How David Lee Roth of Van Halen Almost Ruined My Marriage
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    Default How David Lee Roth of Van Halen Almost Ruined My Marriage

    How David Lee Roth of Van Halen Almost Ruined My Marriage

    Nancy French
    Updated: Mar. 03, 2021
    From washingtonpost.com


    I thought the man I’d married was a rock star. That turned out to be closer to the truth than I ever imagined.

    When I was 20, a man I barely knew proposed without a ring.

    I said yes.

    Our friends were alarmed about our fast decisions to marry and move from Tennessee to New York City. I got a handwritten letter from an elder at church suggesting I wait to get to know my fiancé better. His friends held a tearful intervention.

    One of our beloved professors questioned the ­decision. My mother referred to my fiancé not by his name—David—but by the nickname “rank stranger.”

    But we were in love. After refusing premarital counseling (we didn’t need it, we insisted), David and I got married and moved to the Gramercy Park neighborhood of Manhattan. We could see the Empire State Building at night, if we craned our necks while sitting on our creaky fire escape.

    My life was as romantic as a love song. Then, after one week of marriage, the phone rang.

    “May I speak to David?” asked a sultry-voiced woman.

    I handed my new husband the phone, which he quickly hung up.

    “Wrong number,” he said.

    A few hours later, it rang again. Another woman. I dusted near the phone so I could eavesdrop. Did my seemingly loyal husband have a double life? I didn’t even know him. Maybe our relationship was all a ruse.

    Another wrong number, he said. The calls became more regular, at all hours of the day and night. It got so common, I was no longer surprised when the breathy voices morphed into sighs of disappointment.

    He always got off the phone, exasperated. Or was it an act?

    I took messages when he was out. Desiree. Brandy. Jill. In some cases, they were testy when I said he wasn’t there. One woman started crying. “We were together just yesterday.”

    “Where?” I demanded.

    “In SoHo,” she said. My husband worked at a Midtown law firm during the day, or so he told me. Had I made a terrible mistake? My friends were right; I didn’t even know him.

    Maybe our relationship was all a ruse. I’d heard stories of people getting married only to realize their spouse had a double life.

    “Are we talking about the same David? Tall, blond?”

    “And handsome,” she added sarcastically. “Are you going to tell me I have the wrong number? I’m looking at the note he wrote me now.” She read the number. It was ours.

    I was confused and hurt. Instead of hearing the female voices on the phone, I heard only the unheeded warnings of friends clanking in my head.

    “What’s really going on?” I finally mustered the courage to confront my husband. “Wrong numbers usually don’t ask for you by name.”

    But David was just as confounded as I was. At least he appeared to be.

    Finally, a man called.

    “Sorry, he’s at work,” I said.

    “All work should go through me,” he spat. I wasn’t sure how law firms allocated cases, but apparently David was doing it wrong.

    “Who are you?” I asked.

    “I’ve known David for years,” he shot back. “The question is: Who are you?”

    He had a point. I was the new addition. I wanted love so badly that I ignored any inconvenient details—such as barely knowing the man I married.

    “I’m his wife.” The new label felt heavy in my mouth.

    Silence for a beat. Then two.

    “Why didn’t he tell me about you?” he exploded.

    “It was spontaneous,” I said before launching into a defense of getting married quickly, but with less enthusiasm than I had before the calls started.

    “I’ll be right over,” he said. “Don’t talk to anyone. We have to fix this.”

    “I am not a problem to be fixed!”

    “Are you—” he paused and then lowered his voice. “Pregnant? Expecting a little David Lee? A kid will really hurt our comeback.”

    “Lee?” I asked. “My husband’s middle name is Austin. What comeback?”

    “I know my own client’s middle name.”

    “Client?” I asked. “I’m talking about David French, the attorney.”

    “I’m talking about David Lee Roth, the singer.”

    Even those who spent the 1980s trying to figure out the Rubik’s Cube were aware of David Lee Roth of Van Halen fame. He had a mane of golden hair, acrobatic stage moves made possible by his brightly colored spandex. The Platonic form of “rock star,” he was always surrounded by women.

    My David wore glasses and suits and sometimes dressed up for Star Wars and Lord of the Rings premieres.

