Sammy Hagar Avoids Singing Van Halen Songs From The David Lee Roth Era
Sammy Hagar recently spoke about playing Van Halen songs during the Sammy Hagar and The Circle concerts, and he admitted that he is avoiding VH’s David Lee Roth era. However, he also stated that he might do that in the future to satisfy the fans.
As you may know, Sammy Hagar was the lead vocalist of Van Halen between 1985 and 1996, replacing David Lee Roth. When he left the band in 1996, Roth returned and continued his journey with the band. Hagar contributed to four VH albums and received a lot of positive feedback from the band’s fans.
The end of Van Halen came in 2019, but there was still hope for a reunion until the band’s iconic guitarist Eddie Van Halen passed away from cancer in 2020. The band decided not to perform again, which disappointed their fans because they would never see Van Halen live again. David Lee Roth announced his retirement recently, and Wolfgang Van Halen stated that he will not be performing Van Halen songs in his Mammoth WVH shows.
Therefore the unofficial responsibility of carrying the band’s legacy was handed to Hagar, as he is the only one willing to sing Van Halen songs in his concerts. The Red Rocker stated that he is happily singing these songs but is avoiding the David Lee Roth era because he doesn’t want to look ‘funny’ on stage. Since he is currently the only one trying to continue the band’s legacy, he thinks that he would be okay with adding some songs from the DLR era in the future.
Here is what The Red Rocker stated about carrying on Van Halen’s legacy:
“The only thing I don’t touch on is the Roth era. Even though Michael is going, ‘Come on Sam, I wanna sing it, Come on Sam!’ I am always going ‘Mike I’m always gonna feel funny up there just playing one of their songs, you know. But there’ll probably come a day where we’ll have to throw in a few of those songs into the set, just to say, ‘Okay, we gotta satisfy all the fans.’ But yeah, it was always been like that with the Van Hagar era.
From ‘5150,’ ‘OU812,’ ‘For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge’… If you’re gonna hear any of those songs, it has always been us because after Dave joined, Van Halen did do a reunion they couldn’t do any of those songs. So yeah, we bring up pretty strong, and I’m feeling more and more comfortable playing more Van Halen songs. I used to say, ‘Nah, I can’t. 3 or 4 that’s it.’
And Jason Bonham’s the guy that put it to me. He said, ‘If I go see Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones in a band, and they only play a couple of Led Zeppelin songs, I would be pissed.’ You know what? ‘That’s a damn good point, I guess you’re right.’ If I’m gonna see Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, I wanna hear some Led Zeppelin. So yeah, it’s feeling more and more comfortable to me, and feeling like we’re really the only ones who can carry the flag and keep that music alive in the live concerts is really important.”
He stated that the person who changed his mind about performing DLR era works was Jason Bonham, who made a valid argument by giving an example from Led Zeppelin. If people are coming to see Sammy Hagar and The Circle and expect to listen to Van Halen as well, they would like to hear more Van Halen songs regardless of the songwriter or era. Even though Hagar is concerned he would look funny up there singing songs that don’t belong to him, he still wants to satisfy their fans, and that’s why he may attempt this in the future.