Lee Roth's iconic Uncle Manny dies

Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth has paid tribute to his club owner uncle Manny Roth, who's died at the of 95.

His Cafe Wha? establishment in New York gave Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and many others a kickstart to their careers in the 1960s and 70s.

Best known as the place where Animals bassist Chas Chandler saw Hendrix playing and became his manager, the establishment opened in 1959 and played host to leaders of the beat generation movement in its early years. Roth was reputed to have spent his last $100 on decorating it before it opened.

Cafe Wha? also helped launch the careers of comedians including Woody Allen, Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor.

Singer Roth has blacked out his website in tribute, with a short note reading: “Uncle Manny has passed away. He was happy, laughing and smiling right up ‘til the end. His presence already missed, his contributions with us for ever.”

The venue’s Facebook page reports: “He was a legend in discovering talent and he will be dearly missed by us all. Thanks for everything, Manny – and we hope to continue your legacy long into the future.”

Van Halen played a one-off show in Cafe Wha? in 2012, and Lee Roth recently devoted an episode of his web TV show to his uncle’s establishment.

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.