Peak America: David Lee Roth performs with the Boston Pops on the 4th of July

Saturday is the 4th of July. On Sunday, Van Halen kick off their 2015 tour. On July 4, 2004, David Lee Roth played with the Boston Pops in the greatest 4th of July performance of all time. I’m not saying it’s the reason I ended up moving to Boston nine years later, but let’s just say as a matter of fact it is.

David Lee Roth is a ludicrous human being. He was the frontman for one of the biggest rock bands of all time, split with them when they were at their most popular, spent the next 20 or so years releasing solo albums of varying degrees of success, put out an entertaining autobiography, got arrested in Washington Square Park for purchasing $5 worth of pot, reunited with Van Halen, immediately got booted from Van Halen, toured with Sammy Hagar, somehow became the person chosen to replace Howard Stern, got fired from that gig and eventually reunited with Van Halen again, although — since they’re Van Halen — his return signaled the end of original bassist Michael Anthony’s time in the band, as Eddie Van Halen brought in his son, Wolfgang, to play bass. The latest incarnation of Van Halen has actually held together, although fans always assume the whole thing could blow up at any moment.

In the summer of 2002, I attended the Hagar/Roth show in Scranton, Pa. Hagar opened and was a good time despite his Hard rock Jimmy Buffet shtick. Roth closed and strutted out with platinum blonde hair and a skin-tight pink jumpsuit. His performance was … not well received by the crowd. My buddy Mike and I had purchased David Lee Roth T-shirts. On the way out to the parking lot after the show, a guy behind us started singing a reworked version of Roth’s solo song “Just Like Paradise,” changing the lyrics to, “This must be just like David Lee Roth sucks ass.” And in the only instance of anyone finding Mike and I intimidating in our lifetimes, the man’s significant other said to him, “Honey, shhhh! There are Roth fans ahead!”

Anyway, getting back on track, Roth’s performance with The Pops. Or, as the bald guy who introduces Roth to the stage says, “I think it’s time we make the Pops … Rock! What do you say?”

This guy rules
This guy rules

“Jump” kicks in. Roth comes out. No platinum blonde hair this time. No pink jumpsuit. Classy attire for a classy occasion. Most of the crowd, either waving American flags or wearing clothing featuring American flags, do the only proper thing when “Jump” is playing and jump along to the song. At one point Roth joins the conductor of the orchestra so they can sing a few lines together.

These guys also rule
These guys also rule

Roth is in fine voice. Well, for him. Roth’s strength as a live performer is less his singing and more his spinning jump kicks, of which he does several (one of my favorite parts of his autobiography is when he makes it known that those kicks are not just for show, but are in fact an ancient method of kicking a person off a horse). Roth’s other strength as a live performer is his ability to twirl a mic stand, which he does during the guitar solo. When the War to End All Wars occurs in the next 15 years, Roth will be at the front of the side fighting for the good of humanity twirling away. You know this to be true.

As the song nears its end, members of the orchestra begin leaping out of their chairs. Roth pulls out a few more jump kicks. He looks to the sky, his arms outstretched. A job well done? A fireworks display properly opened for?

For those about to rock (we salute you)
For those who have successfully rocked (we salute you)

Damn right it was. Bowzebowzebop.

Brian Cougar

Advertisements
Peak America: David Lee Roth performs with the Boston Pops on the 4th of July

Real > Fake

Hello America/Earth. In order to improve your overall well being, I have decided to join forces with my jambroni brother to rant and rave about all things baseball, with a focus on the beautiful Metropolitans, and a lot of hating on the Phillies. If you read Brian Coug’s post below, you know that my brother’s blog attempts for the MLB season have a very short life expectancy. Thankfully for you and him, I will be providing daily doses of realness to keep this up and running. Whether or not a season-long blog of nonsense from us is a good thing remains to be seen, but there is a strong chance it will vastly improve the quality of life of the people lucky enough to read it.

Mets: This Mets have been on the receiving end of a lot of hate punches over the course of this offseason, but I find myself strangely optimistic about this upcoming season, mainly because I think they have a solid lineup 1-9. Having a healthy Jose Reyes to start the season, along with the return of Carlos Beltran, should shore up a lot of the weak parts of the Mets’ offense that struggled so often last year. These two should provide a boost to the already studly numbers of the First Team All-Real third baseman of the New York Mets, Mr. David Wright. I think Wright is going to have a monster year, and might bring home some MVP hardware. Angel Pagan continues to play at a very high level, and has a chance to put up some big numbers to go along with his 40+ stolen bases (I can see .300 .avg, 25 hr, 80 RBI, and 10+ triples). As long as he avoids the sophomore jinx, I’m going to trust the big Ike Davis that showed a lot of promise at the plate and in the field at first base last season. My biggest question mark in the lineup is what kind of production my Mets will get from Jason Bay. I would like to think that he has to significantly improve from last year (based on his career stats), but he needs to get on the field first before those questions can be answered. If he is anywhere near the 30 bomb, 100 RBI guy he used to be, the Mets should have no problem scoring runs this year.

The biggest obstacle the Mets have to overcome this year will be their starting pitching. Jon Niese looks like a potential stud, but the inconsistency of Big Pelf and the back end of Young and Capuano leaves a lot to be desired. Lacking a true ace with the loss of The Johan is a glaring problem, especially in a division full of dominant starting pitching. My boy R.A. Dickey looks like he will continue to be a solid No. 3 starter for the rotation, and should be able to win from 12 – 15 games. The Mets didn’t lose many games because of their pitching last year, so hopefully the starters can keep them in games and get the ball to the ‘pen, where I think Parnell and Krod should have some success closing out games. (Bring back Izzy!)

Overall, I do not expect this team to win the NL East, but I definitely see how they can compete and win a decent amount of games this year, while possibly contending for a Wild Card spot. (if Johan can get back soon after the All-Star break close to true Johan form). They have already won a road series two months earlier than it took them to accomplish that last year, and they are currently beating up on the Phils, after teeing off on Cole Hamels. Hopefully they get off to a hot start, and ride that momentum into a surprising 2011 season. If not, I will be suffering through a long six months of abuse from Phillies fans and lame Bernie Madoff jokes.

Tune (blog?) in tomorrow for some good ol’ fashion Philly hate that would make my main man George Washington proud (GW hated Philadelphia, thought it was the fakest city he had ever stepped foot in). This blog will be more ridiculous going forward, but I just wanted to throw a brief summary of my thoughts on this Mets team to kick things off

— Kevin McReal

Real > Fake