Former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar claimed that Van Halen wanted to deny the existence of the ‘Van Hagar’ era after the band’s reunion with Roth in his interview with Ultimate Classic Rock.
As you may know, Hagar became Van Halen’s lead singer in 1985 when Roth left the band. Van Halen released some popular and commercially successful albums during the Van Hagar era, such as ‘5150,’ ‘OU812,’ ‘For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge,’ and ‘Balance.’ All of them hit the charts and sold millions of copies worldwide.
Even though Van Halen’s works and performances with the Red Rocker gained critical acclaim and appreciation, Sammy forcibly left the band because of some personal problems with Eddie Van Halen. After Hagar’s departure, the band reunited with former frontman David Lee Roth and according to Hagar, the band pretended like he never existed.
During his interview, Hagar stated that Van Halen tried to bury his era by deciding not to play or remaster the songs. However, Sammy Hagar said that he won’t let that happen because these records are highly valuable. Therefore he launched ‘The Other Half’ with Michael Anthony to protect his legacy, and will continue performing Van Hagar records in his concerts.
Hagar said in his interview that:
“That thing was so overdue. It seems likes since Van Halen did David Lee Roth reunion that they tried to really bury ‘Van Hagar’ era. They wouldn’t remaster it, they wouldn’t allow it in movies. You know, it’s licensed for video games or commercials.
They pushed everything from the Roth era because they were doing that reunion. Understood… I’m not the kind of guy that goes out and plays all Van Hagar and really pushes and makes a big deal. That’s what we do, but in The Circle, we play about seven songs now added two recently.
Because it just seems like it’s going to waste. It’s such a great material, all number one albums, 50 million records. You can’t just say ‘I don’t care how proud I’m of my own stuff.’ I can’t ignore it. That’s the biggest peak of my career. So, but I don’t exploit it too much.”
He went on:
“Since Eddie’s death, we never got to do that reunion. Mike and I just got together on tour, and every time we play one of Van Hagar… I hate to call it that but I have to distinguish and put it together. Every time play that stuff, the audience goes crazy. We added ‘Good Enough’ to show and added ‘Twister’ and ‘Humans Being’ and some really deep tracks.
It doesn’t matter which song you play it. It’s not just the hits like ‘Why Can’t This Be Love,’ like we play ‘Human Beings,’ the place goes f’cking nuts, and they know every word so we’re going to make this stuff gold. It’s never going to die and we’re not going to let it.
So we started that thing because Mike said ‘I found this old tape.’ He always telling me this shit and showing me some pictures and saying ‘Look what I found.’ So we started digging and we got a gold mine. I mean this could be a bigger website than mine.”
You can check out the whole interview below.