David Lee Roth has released a song about Van Halen and the lyrics are something else

David Lee Roth smiling
(Image credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin)

Former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth has released a new single, and it's an affectionate look back at his time with the band. 

Called Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Back Then Anyway, the single's YouTube thumbnail is a picture of the original Van Halen line-up, while the song itself – a wistful affair with a touch of Crosby, Stills & Nash about it – features lyrics that relate to Roth's time with the band. 

Highlights include, "We laughed, we cried, we threw the television off that balcony. That memory means so much to me", "Remember when you safety pinned the tablecloth to my pants" and "Kicked out the restaurant to make the night complete, six pack and a happy meal on a park bench down the street."

The song comes from acoustic sessions Roth recorded with guitarist John 5 in 2007, alongside Skyscraper-era Roth band drummer Gregg Bissonette and keyboardist Brett Tuggle. Later, John told Guitar World that the sessions had resulted in an album's worth of material.

"Dave and I have about 12 or 13 songs in the can for a future record," John 5 said. "And it’s all acoustic. But not strummy, campfire stuff – I’m talking lots of cool, crazy jazz chords, and 50 or 60 overdubbed guitar tracks, with all this harmonising and other weird stuff going on. Dave’s vocals are incredible. He sings his ass off."

Other songs to have emerged from the sessions include Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bar and Grill, which Roth released in 2020, and Giddy-Up, which came out in May last year, but it's Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Back Then Anyway that excites John 5.

"It’s unbelievable," he told al.com last year. "Being a Van Halen fan and a Dave Lee Roth fan, it’s unbelievable because it’s about Dave singing about Van Halen and what it was like. Really something special, so I really hope that comes out."  

Update: John 5 has now released an official video for Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Back Then Anyway.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.