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Sammy Hagar: 'David Lee Roth won't acknowledge Van Halen was more successful with me'

Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth share a laugh in 2002 © Getty

Speaking in Issue 15 of Planet Rock magazine, Sammy Hagar says David Lee Roth “refuses to acknowledge” that Van Halen “was even more successful” during his tenure with the band.

Sammy Hagar replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen in 1985 and released four studio albums with the band - ‘5150’, ‘OU812’, ‘For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge’ and ‘Balance’ - before they acrimoniously parted ways following internal conflicts in 1996.

After teaming up with Roth on the seemingly improbable co-headline ‘Song For Song, the Heavyweight Champs of Rock and Roll Tour’ in the summer of 2002, Hagar returned to the Van Halen fold from 2003 to 2005.

Asked about his so-called “rivalry” with Roth in the Confessional feature in Planet Rock magazine, Hagar told us: “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?”

Elsewhere in his wide-ranging interview, Hagar revealed what caused 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),” 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 Sammy Hagar in Issue 15 of Planet Rock magazine, which is on sale now.

Planet Rock Magazine: Issue 15 cover

Issue 15 of Planet Rock Magazine puts our esteemed readership in control, as we proudly present The 100 Greatest Albums of the 70s, as voted exclusively by Planet Rock Magazine readers.  

ORDER ISSUE 15 OF PLANET ROCK MAGAZINE ONLINE HERE

SUBSCRIBE TO PLANET ROCK MAGAZINE FOR 12 MONTHS HERE

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