Sammy Hagar On David Lee Roth “I don’t respect Dave’s artistry” “he refuses to acknowledge that VAN HALEN with me was even more successful than VAN HALEN with him, and that’s very stupid of him”
Sammy Hagar says that David Lee Roth “refuses to acknowledge” that VAN HALEN “was even more successful” during Sammy‘s tenure with the band.
Hagar replaced David Lee Roth in VAN HALEN in 1985 and recorded four studio albums with the band — “5150”, “OU812”, “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” and “Balance” — all of which topped the U.S. chart. The highest-charting Roth-led VAN HALEN album was a No. 2, and it took until “1984” to achieve that. (2012’s “A Different Kind Of Truth” also landed at No. 2.)
Asked about his so-called “rivalry” with Roth, Hagar told Planet Rock magazine: “It wasn’t even a blip on my radar.
“I don’t respect Dave‘s artistry, but I do think he’s clever and a great showman and what he did with VAN HALEN in the early days was fantastic. VAN HALEN couldn’t have made it without him.
“God bless Dave, but he refuses to acknowledge that VAN HALEN with me was even more successful than VAN HALEN with him, and that’s very stupid of him. That’d be like me not acknowledging what he did for the band before I joined: that would be stupid, wouldn’t it?”
Hagar also spoke about the circumstances that led to the end of his first stint with the band.
“We had eight years of [huge success], and then suddenly people in the band started changing… and it wasn’t me and it wasn’t Mike [Anthony, bass],” Hagar said.
“The ‘Balance’ record was like pulling teeth, things got very dysfunctional by then. Drugs and alcohol and insecurity and bad management killed that band.”
You can read the full in-depth “Confessional” interview with Hagar in issue 15 of Planet Rockmagazine, which is on sale now.
Hagar told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that his problems with Eddie Van Halen began during the sessions for “Balance”, Hagar‘s last album with the group. “Eddie needs somebody to make decisions and a leader, y’know?” he said. “He’s not a natural born leader kind of guy. And his brother [Alex Van Halen] was always the leader before — or Roth was the leader before — and when Roth left, his brother and him bumped heads so much, when I walked in it was like, ‘Well, what does Sam wanna do?’ y’know? So it became kind of like, yeah, I was making all the decisions, so then on ‘Balance’, all of a sudden, he didn’t like my decisions and it was like really weird.”
Hagar blasted his former bandmates in an interview in 2015, saying there was “no chemistry” between the members of the group’s current lineup, including Roth. He said at the time: “They don’t like each other. I mean, it’s obvious. It’s like a backup band with a guy out there in front. I bet they don’t say five words to each other offstage.”
Hagar, Anthony, Alex and Eddie Van Halen last teamed up in 2004 for a U.S. summer tour. In exchange for taking part in the tour, Anthony reportedly had to agree to take a pay cut and sign away his rights to the band name and logo.