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Crazy from the Heat

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  845 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
The tales from the larger-than-life spectacle that was the glory days of Van Halen are the stuff of rock and roll legend. In this unapologetic, Technicolor, high-fiber blast, David Lee Roth comes across with seemingly unlimited energy and graphic clarity. of photos.
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 6th 1997 by Hyperion (first published October 1997)
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This Is a Call by Paul BranniganThe Heroin Diaries by Nikki SixxHeavier Than Heaven by Charles R. CrossCrazy from the Heat by David Lee Roth50 Years by Brian Mannix
Top Music Biographies
4th out of 104 books — 17 voters
The Glass Castle by Jeannette WallsRena's Promise by Rena Kornreich GelissenThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankAngela's Ashes by Frank McCourtEscape by Carolyn Jessop
Best Memoirs
33rd out of 164 books — 38 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,483)
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I remember back when I was in jr. high a little after Van Halen rolled through town on the last tour they did with Roth as the singer during the 80's soon thereafter many wild stories bordering on, if not surpassing, folklore began circulating about the depravity and debauchery that Van Halen indulged in during their stay in town. Off the top of my head a few that I can remember, the band had a contest backstage to see who could snort up the biggest line of coke. Eddie won, snorting a line that ...more
Wayne Simmons
Mar 25, 2015 Wayne Simmons rated it liked it
Not your average rock bio, as fans might expect: this is very much written in the language of Diamond Dave and therein lies the book's strengths as well as weaknesses. If you like your bios structured, following a succinct timeline with blow-by-blow accounts of this record or that tour, this probably won't be to your taste. But if you like the man - the legend - that is Dave Lee Roth and want as close to a sit down in the local watering hole as most of us are likely to get, then sign up. This is ...more
Ryan Werner
Oct 05, 2015 Ryan Werner rated it it was amazing
The David Lee Roth route to happiness, the one that goes through fun and only fun, is what makes this autobiography - and, ultimately, classic Van Halen - so fulfilling.

David Lee Roth may not be Bob Dylan. In fact, he’s not even Bob Daisley. Why is it, then, that his lyrics have been so influential in the ideological development of millions of young males? Certainly one could have taken more from some of Dylan’s (or Ozzy’s) more profound statements on love and life.

Why does the line “Take a chan
3.5 stars. DLR is a pretty interesting guy and he wrote (or dictated) a pretty entertaining book. It's easy to get a little worn out by the force of his strong personality and the seemingly endless shtick but he's fun to spend a short time with.
Jan 21, 2009 Mike rated it liked it
The library finally located its copy of this book. For the longest time, it was listed as "consult librarian," which usually means it is lost or stolen. But miraculously, it was located and placed back on the shelves for me to read. Mary recommended this a while ago and I'm glad I finally got to read it. It's a fun read, especially if you're a fan of Van Halen (DLR-style, the only kind) and you like his voice - it's hard not to read this book without having David Lee Roth narrate it to you in yo ...more
Beem Weeks
Jun 16, 2013 Beem Weeks rated it really liked it
David Lee Roth, former and current lead singer for the mighty Van Halen, tells his life story in a steady rhythm any fan will recognize as pure Dave. Roth gives insight into his life, growing up Jewish in an anti-Semite environment, learning show business while watching the comedians and folk singers that played in his uncle's New York City Club Wha? in the mid-1960s. Roth possesses a naturally engaging style of telling a story. We've seen it through the years in interviews on TV, in magazines, ...more
Nicholas Tillemans
May 28, 2014 Nicholas Tillemans rated it it was amazing
It's great to hear Diamond Dave talk about his experiences fronting Van Halen, his crazy life experiences and the drama after he left the band in his own words. The prose are raw. The whole book is written in a conversational tone, just as David Lee would talk. He's no Shakespeare; but we fans could care less about that. That said, there are passages, which are hauntingly clever.

He's a rock 'n' roll Peter Pan who takes us all along for the ride. He has his spin; but he bares his soul and makes
May 29, 2015 Tracy rated it really liked it
This book is fun to read! I think anyone who is a Van Halen fan would enjoy it.

I really liked the stories about the early days of Van Halen. He also tells some great stories about his travels, particularly to Haiti and hiking in the Himalayas.

It's not written like a normal book, with chapters, or in any order. You feel like you are sitting down listening to David Lee Roth telling stories. Not all the paragraphs use complete sentences, and not all the stories make sense; but it doesn't matter. Y
Mar 18, 2015 Chris rated it really liked it
I've having a hard time rating this book.

The writing wasn't very great, the nonlinear narrative made it hard to follow (even for a fan), and some of the stories seemed out of place.

