David Lee Roth Shares Two Versions of “The Shit That Killed Elvis” from Unreleased 2007 Musical

Several days after releasing a new solo song from his archives, “Manda Bala,” David Lee Roth has revealed two versions of a previously recorded song from his archives called “The Shit That Killed Elvis.” Roth revealed two versions of the song: “technicolor” and “unplugged.” The acoustic-driven track is Roth’s first new original single following a series of rerecorded Van Halen covers he released in 2022 through 2023.

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Give me the babes and the dames, the groupies and hoes / The ones with no last names / I’m talking best in show sings Roth in the song, while desiring a similar lifestyle to Presley: I need a super-size mansion / Under constant renovation / Tomb with a view / For world-class procrastination / Death by pizza in perfect isolation.

Roth originally recorded the song in 2007 for a stage musical he was writing with Marilyn Manson and Mötley Crüe guitarist John 5 called Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bar & Grill. The musical was fashioned after Trey Park and Matt Stone’s Book of Mormon.

“It’s autobiographical,” said Roth of the musical in 2013, and a year after he reunited with Van Halen for the band’s 12th and final album A Different Kind of Truth. “‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bar And Grill’ is the opening theme song, and it’s about an Indiana kid who goes to sleep—think the ‘Wizard Of Oz’—and the characters in his life, the butcher, the baker and the newspaper guy, pop out of posters and sing him a song called ‘Giddy-Up!'” 

Roth continued, “And he finds his way to all the good things in life, having discovered rock in the ’60s, and there’s a song titled ‘Alligator Pants.’ Yes, I own a pair. I wore them for the last two tours. And things go horribly left-of-center wrong, of course, when you sell your soul to the devil, and one of the tunes is called ‘The Shit That Killed Elvis.’ So yeah, it’s pretty stellar material.”

[RELATED: The 1984 Rift Between David Lee Roth and Van Halen]

In 2020, Roth released five new singles under The Roth Project, an online comic narrated by him with music from John 5, drummer Gregg Bissonette, keyboardist Brett Tuggle, and percussionist Luis Conte. He recorded “Manda Bala,” along with the other songs from the unreleased musical soundtrack—”Giddy-Up!,” “Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bar And Grill,” “Alligator Pants,” and “Lo-Rez Sunset”—at Henson Recording Studios in Hollywood, California.

A year later, Roth, who released his sixth solo album, Diamond Dave, in 2003, revealed that he was retiring from performing following a set of residency shows at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. The shows were eventually canceled, and Roth performed his final concert on March 10, 2020 at the United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas as the opening act for KISS on the band’s End of the Road Tour

Following his retirement, Roth released several covers of Van Halen songs. He is currently the subject of Darren Paltrowitz’s forthcoming biography DLR Book: How David Lee Roth Changed The World, out January 1, 2024.

Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images

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