Select Page
David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen

David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen

Sammy Hagar has once again opened up his ongoing dispute with Van Halen, the band he fronted for a decade from 1986-96 following the departure of David Lee Roth.

Talking to Rolling Stone, Hagar criticised the band’s choice of line-up, onstage chemistry, and their refusal to let him perform songs he wrote during his tenure with the group during television appearances.

Hagar said it was “obvious” fans wanted original bass player Michael Anthony in the group, rather than his replacement, Eddie van Halen’s son Wolfie. “Mikey is the wrong guy to bash. He wouldn’t stand up for himself in a million years,” Hagar said. “That’s not because he’s chickenshit. It’s because he’s just such nice person.”
The group, who reunited with Roth for 2012’s A Different Kind of Truth album and subsequent tours, are clearly not friendly to each other, Hagar said. “There’s just no chemistry up there. 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.” He said that if we were ever to rejoin the band, “I’d feel like the biggest hypocrite in the world. And I’m not a hypocrite.”

He also criticised their refusal to give him publishing clearance to play songs from his Van Halen era – including Why Can’t This Be Love? – during TV appearances. “You ever watch that show on AXS, The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands?” he said. “There was a Van Halen tribute band that plays a little of mine and a little bit of theirs. They clear it for them, but not the guy who wrote that shit. It’s just stupid … it’s maybe the stupidest, lamest thing I’ve ever seen in this business.”