March 1986 and VH lands the first punch with 5150 and of course myself ,TBone and millions others have been served some new material by the Halen camp. And after a few spins the logical question is asked ‘wonder what Diamond Dave has up his sleeve?”
So four months after 5150’s release in July here comes the Roth Army with Eat Em And Smile! Dave has gone full throttle with a hot shot line up of musical cats as in Steve Vai,Billy Sheehan and Gregg Bissonette. This band put together could stand toe to toe with Camp Halen and there 5150 album.
Of course we all know the story after the 99 Ton’s Of Fun tour ended for Dave and company. Dave went a little left with Skyscraper and lost the bass virtuoso (Sheehan) as well…..
But that’s getting ahead of ourselves here. Let’s check on the Fabalous Picasso Brothers and see there response to Van Hagar!
YANKEE ROSE-here comes some drums,bass and Vai goes with his guitar a wha,wha, with Dave going ‘What!!!’ …and were off and Dave kicks in the lead single with the lead song off of the album and we can all breathe a sigh of relief Dave is gonna rock and for me that’s good as I sat out and did not purchase the Crazy From The Heat Ep but TBone did and I figured one copy was enough between the two of us. But yep Dave tells us all about the Yankee Rose. Thanks Dave….
SHYBOY- boom….comes Gregg,Steve and Billy all ripping and soloing off the top and for me it’s like Holy Shit these guys are destroying everything in site and wow it’s a rocker played at hyper speed. So I guess this is Sheehans tune from his old band Talas and two tracks in Dave is telling me ,Tbone and the world that he has the band to take on what he considers the evil empire!(Halen)
I’M EASY- Vai lays down some pretty cool guitar and Dave takes what sounds to me a swing tune and blasts it thru the Marshall amps in the studio. So this is cover number 1 on Eat Em but that’s ok cause it’s like it’s Dave’s own tune like if he wrote it in the back of a cab on the way to the studio.
LADIES NIGHT IN BUFFALO- guess Dave ain’t going to sleep and it’s in Buffalo of all places and what a cool laid back tune. Bissonette lays done some cool chill drumming and the boys decide to all lay low in this one as Dave is creeping the streets of Buffalo!
GOIN CRAZY- cool tune and funny vid but yeah man this is Dave and the fellas bringing the party to your house via your turntable or cassette deck! Vai and Sheehan after chilling in Buffalo decide to rock it up in the solo section of the song! Funny thing is there some keyboard action buried in the mix and that’s courtesy of Jesse Harms! Who you ask,well Mr Harms was Hagars keyboardist in Sams solo band for many a year and well when ol Hags bolted to The 5150 studios I guess Harms has gotta work right! Goin Crazy indeed!
TOBACCO ROAD- cover number 2 and well whose counting? Ha ,yeah I am but back in 86 I was still listening to Vai doin wierd shit with his wang bar and man he’s cool and like I said back with I’m Easy. Dave can take a cover and Rothize it too make sound like his own! That’s a pretty cool talent to have and by golly back than he did!
ELEPHANT GUN- is basically the show tune extravaganza for all the musical chops provided in this unit. You want soloing this is a one stop shop for some serious ass kicking and hey don’t forget about Dave protecting all the ladies with the Elephant Gun!
BIG TROUBLE- I think one night Dave and Steve went down to the 7-11 to get a juiced up slurpee and came across some Big Trouble. Dave is in full storyteller mode here and when he gets going on his story telling he can’t be beat man especially back than! Cool song and riffin and soloing and well it’s just a classic track. 8 songs in and it’s all good man!
BUMP AND GRIND- The Roth Army heads to the strip club and Dave tells us that yes his name is cash an carry and he’s a dead ringer for the big first prize! Ha seriously friends, his lyric prowess is all over this tune! So let’s get this straight. The night begins with rolling tobacco with Dave and than he’s chasing women with a Elephant Gun which leads to some Big Trouble by the 7-11 and to cap it of a little ol Bump and Grind at a local watering hole at 3 am! Whoosh call 9-11 I’m coding and can’t keep up but I can hear TBone yelling in the background at Dave to not make the 911 call!
THATS LIFE- cover number 3 and it’s a Sinatra tune to boot and the vid is super cool with live shots of the show which Dave never released which for me is one of rocks biggest blunders! Dave nails down a horn section and it’s all good fun. You know Dave ain’t gonna end his album on a downer but rather a upper!
IN CONCLUSION-Dave fired back across the lake to Camp Halen and tells the world that he can still rock with a super star band of dudes with some serious rock chops. For me though I was bummed Roth was out of Halen but I was glad that back in the year of 1986 I got two rock solid releases in 5150 and Eat Em and Smile!
Also of note it must be said that Roth did a Spanish version of Eat em album called Sonrisa Salvaje in which he sang all the songs in Spanish! That funny Dave always thinking back than with his wallet!