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David Lee Roth Announces Retirement: ‘I Am Throwing in the Shoes’

David Lee Roth 2021
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 12: David Lee Roth attends the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on September 12, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/MTV VMAs 2021/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS)

David Lee Roth is retiring. The lauded showman revealed the news during a conversation with the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the outlet described as “more a spoken-word performance than interview.”

“I am throwing in the shoes. I’m retiring,” he said.  “This is the first, and only, official announcement. … You’ve got the news. Share it with the world.”

Roth is ending his 50-year career with five shows at House of Blues in Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay on Dec. 31, Jan. 1, Jan. 5 and Jan. 7-8. “I’m not going to explain the statement,” he added. “The explanation is in a safe. These are my last five shows.”

Elsewhere in the interview, the singer said he’s been thinking about “the departure of my beloved classmate recently,” referring to the death of his Van Halen bandmate Eddie Van Halen, and how it’s made him reflect on his own mortality. “I am encouraged and compelled to really come to grips with how short time is, and my time is probably even shorter.”

He then went on to divulge that he thought he’d be the first member of Van Halen to die. “I thought I might have been the first, frankly … ‘Hey Ed, objects in the rear-view mirror are probably me,’” Roth said. “And my doctors, my handlers, compelled me to really address that every time I go onstage, I endanger that future.”

Unsurprisingly, he plans to leave it all out there during these last five shows. “I know that when I am in the audience, whether you come out with a ukulele or a marching band, all I ask you give me everything you’ve got to give,” he said. “That’s what I did for the last 50 years.”

“I’ve given you all I’ve got to give,” Roth continued. “It’s been an amazing, great run, no regrets, nothing to say about anybody. I’ll miss you all. Stay frosty.”