    There’d been a big mix-up. Apparently, the rock star had changed his number right before we moved to Manhattan but still gave out his old number to women he met but wanted to let down easily.

    That’s how—for a brief period of time—we became David Lee Roth’s answering service.

    Later that year, we even fielded a call from Roth’s dad.

    Once we put this puzzle together, the man on the other end of the phone line—his agent, I realized—sighed in relief. Soon, we were both laughing. Neither of us had been betrayed.

    But during the short time it took for David Lee Roth to transition to a new telephone number, I’d started to doubt the man I married.

    How precarious love is, I thought back then.
    Be birds singing in the rose gardens of immortality, lions roaring in the forests of knowledge and wisdom.

    -Baha'i Scriptures

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    That's hysterical. I once got a call from a tearful woman who wanted to know "how I knew her husband" I asked who her husband was and she gave me a name and I asked if he was a past tenant who I didn't remember or perhaps he was someone who moved into a rental but wasn't on the lease?

    In short time, I gathered she was of the opinion that I was having a fling with her husband. I assured her that was not the case and it must all be a misunderstanding and left her less tearful and angry than when she first called

    But once I hung up I put 2 and 2 together. The woman who my parents bought a business from still lived next door with her now adult daughter. They both sometimes claimed that they still owned this place. Why? I never figured that out. But Mother had a reputation. Her own marriage broke up because of her husband's infidelity and so for decades after that it seemed she was getting her revenge by breaking up other marriages. I figured she was too old for the game anymore, but her 45 year old recently divorced daughter was not. I asked around and it seems that the daughter has followed in the Mother's footsteps. A wedding ring on a finger never stopped her


    I don't really hate anyone, but women who do not respect other women's marriages really bug the crap out of me. Sure it is the guy who deserves the blame, but a woman who doesn't respect herself or those boundaries is worthy of contempt.

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    Heard that story before, and it always makes me chuckle.
    If I don't respond to you it means I have you on ignore, which means you are a douchenozzle.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

    A man's rights rests in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box

    Hurricane Halen - Let's all gingery touch our sword tips!!!

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    For about a 18 month period in the late 90's, I used to get phone calls at all hours from patients of a psychiatrist who shared my exact name down to the middle initial. Most of them were just "oh sorry, wrong number" but a few would repeatedly call insisting I was the shrink and for some reason blowing them off. The worst was around the Christmas/New Years season when I had a couple people who seemed genuinely suicidal. I spent an hour plus on NYE talking to someone who was really depressed while my new wife was like "this has to stop."

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    "It's so lonely at the top because it's so crowded at the bottom" - Diamond David Lee Roth

    "The truth sounds like hate to those who hate the truth" - Todd Wagner

    "Women and Children First ... The REAL Van Halen III"

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    Women were phoning David. .

    Hmnnnm....

    I wonder what they wanted from him.




    Mm, da yeah
    Mm, I'm a tell ya now
    You corner my dog, it don't let you pass
    Got a bad little' woman, gon' bite yo' ass
    Yeah, he won't let you pass
    Ah, take it!
    Woo
    Wow
    Ah, precious sweetheart
    Woman, all you want is good as it can get
    Ah yeah
    Blind inspiration
    Girl, you're sensational and this gets better yet
    Ah yeah
    Well, all your dreams an' visions are based on magazines
    No, this ain't television, but it's more than it seems
    Takers need a giver, this much you understand
    All I wanna give you babe
    Is the best part of a man, yeah
    Let me show you
    Baby make the best of what you have in hand
    Oh yeah
    Just remember when you follow through
    Bending over isn't planned
    Ah yeah, ha-ha
    Looks just like an angel, but he just talkin' trash
    You make conversation, but she's listening to your cash
    Takers need a giver, this much we understand
    All I wanna give you woman
    Is the best part of a man, yeah
    Love that woman heart and soul
    In the groove, on the go, you know
    Ah yeah
    At the corner my dog won't let you pass
    Got a bad lil' woman gon' bite yo' ass
    Mm, for sure, ah
    Looks just like an angel, but he just talkin' trash
    You make conversation, but she's listening to your cash
    Takers need a giver, this much we understand
    All I want to give you woman
    Is the best part of a man, yeah
    Best part of a man, woo
    Best part of a man, ah
    Best part of a man
    Best part of a man

 

 

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