Car guys all of the same stripe |

Car guys all of the same stripe

Tim Parsons, Lake Tahoe Action

While vacationing in Southern California, Bob Lopez heard that Ed “Big Daddy” Roth was going to pinstripe a car for the public. The South Lake Tahoe resident, who had been following Big Daddy’s career his entire life, went to the demonstration and started a conversation with the hot rod icon.

“I’d been drawing his characters since I was 10 years old,” Lopez said. “We hit it right off. He said, ‘You are a painter? You’d probably like to my latest project.’ “

Roth invited Lopez to his house: That’s the way it is with car people.

“You can tell when you meet another car person,” Lopez said. “We all kind of talk that same talk.”

Roth’s son, Dennis “Little Daddy” Roth, said car talk breaks down all barriers.

“It really doesn’t matter what color you are, or who you are, if you’re famous or just nobody,” Little Daddy said. “The car is what everyone is into. Sure my dad would bring him over to the house and check stuff out ” no problem. That’s that’s the way you learn.”

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Roth’s Tahoe connection is area resident Bud Gaugh, and Sublime’s former drummer. Roth drew album covers for Sublime and ZZ Top ” well-known car fan Billy Gibbons’ band.

A lucrative career in music can allow an artist to spend time having fun with automobiles.

“(Gaugh) pretty much paints cars and drag races now,” Little Daddy said. “That’s pretty much what I do. I’ve known Jeff Beck for 35 years. Like Eric Clapton says, all he does is work on his cars and play guitar. Billy Gibbons is the same. He works on his cars and plays guitar.”

The Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles was site of a recent Roth exhibit and a concert featuring Gibbons, Beck and fellow car enthusiasts Jimmy Vaughan (Fabulous Thunderbirds) and Michael Anthony (Sammy Hagar, Van Halen).