Wolfgang Van Halen has virtually no personal relationship with David Lee Roth, but the Van Halen bassist has nothing but appreciation for the man he called "one of the best" frontmen in rock history.
Roth announced earlier this fall that he plans to retire from live performing on January 8, 2022, at the conclusion of the final concert of his New Year's week residency at the Las Vegas House of Blues.
Wolfgang played with Roth in Van Halen for almost 10 years. He was asked about the frontman's upcoming retirement in a recent conversation with Consequence.
"Dave is a ... he's very much a one-of-a-kind [laughs] sort of guy," Wolfie began. "We don't really talk, if ever. We were always cordial on tour together, but it's not like I've spoken to him at all in the last six years. But, I mean, he's f---ing David Lee Roth. I'm so happy for him and for everything that he's accomplished. And he's just a phenomenal... He'll always be one of the best."
Wolfgang said in an interview last year with Rolling Stone that he and Roth "really only ever saw each other onstage" when they were bandmates.
Roth himself has suggested that while tension behind-the-scenes in Van Halen was ever present — even during the final shows — so was mutual respect.
In a rare long-form interview with Marc Maron in 2019, Roth admitted that Eddie and Alex Van Halen and himself "were at each other" for the duration of the final Van Halen tour in 2015. The shows were great, he noted, but there's no way he could endure a dinner with the Van Halens.
"...[Y]ou're either a Dave guy or an Eddie guy...we're all pirates here," he said of the dynamic.