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on 5 November 2000
The book is Dave's own recollection of the dizzying highs, and sobering lows of his Childhood, his time with Van Halen, and his wavering solo career. It starts off in the present, with Dave recalling old injuries, and his current state. It shows how much physical stress he puts himself under while executing his majestic, and sometimes eyewatering, martial arts based stage act.
He then returns to his childhood and proceeds to tell the story in chronological order, with the hardships of growing up as a Jew, and how it automatically makes you an outcast, and how people see you through a misted lens. Not as an average white guy, but as something inferior. He mentions this, and how angry he gets when he is seen through this lens, several times in the book, and you can understand how he gets so aggravated.
Once he gets into his music, and starts mentioning the laydees, his dry wit starts to show. For instance, when receiving his first blowjob in a backyard party, that's all he can remember is that the bald guy in the house next door was watching Johnny Carson, and Buddy Hacket was the guest.
The entries on his time with Van Halen give an insight into the true decadent lifestyle celebrated by the bands of the time. One of the most side splitting is the little game of breaking into one of the crew's hotel room and gluing every single piece of furniture, and everything on the floor, in an exactly mirrored position on the ceiling, leaving just a matress for the poor soul to sleep on that night. The book also shows the true face of the Van Halen brothers, and their prima donna attitude. Although I can see why they'd be annoyed sometimes, with Dave getting all their attention, despite Edward's guitar vituosity. But I guess that talent is useless without the showmanship to back it up. After the Split (with Van Halen) Dave takes a new direction, experimenting with new styles and genres, and even directing his own music videos, while Van Halen chose to play power ballads for a decade.
During his inactive period, Dave chose to take expeditions to the Himalayas, Papua New Guinea and Haiti. An unlikely choice of retirement venues for the rock legend, but Dave has always mantained a peak physical conditon. After a breif reunion with Van Halen, and upstaging them in the MTV awards, he ties up the book by making clear that everybody knows that he wrote that book to show his thoughts about the events in his life, not a perfect chronological recollection, but his side of the story. How and why he did it, and for that reason, he gains massive respect from me, as a performer.
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on 24 June 2001
Dont expect this to be a 'did this monday, this happened tuesday,' kind of autobiography - it isn't. Dont buy it expecting a book full of glossy photos and a publisher sanctioned ego trip - it isn't. DEFINATELY dont buy it if what you are looking for is a book of exact facts and dates...which will tell you what studio every record was recorded in and what type of shirt the singer was wearing three weeks last tuesday 'cause it isn't that kind of book either!. Writen the way it could have been told to you over a drink in a pub or veging out in your front room - a series of stories,thaughts and history where one chapter leads into another by thaught progression not time... I picked the book up out of curiosity - having been into Van halen, and some of DLR's solo work - I opened - and didn't want to put it down ! - it will make you laugh, make you think and give you some background into what early Van Halen - and Dave Lee Roth's solo work was about - not what the publicists told you it was about but what the artist felt it was. Dont lend this to your friends 'cause you WONT get it back. But do be prepared to want to go and get EVERY early van halen and Dave Lee Roth album out of your record collection and play them - LOUD!
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on 28 April 2001
I read this in one sitting - I couldn't put it down even long enough to get a coffee. Then a week later I had to read it again. The style is incredibly intimate - it reads as if he's just chatting to you in the living room - and the stories he tells reveal how much more there is to public figures than we ever imagine from videobites. He is remarkably restrained (in the circumstances) about the conflicts with other VH members, but it's interesting to read his accounts and remember what was said by the band at the time and since then. Some of his stories of touring and backstage parties had me almost falling off my seat, I was laughing so much; others sobered me up and made me think about relevant social issues. Best of all, the book sent me back to the songs with new insight and enjoyment. Could this be magic? Definitely.
Bottom line: buy the book. Buy two copies - you 'll want to lend it to a friend and I doubt you'll ever get it back.
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on 23 January 2003
Diamond Dave is the example of how to live the rock life. Its really as simple as that!
This book isn't actually put together very well and is simply a series (in general) of two or three paragraph long anecdotes from random points in the life and times of David Lee Roth. The thing is, he comes across as such an endearing man (and all the tales are told with just the right amount of tongue in cheek) who is so aware of how blessed his life has been that you simply lose yourself in the stories. You can dip into this anywhere and the effect isn't lost in the slightest- childhood problems, high school discoveries, parties, bands, concerts, stadia(?), mountain climbing, exploring jungles- it just sounds like so much fun being Dave, and thats just from reading the book!
Add to this a lot of great photos and the whole thing seems to work in a bizarre hodge podge kind of way.Lovely with a drink in the sun.
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on 7 December 2009
As an integral part of Van Halen's legacy you can see why Diamond Dave's departure in the first instance was like the death of your favourite cat when you were a kid - heartbreakin'. But it's not just his unique rasping soulful vocals and acrobatic performances that are infectious it's also his witty, honest conversational style - both verbal and written. This is expressed perfectly in Crazy From The Heat; one of the few 'autobiographies' worth considering. It's not a superficial journey of facts and figures from birth to the now, it's full of inspiring travelogues, revelations from the dysfunctional Van Halen era, hard times from a troubled youth, the motivations behind what made him such a one of kind rocker and insightful philosophising on fame and fortune. It's all wrapped up in a detailed elliptical narrative that's hard to put down. Towards the end of the book The singer recommends we don't live our lives by his story but it's hard not to be inspired by a character whose glass is not half full but completely full, in fact overflowing and he still wants more. As the young man who personally vetted The Valen songbook for dancability and brough girl friendly rock to some of the biggest stadiums in the world he still remains a ray of sunshine in the ever increasingly dull genre of rock where other 'stars' are just carbon copies of drunk junkies in black. By the book and get a taste of real hope and real dreams.
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on 11 September 2010
This is a high-speed, high-octane gallop through DLR's recollections of his life up until 1997. It jumps around all over the place, not following any conventional chronological order, just as if you were listening to a mate chatting away after a damn good party. For those of us who are the same age as DLR and Van Halen, it's one helluva nostalgia kick and left me with an aching face from grinning so much. For the next generation it's an easily readable intro to the carefree hedonism and damn good fun we had back in the 70s and 80s when rock legends lived the dream. But it has it's serious moments: DLR's rage against the casual institutionalised racism against Jews he has had to put up with; his childhood handicap; his hurt at the behaviour of the van Halen brothers; and the down side of Rock - the stalkers, bootleggers, gangsters and rip-off merchants.

