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David Lee Roth Releases Van Halen Tribute Song ‘Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Back Then Anyway’

David Lee Roth at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards.
Theo Wargo / Bob Riha Jr., Getty Images

This week, David Lee Roth released “Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Back Then Anyway,” a solo song that, according to the Van Halen News Desk, was recorded in 2007 with guitarist John 5.

It’s a touching acoustic tribute to Van Halen and a remembrance of their times together on the road, told from Roth’s perspective as the lead singer of the influential rock band. Roth, the first classic vocalist of Van Halen from 1974 until 1985, last returned to the group in 2007. Van Halen subsequently disbanded after guitarist Eddie Van Halen‘s death in 2020.

Read Roth’s moving song lyrics and listen to “Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Back Then Anyway” down toward the bottom of this post.

Van Halen fans have been aware of the tracks’s existence since last year, when John 5 mentioned it to AL.com. “Dave writes good songs,” the guitarist said. “He’s written some of the most amazing songs of our lifetime, and Dave worked really hard on these lyrics. I’m not sure when it’s going to come out or if it’ll come out, but I hope it does.”

He added, “There’s one I’ll tell you about called ‘Nothing Could Have Stopped Us.’ And it’s unbelievable. Being a Van Halen fan and a Dave Lee Roth fan, it’s unbelievable because it’s about Dave singing about Van Halen and what it was like. Really something special, so I really hope that comes out.”

Upon the song’s release on Thursday (July 28), John 5 added in a social media message, “I remember being in the studio with Dave cutting this track it was magic one of my fondest memories. I’ve loved Van Halen my whole life and that will never change.”

Earlier this month, radio host Eddie Trunk suggested Roth was delaying a potential Van Halen tribute tour or concert first mentioned by ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted. In April, Newsted said it was to feature him and guitarist Joe Satriani —a member of Chickenfoot with Sammy Hagar, another former Van Halen singer— along with Alex Van Halen, Van Halen’s drummer and Eddie’s brother.

NEW MUSIC PLAYLIST: Keep up with each week’s rock and metal releases by liking Loudwire’s “Weekly Wire” playlist on Spotify, updated weekly with 50 brand new songs.

“Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Back Then Anyway” Lyrics

We laughed, we cried
We threw the television off that balcony
That memory means so much to me
No doubt in me, I do believe
That no one listens to both sides
Except the neighbors
Fine art of compromise
Happy losing half of mine
‘Cause she’ll lose her half later

First taste of being victim
Of the very songs I sing
Ended up with ‘Say goodbye’
And “I hope I hear good things”
Walk away, walk away

Nothing could have stopped us back then anyway
Remember when you safety pinned the tablecloth to my pants?
And I stood up to the sound of dancing
And the sound of our romance beginning
Kicked out the restaurant to make the night complete
Six-pack and a happy meal on a park bench down the street
Dinner with Tennessee’s elite

‘Once upon a time’
Is how a fairy tale sells it
‘Sit down, you won’t believe this shit’
Is how the trucker tells it
Strike up the band, hire the piper we will pay
Nothing could have stopped us back then anyway

David Lee Roth, “Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Back Then Anyway”

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