At the same time, I really loved this book. I'm giving it four stars, but I'll offer the following modifications:
1) Add one STAR to my rating if you are a Van Halen or David Lee Roth fan.
2) Subtract one STAR from my rating if you've never heard of either, or dislike either.

With that out of the way: this book is what a
Dec 21, 2014 Brooke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
He's not a great storyteller by any stretch, but I couldn't put it down. I was able to accept his overpowering egotism because he made some of the best music videos in history. That was my starting point and I guess, after reading his book, I still like him just as much, maybe even a little more. See you around Pasadena Diamond Dave...
Adam Kovynia
I found this to be an excellent book. I like to read biography or autobiography and rock and roll biography has been a new genre in my collection of books read. what's interesting is this book was not written with a ghost writer but all by DLR himself back almost 20 years ago. Much like Sammy Hagars book, you read stories of a wild life and plenty of sin, however, a great, impressive business sense and people who really made something out of their lives. millions of albums sold and lots of money ...more
Dec 18, 2008 Andy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rock-sleaze
David Lee Roth is a terrific showman and this book is as entertaining as his shows. My mind wandered when he got into his Wild Kingdom crocodile hunter-type shenanigans, but it's okay. He stays on the rock 'n roll path most of the time and always has something entertaining to say.
Mar 30, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it
Just in case you needed additional proof that Diamond Dave is the man, this book provides substantial evidence.
Feb 12, 2016 Ryan rated it liked it
"The Beatles were black guys, too."
"I wonder frequently what that would be like. I never experienced it. How do you describe the big aquarium until you've seen it?"
"Cottage cheese, I almost got punched in the mouth. There's no way to draw cottage cheese without insulting somebody."
"(The old Van Halen programs) are complete art projects from top to bottom. For one tour, the logo design was a lion wearing sunglasses with palm trees in the lenses."
"Ed Van Halen without a guitar in his hand is a cru
Julie Barrett
As part of my read-a-lot-of-rock-memoirs kick that I am on, I borrowed this book from a friend, figuring David Lee Roth would have a lot of good stories to tell. I was right - he does have some good stories - but that is it. I didn't come away from this book with any insight into either the band or the man himself.

He does say in his book that this is not to be a chronological history of the band and it is certainly not that. Quite frequently I had no idea what he was referring to. Thanks to Pro
I was never a Van Halen fan, I'm just a fan of crazy and weird. And David Lee Roth is crazy and weird (and kind of annoying). That's why I'm so disappointed by this book. I feel cheated, swindled and robbed. I demand a refund, not just a monetary refund but a refund for time wasted. I expected so much more from the man who made some of the most entertaining videos back when MTV actually showed music videos. Remember music videos? If not then you need to get the hell off of my lawn.

Honestly this
Nov 03, 2012 Tlingit rated it liked it
Recommended to Tlingit by: Uncle Pete
Stream of consciousness best describes the book. Diamond Dave thanks his editor for condensing his information down into this book. I'm glad he did too because I needed to take breaks with this book. The events were cool, sometimes DD's perception of people and events were a bit skewed but he seemed good hearted if not exactly naive. It would be interesting to read Eddie's perception of DD. Dave seems in this book to be very savvy when it comes to business and when it comes to his personal limit ...more
Budds Purugganan
Dec 02, 2007 Budds Purugganan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who remain Van Halen fans!
WHEW! David Lee Roth returned with the ever-unhealthy Edward Van Halen----and currently touring with Eddie's young son Wolgang playing electric bass ( and even choosing the bunch of 'greatest hits' repertoire for the rehearsals). When I read 'Crazy from the Heat' --I found out what 'Diamond Dave' had to REVEAL cuz when Sammy Hagar took over I detected pop-flavoured, publicity stunt for the CABO WABO trash he was trying to SELL. ( And the DVD of their gig 'Right here Right Now---LIVE! wasn't EPIC ...more
Scott Lee
Feb 25, 2016 Scott Lee rated it really liked it
Wonderful, unhinged, anarchic. Dave's a total shit talker and tale-tale teller. He's the hero of his own life (he'd be the first to tell you). The greatest thing about reading this book is, when you get off the subway and you put the book back in your bag, for a few minutes you've still got Dave's voice rattling around in your head, and that's worth the price of admission, right there. To be Diamond Dave for a second is a precious gift. Don't believe me? Ask Dave. He'll tell you.
Bryan Sobaire
Nov 26, 2014 Bryan Sobaire rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Great book! Some may not have a high opinion of David Lee Roth, but he is a very smart and dedicated man. He used to polish the stage floors himself, on hands and knees, before Van Halen took the stage, started signing the paycheck of every Van Halen staff member once he noticed they were being ripped off and is a black belt trained by Benny the Jet!! Grew up with his legs in braces, once they were taken off..there was no stopping him! We's free-wheelin!
Craig Machen
Jul 10, 2011 Craig Machen rated it liked it
I read this awhile back. Not the most coherent narrative of all time, but still entertaining. If you like Diamond Dave, you'll probably enjoy this book. If you're on the fence about him (or worse), might be better to skip this one.

