Rock tributes are always interesting, especially when an artist like David Lee Roth starts out with "Saw Dust". Roth explains how inspiration struck him to write his tribute song to the late Eddie Van Halen. “I actually walked past the door of a local drinking establishment and smelled the sawdust,” Roth told Variety. “And like [Marcel] Proust with a lemon cookie [in the novel In Search of Lost Time], it triggered volumes of memory.”
Roth laments about his late bandmate and the sadness of not having a "Show biz" type farewell complete with memorable stories. Roth stated that if given the opportunity he would begin with "The smell of fresh sawdust on the floor…’ And go from there. That’s the beginning of the story, at least for me. Because that was everywhere we played — the smell of fresh sawdust on the floor.” The line, "You know the smell of fresh sawdust when they first throw it on the floor," appears about midway through the song. “I don’t usually write autobiographically,” he added, “but this was a specific effort to replicate a time and a place.”
David Lee Roth's tribute to Eddie "Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bar and Grill" was released at the end of October and was included in David's latest "Roth Project" a web comic that contains four more new songs.
So far, Roth's song has been played over 400,000 times on Youtube. “For somebody in my position," he said, "at this point in my career, that’s a knockout over the park.” He also realizes that's it's a drop in the bucket compared to his seminal work with Van Halen, but he's quick to point out, “I won the Super Bowl seven times over with the Four Horsemen — ain’t nothin’ going to knock that mountain down.”