David Lee Roth Shares Van Halen Tribute Song “Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Back Then Anyway”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

David Lee Roth has released an ode to his former band Van Halen with the new song “Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Back Then Anyway,” the latest in a collection of tracks Roth first recorded with Rock Zombie guitarist, John 5, several years ago.

We laughed, we cried / We threw the television off that balcony / That memory means so much to me sings Roth on the acoustic track. Roth, who left the band in 1985 to pursue a solo career, reunited again with the Van Halen in 1996 and 2006, a year before the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band last performed together on Oct. 4, 2015, at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, five years before founding member and guitarist Eddie Van Halen died in 2020.

“I remember being in the studio with Dave cutting this track,” said John 5 of the song on Instagram. “It was magic, one of my fondest memories. I’ve loved Van Halen my whole life and that will never change David Lee Roth.”

In 2021, John 5 first revealed that the pair had written and recorded a track about Van Halen in 2016, which was never released. “This song is so great, and I just literally will beg Dave and Dave’s team to release this song,” he said. “It’s about Van Halen, and it’s so good. I mean, it’s so fucking good. And I just wish he would release it.” He added, “It’s not just strumming, it’s sophisticated. And it [took only] a couple takes, and Dave just nails it. I mean, you would have heard this and [said], ‘Oh, this could have been on Women and Children First.’ It’s Dave just talking about the good old days. Nothing could have stopped [Van Halen], and nothing did. I have chills right now.”

“Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Back Then Anyway” follows the recently released track from the previous John 5 sessions, “Pointing At The Moon.” In 2020, Roth also shared “Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bar & Grill” as a tribute to Eddie Van Halen.

That same year, Roth unveiled five songs attached to his webcomic The Roth Project in 2020 and has since said that he’s retiring but hinted at joining an Eddie Van Halen tribute tour.

“There’s always a tomorrow for a singer,” said Roth, 67, in May 2022, when he teased coming out of retirement after performing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico at a close friend’s birthday. “How many times did Rocky retire? Seven. I think number three was my favorite. How many times did Rambo have to come out of retirement in order to make the sequel? I wrote the songs. I was the one who named the band. I’m only in the middle of my first retirement.”

Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

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