Published June 06, 2006
This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," June 1, 2006, that was edited for clarity.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: He was touted, of course, as the man who would replace Howard Stern. CBS paid him big bucks, hoping for the next big shock jock. But, just a few months later, he was forced out.
Was David Lee Roth given a fair shot, after such a short time?
Let's ask him, David Lee Roth. His latest album is called "Strummin' With the Devil." It is, not so coincidentally, coming out tomorrow, 6/6/06.
Mr. Roth, good to have you.
DAVID LEE ROTH, MUSICIAN: My friend, how are you today?
CAVUTO: I'm OK. I'm OK.
So much I want to talk to you about. And I do want to get into the album.
But the whole Stern thing, are you bitter?
ROTH: No, not at all. Come on.
Whether I'm on for a day or whether I'm on for a year, at the end of the day, I sing for my dinner. And I kept my day job. And I think we brought something really unique to the radio. I think they expected a nice, quiet, kind of corner candy store in the morning. And I gave them one. But we had Tony Soprano selling guns out of the backroom, so to speak.
CAVUTO: Yes. But, you know, they didn't give you enough time. I mean, you were just coming in after a legend. It's always hard to do. People don't often remember the guy who came after Abraham Lincoln. So, it...
ROTH: Oh, you know what? I think...
CAVUTO: That's tough, right?
ROTH: That's an excellent point.
And I think the fellows who followed me were always their plan, to put together the size contract, the heavy-lifting-size contract, that the subsequent act must have done would have taken at least a year.
CAVUTO: All right.
Now, Opie and Anthony came in after you. And they are supposedly twin shock jocks. You were not considered a shock jock.
CAVUTO: You were just, you know, new to this whole profession. Are you angry at CBS? Are you angry at Les Moonves?
I think that they are probably a little bit towards trying to repeat the past. And I want to try and take something into the future. I think we had something really unique, really exciting.
CAVUTO: Did you ever hear from Les Moonves? Did he ever call you?
ROTH: No. And none of the top doggies did. You could have named the show "Inherit Howard Stern's Old Problems."
CAVUTO: So, you found out the morning you were leaving that you were out, right?
ROTH: Word around the campfire had been for months that some other fellows had their contracts that were taking a while to finish, and that we were just in term kind of a project.
And I said, you know what, guys? What we are bringing is so unusual that you just think of it in terms of, it's all going to add up to a ticket later or a T-shirt later, what have you. Consequently, now, we have offers that are coming to us from both the satellite channels and in between. It's been a very interesting kind of turn of play.
CAVUTO: Do you find it weird that Opie and Anthony are going to be on XM, on a satellite venue? They will have the regular terrestrial broadcast, which is something you were kind of pitching for, something Howard Stern, I guess, will want — maybe, maybe not. Do you find it odd?
ROTH: Odd in what respect? I'm sorry.
CAVUTO: That they are getting all this special treatment that you — you didn't get.
ROTH: They are not on your show. And they are not on "Leno" tomorrow.
ROTH: And they're not on "The View."
CAVUTO: Touche. That's a good point.
ROTH: And they're not on "DeGeneres." And they are not in Nashville. And they are not on every radio station in the free Earth — and, and, and, and.
I also am very curious as to what their ratings are currently compared to what we left with, because I think we were doing better than everybody else on the channel. So...
CAVUTO: Now, I know you are good friends with Howard Stern. Do you think he made the right move — obviously, it was the right financial move for him — but going off in to the much more limited listener-ship of radio, paid radio?
ROTH: You are thinking like a beginning chess player, if you think that he made a mistake. You can't just move the piece and wait to see what happens to it.
He is thinking seven moves ahead.
ROTH: He has already conquered, inarguably, just about every other department of popular in-the-home kind of entertainment there is television, radio, cinema, etcetera. Already...
CAVUTO: Did he ever call you for advice — offer you advice to help you out?
ROTH: Oh, you know what? He had offered, but because of the legal kind of a balance that's happening here — and we have the same litigating attorney, Darth Vader and Sons...
ROTH: ... representing us.
And they are currently threatening the faces over at CBS as we speak.
CAVUTO: All right. You don't have to tell me this, if you don't want. I'm curious: Did you get your full contract payout when you left? Or is that what you are fighting over?
ROTH: That's the arm-wrestling match here.
CAVUTO: I got you.
ROTH: I understand that they may want to move on, if their ratings, or whatever the case may be, might not be acceptable here.
But we suspended at least a year's worth of touring. And with an album coming out, and coming out in a big kind of a heavy-lifting sort of a way, that's a lot, a lot of money. So, those are the arguments that are taking place now.
CAVUTO: All right.
Now, you and Eddie Van Halen, are you talking to each other?
ROTH: Mmm. Well, define talking.
ROTH: I think, paging Eddie Van Winkle. I think he is the only one of the camp who is still kind of resistant to the idea. Who knows what's going on with Eddie. He's still finding himself.
CAVUTO: That would be a very lucrative reunion.
ROTH: Yes. And how hard is it to sing, "Dance the Night Away"? I tell you, I have done it at 6:00 in the morning now. So, yes...
CAVUTO: So, you are saying the only one holding it up is Eddie?
ROTH: Yes, at this point in time. He has got issues. I don't know. What does Axl Rose have? Issues?
CAVUTO: Yes. All right.
But you think you can clear those? Have you heard from his people talking to your people that a reunion is possible, and you guys are going to make gobs of money?
ROTH: I think it's inevitable. That material is as familiar as my country 'tis of purple mountains, particularly in warm weather, when the summertime shows up here. And to avert that, I think, would be a sin.
CAVUTO: All right.
I had no idea what you just said, but it sounded brilliant.
CAVUTO: But let me you, in all seriousness, what do you think of the way radio is today? I mean, you know what it's like to be on the air on a microphone. You know what it's like to have your albums played on the air. Which is the more rewarding side of that microphone?
ROTH: That's a very interesting question.
It was a real disappointment for me not to be able to discuss candidly, artist to artist, with folks much like yourself. I found the best and the most fun times arguing and, conversely, discussing, with the critics, the columnists, the reviewers, the photographers, the editors, etcetera.
The celebrities — what do they call it in "Page Six"? "Celebutards"...
ROTH: ... giving me what I call baseball talk.
CAVUTO: All right.
ROTH: No matter what you ask: Well, my arm feels good. The ball is dropping just right. Just want to help the team, Dave.
ROTH: It's like talking to Jessica Simpson every morning.
CAVUTO: Well, David, you didn't get...
ROTH: That, I do not miss.
CAVUTO: You didn't get enough of a shot. Bottom line, you didn't get enough of a shot.
But I wish you well with this new undertaking. Maybe the reunion comes.
Thank you very much, David Lee Roth.
ROTH: Thank you much.
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