David Lee Roth’s Relentless Reaction To Sammy Hagar’s Departure From Van Halen

Two former Van Halen frontmen, David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar, have divided the band’s fans into two camps with the distinctive styles they brought to the group. The two have also maintained a feud that has lasted for years. When David Lee Roth quit Van Halen in early 1985, it was shocking news to everyone outside the band since the group was at the very top of its fame.

Roth’s fantastic showmanship and outstanding personality were the main reasons that made the band super-popular. However, he couldn’t resolve his conflicts within Van Halen. When Sammy Hagar joined Van Halen in 1985 after a call from Eddie Van Halen, the band had found their new singer to replace Diamond Dave. They made a very successful comeback album that lived up to expectations.

Later on, he contributed to the band’s ‘5150,’ ‘OU812,’ ‘For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge,’ and ‘Balance’ albums with his unique voice. The conflict between the band and Hagar started when he disagreed with them over a few creative decisions. He was no longer a member of the band by 1996. Although Hagar claimed the band fired him, Eddie Van Halen said he quit himself. Let’s see how David Lee Roth reacted to Hagar’s departure from the group.

What Did David Lee Roth Say About Sammy Hagar’s Exit?

The feud between David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar has been triggered by the fans’ reactions and their public statements toward each other. Their different styles have always been one of the main subjects of discussion among Van Halen fans. Thus, it has also brought competition between the two lead singers. Both artists have targeted each other in various statements regarding their talents as musicians.

Back in 1997, right after Sammy Hagar departed from Van Halen, David Lee Roth gave an interview to Launch.com and reflected on his leaving. The interviewer said Sammy Hagar frequently brought up his name in various discussions and how he felt about it and his departure. DLR replied by saying that he was the one who made Hagar interesting.

Then, Diamond Dave also claimed that Sammy Hagar gained the lead singer position in Van Halen entirely through luck, and he abused it afterward. Thus, according to Roth, it was very typical that his behaviors resulted in negative consequences.

When the interviewer said Hagar always mentioned him, DLR replied:

“What is interesting about Sam Hagar? Dave Roth!”

Diamond Dave said after the interviewer stressed it’s sad for Hagar:

“Well, it’s unfortunate, but he abused a position he inherited entirely through luck, and that’s bad karma.”

Later, the interviewer asked whether he had talked to Hagar since leaving the band. DLR revealed they spoke, and Hagar felt sorry about what happened. David Lee Roth stated he accepted Sammy Hagar just as a ‘mediocre talent,’ so he didn’t think they were in the same league. For him, that was also the reason why Hagar didn’t receive the public attention he had. Roth claimed Eddie Van Halen was also unhappy with Hagar’s performance.

The interviewer then asked:

“Have you talked to him since he left Van Halen? It’s almost like you’re now on the same side.”

DLR’s response follows:

“Yeah, now he’s all apologetic. Sam is not my peer, and he’s a mediocre talent at best. And that’s why he’s been dismissed by the public at large. Ed Van Halen would routinely look up into the sky and go, ‘It’s as if Sam never even existed!’ Well, that’s right, Ed! What was your first clue, Ed?”

Later on, in 2007, David Lee Roth returned to Van Halen after years of absence. It was a big moment for the fans longing for the band’s original singer. He joined the group’s 40-city North American tour and performed with the band for the first time live since 1984.