David Lee Roth Talks To Sirius' Howard 100 News
March 9, 2006 at 2:51 PM (PT)
SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO scored the first one-on-one interview with DAVID LEE ROTH since he replaced HOWARD STERN at some CBS-owned radio stations. ROTH was interviewed today by STEVE LANGFORD of SIRIUS’ HOWARD 100 News team.
ROTH, who is reported to be at odds with WFNY (92.3 FREE-FM)/NEW YORK management over the development of his program (see story below), voiced his frustration over the air earlier this week, referring to executives as “social retards” and “sissies.”
This is a desperate business. Itâ??s the Wild Wild East
LANGFORD: “What do you think is going to happen upstairs?”
ROTH: “I just had a very great meeting with MARK CHERNOFF, the program director, and with [station manager] TOM CHIUSANO, and I explained, ‘Hey guys, I’m pretty much a one trick pony. Haven’t you ever wondered why I’ve never even been in a movie? I only know how to be me. I can’t act. I can’t be transparent. That’s what I sell, and you know what, they heard me.
"We have an interesting audience in that HOWARD, who is one of my heroes, certainly one of my mentors, took his audience with him. As I would certainly hope um we’re starting with a single blade of grass here. One person listening then telling another person and that’s going to take a long time. I’m in. I don’t have A.D.D. I’m here for the duration and I think that the fellows quote unquote upstairs are starting to see that at this point in time. They see that I’m very focused to this. I don’t take this job lightly at all. This is the most difficult job I’ve ever done in my life. I never realized working with my contemporaries like STERN and whoever just how impossibly difficult this job really is and I don’t mean getting out of the rack at 4 in the morning. I mean being able to improvise and carry the weight of your listeners for 4 hours.
"Whether I last beyond six months or a year, who knows? This is a desperate business. It’s the Wild Wild East.
“The one thing that I imitate from HOWARD, and I always hope I’m capable of imitating from HOWARD is be myself. Don’t try and imitate anybody else. Talk about your real life. Talk about what’s really happening in and of yourself. Beyond that I hope that what I have is unique and that they do give it a fair run.”
LANGFORD: “According to the newspaper it sounded like they wanted you to be HOWARD STERN.”
ROTH: “Initially, yeah. Initially their design was to create or recreate in many of their acts the same configuration for starters. Here’s the ROBIN part. Here’s the HOWARD part. This person will be BABA. And we see this routinely in cinema. We see it in theater. We see it in sports, particularly in music, is that there’s one person that’s first at a thing, we call it pre-eminent. The first of a kind is to be pre-eminent and everybody else gets nothing but a younger brother’s piss poor inheritance and if you try to imitate you go, ‘All right, I watched HOWARD for 10 years. I think I know the formula.’ Well you just made a desperately wrong left hand turn. There is no formula to somebody like that."
LANGFORD: “Now are they really going to make you have a ROBIN QUIVERS-like sidekick?”
ROTH: “No, I don’t think that’s going to transpire now. I did discuss with them and say, ‘Hey, you know anybody who’s in that studio - and I call it the Engine Room. HOWARD’s a captain. I’m down where the oars are. He’s got stars on his collar. I got grease on mine. And I said, ‘Guys, you want to have a dame in there? Great. Almost 50 percent of our callers and everything, there’s everything from 20-year-olds to 70-year-old women. Okay.’ I said, ‘But if you want to have somebody in there that’s going to be able to rise to the occasion in our own unique fashion then I would imagine she would have to be a person like a combination of NANCY GRACE on CNN, a university trained litigating attorney with a lot of experience, meets HEIDI FLEISS. (Laughs) Find me those two people in one woman’s body and we’ll have ourselves a conversation worth tuning into.”
LANGFORD: “During the discussion today, social retards, baby food sissies, stooges and ugly little dysfunctional worms... did that come up?”
ROTH: “During this conversation? I think that’s what probably precipitated (laughs) this great meeting of the minds. I call that gorilla dust, when you pound your chest like TARZAN the dust that falls out are those words. And sometimes you gotta hit your chests at each other. This is all very primal but this is the business we have chosen.”
LANGFORD: “So they didn’t seem to take offense at that?”
ROTH: “Oh they took great offense and CHERNOFF, my program director, says, ‘I realize you were trying to make fun of me and perhaps even ruin my day.’ I said, ‘No no. My intention was to turn your whole f---ing life for the next three weeks into a toilet. Now are we prepared to talk? (Laughs)”
LANGFORD: “So are you afraid of losing your job?”
ROTH: “No I kept my day job (laughs). We run with the devil, son. (laughs)”
LANGFORD: “So you’re not worried about this?”
ROTH: “No, I don’t take this job lightly at all. It is my lifestyle to be concerned but there’s a difference between being concerned and worry. After 30 years on the road there ain’t much I ain’t seen four times and cleaned up a few more times than that.”
The exclusive interview airs at 6 pm ET on SIRIUS channel 100, and it will be replayed in its entirety tomorrow (3/10) during THE HOWARD STERN SHOW (6-10a ET) on channel 100.