A minor warning: I would also say that Dave isn't super forthcoming. He sidesteps a fair amount and doesn't reveal much about himself. There's a lot of bluster (of course) but some funny stories too. I particularly liked the one about Ozzy not showing up for a Black Sa
Brandon Dalo
Crazy From the Heat was a gift from my Dad when he learned that I loved reading autobiographies. He grew up a huge fan of Van Halen and passed down that love to me. And knowing David Lee Roth as an eccentric character, I thought this would be a fun read. The book is full of random stories – Roth apparently wanted to tell the stories as if he was talking to a friend and not tell his life story in chronological order, which I can respect. It’s been a long time since I read this book, and I remembe ...more
Jeff Miller
Apr 25, 2015 Jeff Miller rated it it was amazing
4 stars because this is one hell of an entertaining book. Diamond Dave is a fascinating character, fiercely intelligent and well-read, and has some great stories to tell. This thing reads like he's speaking to you, and even though it's almost stream of consciousness in some spots (OK, most spots), and he doesn't always know how to end his stories, it's totally endearing.

This was a re-read -- I first read this book in 1997 as a high school senior and did not remember any of what he described of
Duncan Smith
Apr 10, 2016 Duncan Smith rated it really liked it
Roth may be vain and annoying at times, but he's no dummy. This book reveals an intelligent and perceptive mind in someone many would assume to be a vacuous party boy. Is he obnoxious at times? Sure, and was probably more so in person, yet he offers some real insights into his time in Van Halen, the music business, and life in general.

Grace P.
Feb 04, 2016 Grace P. rated it really liked it
This was published almost 20 years ago and I wish he would write an update. This was an entertaining read and I have a lot of respect for David Lee Roth. He made Van Halen the success that it was, he loves life, was intensely loyal to VH, and is a smart business person.
Jan 16, 2016 V rated it liked it
If you love DLR and all things sexy you will like this book. Instead of most rock-ographies which detail depressing drug use and "Behind the Music" type stories, this book is typical egotistical Dave not taking himself too seriously, which makes it a light read. Good for a day at the beach.
Oct 11, 2007 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who things DLR doesn't have anything to offer them
...because those people would be wrong. This now OOP book was recommended to me by my friend Jared. After many years of searching, I found a used mass-market copy for about $1 at a record store in the San Fernando Valley - extraordinarily apropos.

Jared told me that this was the tale of a road-weary world traveler - not just a rock star; not the dumb blonde he plays on stage. Of course, there are the great Dirt-style road stories of strippers and drugs, but this is way more about the unexpected m
Jan 24, 2016 Wayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A completely unorthodox autobiography that was a great read. I realize that Diamond Dave isn't the "uberdouche" that he's been portrayed as for years.
Dec 01, 2012 Dustin rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This book does chronicle some of the Van Halen drama that happened when Dave briefly returned to the Band in 1996, as well as L.A. party scenes of then soon to be famous bands like Van Halen, Ratt and others. Dave has his fans and his detractors, but what I liked about this book was his sense of adventure. The chronicles of mountain climbing and exploring the world were interesting. Dave's always been known as a performer, but this book also shows his business sense and the ability to adapt and ...more
Jay Sosnicki
Nov 18, 2012 Jay Sosnicki rated it really liked it

... Love him or hate him, DLR is to men who grew up in the '80s what Jack Nicholson was to men of the early - '70s. The embodiment of a time, the coolest guy in the room, and an influence that goes beyond rock music. This book isn't really a bio so much as a rock 'n roll version of the Hagakure - a set of short Zen guidelines for living told in the rollicking style of a man who loves the sound of his own voice - and knows we do too. even if you find Roth obnoxious, I dare you to read it and not
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David Lee Roth is an American rock vocalist, songwriter, actor, author, and former radio personality, best known as the original and current lead singer of Van Halen. In addition to his work with Van Halen, Roth is a successful solo artist, having released several platinum and gold solo albums. Sometimes referred to as Diamond Dave, Roth rejoined Van Halen in 2007 for a North American tour that be ...more
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