"That memory means so much to me" – David Lee Roth's new song is about Van Halen and recorded with John 5

Van Halen
(Image credit: Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

Although he might be the missing piece from a planned Van Halen tribute tour, David Lee Roth is clearly still thinking about his former band on his single Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Back Then Anyway.

The acoustic guitar-based song finds the original Van Halen vocalist reminiscing: 'We laughed / we cried / we threw the television of that balcony / that memory means so much to me…' and that's just the opening lyrics. 

It's my favourite song that I've ever done with Dave, and it is beautiful

John 5

The song looks to be from Roth's unreleased album recordings with guitarist John 5 from several years ago that might be gradually filtering into circulation. 

"I don't get a notice, which is funny," John 5 told Darren Paltrowitz in 2021about when he finds out his songs with Roth are going to be released by the singer. "I just find out on Blabbermouth or something. But there's a song that I just can't wait for Dave to release. It's called Nothing Could Have Stopped Us and it's about Van Halen. 

"I don't know why he's not releasing that one yet. And I just can't wait for people to hear that one. 'Cause it's about Van Halen. It's just absolutely wonderful. I just am really looking forward to him releasing that one."

The wait is over. And Last year John 5 told AOL.com that the unreleased album is very much in the acoustic Could It Be Magic? VH vein that this single showcases.

"[Dave] wanted to do this kind of a more California sessions type of thing," the guitarist explained. "And he's such an artist, I was, like, 'Whatever you want to do, I'm there for you.' So it is that kind of vibe. But there's a lot of multi tracks and different acoustic parts that all work together. It's kind of orchestrated, if you will." 

Last year's One Piece Thermo-Molded Country Plastic Chair single and this month's Pointing At The Moon may also be from the John 5 sessions. They certainly fit the acoustic mood, and it's really interesting to hear Roth exploring this kind of style. 

John 5: these are the 10 guitarists who blew my mind

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.