Sammy Hagar Says He Has “No Problem” With David Lee Roth; Sammy Hagar Throws Shade at David Lee Roth
Well, here’s a fun quote to try and wrap your head around.
Sammy Hagar has gone out of his way to clarify that he has no beef with David Lee Roth, his predecessor and successor in Van Halen (multiple times — let it never be said that this band wanted for drama)… while simultaneously insulting Roth.
Speaking to Las Vegas radio station 96.3 KKLZ, Hagar said:
“[Roth] and I don’t even have a feud. To be honest with you, I have no problem with Dave. I don’t know what he’s got going with me, but I think he always feels competitive. I think he feels like he has to raise his flag, like, ‘I’m Van Halen.’ ‘Cause I had a solo career before Van Halen. I was in Montrose before Van Halen. I’ve had Chickenfoot. Dave has got Van Halen, so I think he has to hold on to that kind of tight. But I don’t care about that. If someone said, ‘Oh, I never knew you [were] in Van Halen,’ I’d say, ‘Eh…’”
So, basically, what Hagar said is, “I have no beef with Dave because I’ve had a great career but he has beef with me because Van Halen is all he’s ever had.” Cool cool cool.
Thing is, Hagar’s assertion isn’t even accurate. Roth’s outsized personality made him a cautionary tale for Lead Singer’s Disease leading to an ultimately-unsuccessful solo career, but Roth actually was very successful for a time. DLR’s first three solo albums — Eat ‘Em and Smile (1986), Skyscraper (1988), and A Little Ain’t Enough (1991), all cracked the top twenty of the Billboard 200 chart. And that was in the late 80s and early 90s, when people still bought music. So it’s simply not true to say he never had any success outside of Van Halen.
(Also… Chickenfoot? Really, bruh???)
So why did Sammy say what he said? Well…
I’m guessing that whether he wants to admit it or not, Hagar is grumpy about the fact that to this day, David Lee Roth is generally considered the superior Van Halen frontman despite the fact that the band infamously sold more records with Hagar.
He might also feel touchy because, yeah, he had a career before and after Van Halen, but Van Halen remains his most famous and commercially-successful endeavor (Montrose’s eponymous 1973 album went platinum, but none of their other records did; every Van Hagar album went platinum multiple times), and the thing about which people still ask him constantly (case in point — this very interview).
So on some level, he must know that history will likely remember him as second banana to Diamond Dave. It’s easy to see why that would bug him.
You can watch/listen to the entire interview below.