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Podthoughts: The Roth Show

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Format: David Lee Roth’s “social-studies lectures by way of rock ‘n’ roll Babylon, at carnival-barker cadence”
Episode duration: 20-50m
Frequency: biweekly, with hiatuses

I found out about The Roth Show [RSS] [iTunes] from an in-depth profile of its host, yes, former and current Van Halen lead singer David Lee Roth. The article, Steve Kandell’s “David Lee Roth Will Not Go Quietly”, appeared on Buzzfeed, of all places, but I didn’t judge, I just marveled. Specifically, I marveled at Kandell’s description of Roth’s lack of furniture and possession of “a rack of Japanese katana swords,” his successful completion of an EMT program in New York and tactical medicine training in Southern California, his 600-pound ex-sumo wrestler language mentor, his apartment in Tokyo, his lifestyle “rich and weird and singular and driven by very particular and exotic enthusiasms ranging from mountain climbing to martial arts to tending to gunshot victims in the Bronx.”

Needless to say, Kandell’s mention of a Roth-helmed “sprawling one-man video series and podcast that aspires to do nothing less than tell the history of modern culture through the eyes of someone who has been everywhere, done everything, met everyone, and hired a couple of midgets to be his security detail along the way” raised my eyebrow. “It’s nothing more or less than David Lee Roth speaking for a half hour on, more or less, a single topic. Tattoos. FM and underground radio. The history and semiotics of pop videos by way of Picasso. A long-ago trip to New Guinea. His personal history with drinking and smoking. Slideshows from an unending vacation. The episodes are monologues, history lessons, personal taxonomy, but really, mostly just talking and more talking, social-studies lectures by way of rock ‘n’ roll Babylon, at carnival-barker cadence.”

Read the whole thing at Maximum Fun.

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