 30 years prior, and it's my design: kabuki faces, the original showbiz, rendered Edo style — it looks like a woodblock print.”
David Lee Roth joked to us that he's long gotten used to critics bashing him. He says that these days he actually revels in the press realizing that he couldn't care less: “I'm impervious to the machinations (laughs) of the derisions and slings and arrows and so forth, 'cause I see it completely for what it is. And it just irritates people even more (laughs). It's like number seven sand paper on a roll (laughs) right next to the commode — 'Ah, courtesy of Diamond Dave' (makes ripping noise, laughs).”
Van Halen last toured in 2015 in support of its first live album, Tokyo Dome Live In Concert. The band has not shown any signs of activity since then.