Legendary musicians frequently draw inspiration from other musicians and their own life experiences. Many of the greatest musical artists in the world have been inspired by their musical heroes and life experiences, from John Lennon’s respect for Bob Dylan to Beyonce’s personal songs about motherhood.
One of the greatest rock frontmen of all time, Roth is renowned for his charismatic stage presence and frequent use of theatrics including moonsaults, backflips, and high-kicks. Roth is regarded as one of the all-time great rock frontmen and is well known for his magnetic stage presence and frequent utilization of theatrical feats including moonsaults, backflips, and high-kicks.
Recently, during an episode of his podcast, the Roth Show, he talked about his own inspirations. It was during his time in Van Halen. According to him, he loved and wanted to be like Mick Jagger and Freddie Mercury. He tried his best to imitate their voice.
Speaking about them, David said, “[‘Lo And Behold’] You’re listening to Lydia Pense in the background. For most of my vocal mentors, my imitators, I thought the bar would be a lot higher if I were imitating a voice like that and using that as my launch point. That’s Lydia Pense in the background here. And if Lydia wasn’t strong enough, then we dealt with Loleatta Holloway [‘I May Not Be There When You Want Me (But I’m Right On Time)’]. Baby Jean Kennedy singing for Mother’s Finest [‘Baby Love’].
I wanted to have a voice like that; I wanted to sound like Táta Vega, baby! [‘I Just Keep Thinking About You Baby’] These are unfamiliar names to some of the rock crowd, but you might remember some of the sound or some of the tone, and that’s what Van Halen is about. Beginner spirit was what defined Van Halen.
I spent some time imitating the fellas who sang for the Rolling Stones and Queen, but the bar, the high bar, is what you just heard there. Even today, if I had a class of vocal students, and you want to get a killer rock sound, this is where you go. Now, let’s listen to Van Halen [‘Dance the Night Away’].”
According to David Lee Roth, if rock vocalists want to challenge themselves and do their best work, they should go to jazz and soul performers for inspiration. Even the most famous musicians need to always look for new challenges and ways to develop their creativity. The power of music to uplift and move us is unbounded, which is what makes it so beautiful.