It seems like David Lee Roth is one of those people you love or hate. I don’t love him, but I like him a lot. He’s a character. Whether you like him or not, you gotta respect that much. I do anyway.
“Eat ‘Em and Smile” is the first full-length David Lee Roth album. He left Van Halen in 1985 and released “Eat ‘Em and Smile” in 1986. The album featured a stellar crew of musicians: Steve Vai on guitar, Billy Sheehan on bass, and Gregg Bissonette on drums. Dave really couldn’t go too wrong with those guys. Just the fact he had them on board meant he was operating in the black.
It only got better from there. The songs on the album, written primarily by Dave and Steve (Billy wrote one and there was a couple of additional co-writers) are out-of-this-world good. “Yankee Rose” just kicks all sorts of ass. “Ladies Nite in Buffalo,” “Bump and Grind,” “Goin’ Crazy,” and “Tobacco Road” are serious contenders too. Hell, I even dig the cover of “That’s Life” and the jivin” “I’m Easy.” These guys pulled that shit off.
I went to see Dave live right after this album came out. He entered the stage from above, riding a surf board. Gimme a break. What a way to make an entrance. People thought Dave was finished after he left Van Halen, but I thought “Eat ‘Em and Smile” was a great Van Halen album without the Van Halen part of the equation.