Couldn't put it down and the photos are hilarious. Sequel please!
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on 25 April 2006
Roth is a fairly rare beast, a rock 'n' roll legend who manages to be extremely articulate as well. He tells the story of Van Halen and what came afterwards from a very personal viewpoint, and in a very personal way. And what a story it is... midget bodyguards, ascents of Everest, hotel rooms with all the furniture systematically glued to the ceiling... fantastic entertainment. Everything you ever thought about what a touring band's life would be like is true - and then some.

The downsides - what Roth undoubtedly sees as his own chutzpah often comes across as hubristic and dislikeable. There's plenty of artistic licence, a lot of bitchiness and (one suspects) more than the odd porky pie. And the style is often scatty, the idiom sometimes difficult to follow.

But overall - an excellent insight into a surreal and fascinating world from a natural raconteur.
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on 15 February 2002
Dave Lee Roth was the original front man of heavy metal superstars Van Halen. Despite the band being named after its guitarist (and his drummer brother) the man known as 'Diamond Dave', with his showmanship and business savvy, was crucial to their meteoric rise to fame. 'Crazy from the Heat' tells the story, tells you about the showbiz tricks and the story behind them (like just why they insisted on a backstage supply of M&Ms with the brown ones removed!) and the eventual falling out when Lee Roth began to have solo hit singles.
Sure, there are the usual stories of rock'n'roll excess, but there's a serious side too, most strongly when Lee Roth talks about being Jewish (as he says, if he'd just been known as 'David Roth' it would have been obvious to everyone) and the bigotry he encountered.
Thoroughly enjoyable if you've any interest in rock music...
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on 4 August 2015
Yep ,its just as you would imagine a cracking great read and gives you the chance to really understand how this man came to be such a huge rock band frontman influence to all the other frontmen since the late 1970's .

I personally met the man in 1988 whilst backstage at The Monsters Of Rock concert at Donnington Park due to Samantha Fox being there (she was at that time keeping Mr Paul Stanley warm at night ) my friend was her photography as she was as any red blooded Sun reader knows hot at that time (press wise I meant ! )
Anywho I digress , Mr Roth was like a total whirlwind that day and was so high on his craft (and with the help of some assorted pharmaceuticals )that he seemed to be impossible to manage backstage .
Still if you were there front ,back or centre you know that the line up that year was awesome and his stage show and appearance that day was truly breathtaking !!
This book is just the same ,truly awesome and some of his stories which even he claims he might not be to sure about are jaw droopingly insane !

I mean lets be honest can you imagine the things this man as done ,seen ,eaten ,snorted and drunk etc ..etc since 1974 !

So if like me you love this totally unique individual then buy this book and be amazed at how rubbish every other rockstars life as been
.... and remember this man and his band VAN HALEN which in my humble opinion started and ended when he left the group is told in his own words and ones that now just recently have been confirmed by the man who again in my humble opinion totally destroyed the magic of VAN HALEN ,Eddy Van Halen .
It is bold ,to the point and will I am sure annoy some die hard fans of both VAN HALEN and Eddy but hey as Mr Roth would say in his EAT EM AND SMILE videos ........................FORGET ABOUT IT ..DAVE !! :)
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on 26 September 2014
What can you say that Diamond Dave doesn't in his book? I bought this as a holiday read and I must say, I couldn't put it down. I've never been the worlds biggest Van Halen fan, but loved Dave's solo work, so this book was a real education for me. Part traveler, part singer and part philosopher his writing style is easy and a joy to read; almost like having a beer with him and listening!

I enjoyed the small chapters that whimsically came from nowhere to interject his story, and for those wanting tell-tales of Rock n Roll: It's all in there. Highlights are the tales of his personal drive to make Van Halen a success, and his strange tales of traveling the world with his friend and roadie. He touches on the demise of VH and his problems with the Van Halen brothers, and I felt (if his side of the tale is to be believed) it pained him greatly that a group he worked so tirelessly to build, could abandon him so quickly.

I highly recommend this book, as an insight in to the business and a backstage peek into one of the worlds biggest rock bands. I took a lot of heart from this book, not least of all that Dave really is a Diamond in the rough.. long may he continue to travel and rock! (hopefully with both the midgets..!)
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