David Lee's Samurai Screw Up

Aging rocker calls off tour dates after onstage martial-arts move goes awry, resulting in facial wound

By Julie Keller Sep 24, 2003 8:45 PMTags

Memo to David Lee Roth: Maybe it's time to lay off the kung fu.

The 47-year-old rocker has canceled the remainder of his tour after a martial-arts move went awry in the middle of set during a September 17 concert in Philadelphia.

"It was an incident onstage where he was doing a kung-fu maneuver and he got hit with a staff that he uses," spokesman Todd Brodginski said in a statement. "He was doing a very fast, complicated 15th-century samurai move."

In other words, Roth knocked himself silly.

The accident, an ill-conceived attempt to emulate his famed "Jump" moves during his Van Halen days, resulted in 22 stitches on his face and forced him to call off the last seven dates of his club and theater tour.

Diamond Dave said the samurai wounds put a crimp in his singing-and-dancing routine and that he would rather return to the stage in full force at a later date than continue with his injury.

Roth had previously pulled the plug on two shows due to Hurricane Isabel. He hopes to reschedule all of the shows for next year.

"Thanks for a great tour," he said in a statement. "See ya down the road."

For those who can't wait until then, a video of the pre-injury rocker working his kung fu is on www.davidleeroth.com.

And despite his martial arts mishap, Roth isn't always a screw up when it comes to action moves. In May, he cornered an intruder found trespassing at his Southern California home, pinning the man to the floor and holding him at gunpoint until the cops arrived.