Jesse Harms Shares David Lee Roth’s One Condition About Sammy Hagar To Hire Him

Some musicians like Jesse Harms are fortunate enough to share the same environment with many great artists and collect memories from each experience. In the 1980s, Harms had a chance to work with two Van Halen frontmen, David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar. As expected, he has a good deal of stories to tell. Jesse recently appeared as a guest on the RetroZest podcast and opened up about his time with DLR.

Harms initially worked with Sammy Hagar as a studio keyboard player and a studio backup singer for Hagar’s seventh studio album ‘Three Lock Box.’ After contributing to Sammy’s next record ‘VOA,’ he agreed to play keyboards in Diamond Dave’s debut studio effort ‘Eat ‘Em and Smile.’ Later, the musician rejected Roth’s offer to join his band and reunited with Hagar for his ninth album ‘I Never Said Goodbye.’

However, when he received a call from DLR to work with him, the singer had one condition for Jesse Harms. He recalled, “One of the deals when I [recorded on ‘Eat ‘Em and Smile’] was that they instructed me, ‘You can’t tell Sammy that you’re doing this.’ Sammy and I were still talking. Sammy and I were actually good friends even though things kinda turned sour towards the end over money [but] we were really good friends.”

“We hung out, we played tennis, we did everything together,” Harms continued. “We were still [talking often] on the phone when he was in Van Halen. He was calling me up, and I couldn’t tell him that I was working with David Lee Roth in the studio. But he found out. And then he called me up, and he was mad at me! For moving on and getting a good [job], he should have been happy. It’s like, ‘Wow, that’s a great gig.’”

Jesse had expected Sammy Hagar to be happy that his friend was collaborating with a prominent name like David Lee Roth, but he was angry with the musician, which is not surprising considering the tension between Sammy and DLR. Fortunately, Harms and Hagar made up and collaborated again a few years later.