Every Sunday morning, I look forward to curling up on our leather sofa with my throw blanket and Nespresso, to watch CBS Sunday Morning - my favorite show. This morning, correspondent Tracy Smith, interviewed rockstar David Lee Roth to discuss two years of his life where he established a home in Tokyo to study the ancient Japanese art of ink painting, sumi-e. It requires extreme patience to develop the skill, and Roth committed himself to the process to broaden his life experience. This is what he chooses to do when money is no object.
A Lesson from Rockstar David Lee Roth
You may know that David Lee Roth was the frontman for the great American rock band, Van Halen (currently #20 on the Recording Industry Association of America's list of top selling artists in the United States - of all time). As a world traveler, singer, musician, and many other things, as you'll soon read, David Lee Roth wasn't satisfied with "just" being a rockstar. He could have retired into the rockstar life with all of its money, constructs and expectations. Instead, he gave himself permission to set out into the world and experience more. Here are a few of Roth's golden rockstar nuggets:
"If you were a rockstar and you had the money to do ... whatever it is beyond, 'Oh, I've always wanted a giant boat.' If you could get past that, what would you use your rock stardom for? I've always used my celebrity as passport for travel and let's go get into-it!" David Lee Roth
What Would You Use Your Rock Stardom for?
Spending two years in Japan learning an art form is certainly a tremendous example of rockstar level getting "into-it." It sounds like something that one would do if money wasn't an object. But that wasn't his only example. Prior to that, when Roth was 48 years old, he used his rock stardom - not to write a book or start a talk show, but to become a state licensed EMT in New York City. Yes, that's an emergency medical technician, a paramedic. Pretty rockstar in its own right. Knowing it wouldn't be an easy job, Roth wanted to challenge himself and broaden his experience and perspective beyond the "white boy rockstar," as he called it. His openness caused him to discover:
"I wasn't someone until I put on that 511 uniform and went on my first call."
According to The Guardian, Roth reported that he'd responded to over 200 emergency calls over a six year period. The EMT training wasn't "something to do, just to say he did." Consciously or not, in a way, Roth set out to grow his life deeper. He gave life the patience it needed, and put in the hard work and time required to experience it.
Roth is also in the skincare-tattoo-maintenance business, another of the many things Roth has used his rock stardom to "get-into." So, what would you do if money were no object? Roth left this advice on the pages of his interview with Vogue Magazine:
"Be of value; have a job. If trouble strikes, what good are you? Things like this kind of inform and give the day shape. At family reunions in the Roth family, we usually go around in a circle, and everybody picks a word. My word is always the same: Contribution. What can you bring to the greater good?"
It seems that his advice would be the same either way.
Read more of David Lee Roth's insightful food for thought in Vogue, written by Corey Seymore. https://www.vogue.com/article/david-lee-roth-ink-tattoo-van-halen.
You can watch the 5- minute CBS Sunday Morning interview here.