The Van Halen frontman recounted a conversation that took place at the start of the ‘90s as Bowie settled in New York, before he married his second wife, Iman, in 1992.
“I knew David Bowie,” Roth told PodKats (via Blabbermouth). “We shared strong drink on more than several occasions. … I was in a studio in New York, a phone call came through … [and Bowie said,] ’David, I’m kind of in a quandary, and I’m being serious. I’m going to tell you something, and tell me what you think. … I bought furniture.’”
Roth noted that Bowie’s “life in music was never the same from that point. It changed his life. It was significant. … I’m not being funny – it’s symbolic. He had never put down an anchor – not romantically, not spiritually, not morally or musically, anywhere. Very few people can live like that. There are only three kinds of people: those who stay home, those who leave home and those who go to sea. David had put out to sea as a very young man. When he finally came to shore in New York City and got married, everything he knew ended. I never bought furniture. That’s what you see onstage. I’m not looking for a place to park. I’m driving around.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Roth recalled how he was given the nickname “Diamond Dave,” recalling that it was the result of making the most of a tight budget in his youth. “If all you can afford is a pair of jeans, you learn how to empty a full can of spray starch, get that razor crease, drop ’em low,” he explained. “You can customize ‘em. … Get ’em four sizes too big, tighten ’em up with a three-size-small belt — just button the top of your razor-creased, prison-issue blue denims at the top, leave the rest unbuttoned.
“That is kind of how I was dressing when I would go over to the Van Halen side of high school. … I would show up at the Pasadena High School dance wearing suspenders, two-tone Cuban heels. … I would show up, and the Van Halens would look and say, ‘Look, he sparkles like a diamond. It’s Diamond Dave.’”