Sammy Hagar Says ‘I Would Have Been Embarrassed’ Over The Possible Name Changing Of Van Halen
Former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar opened up about the time when the band was recording their hit song, ‘Why Can’t This Be Love’ during an interview with Marci Wiser of 95.5 KLOS radio, and apparently, they were proposed to change their actual name to ‘Van Hagar.’
As many of you know, Sammy Hagar joined Van Halen in July 1985, as their lead vocalist after the band members parted their ways with former frontman David Lee Roth. While Roth was a legendary lead singer during his time, Van Halen released four multi-platinum, number one Billboard charting albums, starting from ‘5150,’ ‘OU812,’ ‘For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge,’ and ‘Balance,’ with Hagar in addition to countless chart hits.
In order to differentiate the two legendary eras of two frontmen, fans and music critics often referred to the band as ‘Van Hagar’ during Sammy Hagar’s time as the lead vocalist. Although Van Halen never changed its name officially to ‘Van Hagar,’ fans, including Hagar himself, have always considered Van Halen as a whole new band during Hagar’s time.
Here is what Hagar said:
“We were in the studio and we played ‘Why Can’t This Be Love‘ and Mo Austin went, ‘Oh, I smell money.’ He thought it was just the greatest. So then he said, ‘Did you guys ever think about maybe changing the name to, like, Van Hagar or something?'”
During a recent interview, Sammy Hagar actually surprised Van Halen fans as he revealed that the possibility of changing the band’s name was brought up during the time they were recording their first album with Hagar, ‘5150,’ to be more specific, during the recording of the iconic song, ‘Why Can’t This Be Love.’
Apparently, late Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen strictly refused this idea stating that the band hasn’t changed itself, they simply changed the frontman and the name should remain the same which was the most reasonable choice according to other band members as well as Hagar who thinks changing the name of the band would be just embarrassing for him.
Here is what Sammy Hagar said:
“And I know what they were thinking, because they thought, ‘If this doesn’t work, at least you can go back with Van Halen again. But if you’re Van Halen and it doesn’t work, now you’ve ruined the name, Van Halen.’ So they were trying to preserve, I think, the Van Halen name. And Eddie Van Halen – Eddie Van Halen, no one else – said, ‘Fuck that.’ He said, ‘This is Van Halen with a new singer.’ And everybody said, ‘Okay. Word. Gospel.’ Boom.
I was 100 percent on board with it. It was Van Halen with a new singer. I would have been embarrassed to be Van Hagar. I mean, I would have said, ‘Let’s just change it back to Mammoth or something. Go back to the beginning.”
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