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QandA: Van Hagar

Nick asks (and you can ask, too):

Why don't you like Sammy Hagar? I think he's great. Is it because he took Dave's place? If Dave never existed, what would you think of Sammy?

Let's look at it this way.

I like peanut butter sandwiches. I like teryaki sauce. That doesn't mean I would like teryaki sauce in my peanut butter sandwich.

There's also haiku, written by my 12 year old son as a homework assignment recently:

David Lee Roth rocks
Gary Cherone doesn't count
Sammy Hagar whines

I'll let a song handle the rest:

Van Halen by Nerf Herder (download)

I bought Van Halen I
It was the best damn record I ever owned
TG&Y 1978
Two hand tapping guitar technique really got me off
Eruption yeah, ain't talkin' 'bout love, I'm on fire

Tomorrow may come
Tomorrow may never come again
Can't you hear Jamie cryin?
She's runnin' with the devil

I bought Women and Children First
Fair Warning and Van Halen II
Dance the night away
1984 my favorite record yeah I wore it down
Might as well jump

Tomorrow may come
Tomorrow may never come again
Can't you hear Jamie cryin?
She's runnin' with the devil

Is this what you wanted, Sammy Hagar?
Sammy Hagar, is this what you wanted, man?
Dave lost his hairline but you lost your cool buddy
Can't drive 55
I'll never buy your lousy records again
Again, again, again, never again

Comments

Hmmm, so Sammy is Peanut Butter Sandwiches, David Lee Roth is Teryaki Sauce, Van Halen is sliced skinless chicken breasts and Gary Cherone is those orange marshmallow circus peanuts that my grandmother used to give me and spoiled my dinner?

Liked Sammy with Montrose. Liked Sammy solo. Liked Sammy with Van Halen.

Liked Van Halen with DLR better, until the end. Something had to go, and that was DLR. I just can't see how the band could have continued to make music with DLR that anyone would have wanted to hear. It was time for a change, and it was way too soon for the guys to simply hang it up.

Van Hagar was an entirely different band from the original lineup, and the two should not be compared in my opinion. I saw both bands; once in 1978 and once in 1993 or 4. Both shows were great. They were very different from each other, but equally great, in my opinion.

I will always prefer the early Van Halen period. But if one were to compare the later DLR days with Van Hagar, I think Hagar would win.

Hey, who's this Qanda guy and why doesn't he rate a link?

I hated VH with Hagar and thankfully I have not heard anything with Gary Cherone so I have no opinion about him.

I was 10 in 1980 when I first heard VH, my babysitter loved VH and she introduced me to them, and I thought DLR was the bee's knees from the start. To my mind DLR was, and is, the ultimate rock singer: his lyrics were mainly about chasing or shaging women and he could strut around the stage like a peacock that very few can pull off without looking ridiculous. Hagar had no chance really, I know very few VH fans who preder Hagar over DLR, because he was brought in to replace a one of a kind performer.

Bears repeating:

To my mind DLR was, and is, the ultimate rock singer: his lyrics were mainly about chasing or shaging women and he could strut around the stage like a peacock that very few can pull off without looking ridiculous. Hagar had no chance really, I know very few VH fans who preder Hagar over DLR, because he was brought in to replace a one of a kind performer.

I love you, jwl.

I have very vivid and fond memories of Van Halen with David Lee.

After, not so much.

Sammy Hagar may very well be an excellent rocker, but the Roth years were Van Halen's golden age. Simple as that.

I whole-heartedly agree with jwl's assessment of DLR. But by the time of his departure, he was a balding parody of himself. DLR was no longer the DLR that helped to make Van Halen great.

Granted, Hagar was never the rock star DLR was in his prime. He was not an adequate replacement, nor do I think he was intended to be.

Remember, the direction of the band was changing in ways other than DLR's creative drought and the shift from genuine rock star to self-parody.

Eddie was focusing more on keyboards and composition instead of parodying his two-handed tapping technique on the staple of three-chord rock covers that brought them to the fore. The band was maturing musically, and I think they needed to at the time. The scene was crammed with EVH wannabe hair-metal bands that made me, and many musicians I know, competely sick of the tapping cliche.

In my opinion, Van Halen died not long before DLR was booted. That was a shame, and I blame DLR. However, the band the succeeded him was damned good in my opinion. I just don't consider them to be Van Halen.

I think a lot of people put the blame on DLR, and yes, he is a big egomaniac, but then again, so was Eddie. The fact that he wasn't as flamboyant a person as DLR doesn't change the fact that EVH didn't like the fact that people started to associate the group Van Halen with David Lee Roth and not the other way around.

The video age was upon us and it suited DRL perfectly. The others were completely out of their element. Is it any wonder that VH didn't put out a single video for 5150 (there was one for Dreams but it featured, I believe, The Blue Angels. The band didn't appear at all)? Why take any chances?

Sure enough, VH's best stuff was with DLR. However, I do have to give props to 5150 which was a great album. The main problem with Sammy Hagar is that he was not David Lee Roth. Seeing Hagar do 'Panama' and 'Ain't Taking Bout Love' just did not seem right. In fact, from what I understand, Hagar pretty much refused to do any DLR era songs once they had put out 0U812 (major suckage), saying they had enough of their own material. He couldn't pull it off.

As for Gary Cherone, I'll just rip a line from 'Good Morning, Vietnam':

"He sucks the sweat off a dead man's balls."

Didn't David Lee Roth become, like, a mortician or something? Or one of those guys who sings at sushi bars?

Didn't David Lee Roth become, like, a mortician or something? Or one of those guys who sings at sushi bars?

Actually I heard he was studying to be an EMT at one point. Although I may have heard that on the Onion...

Hagar's accomplishment - and it should not be underestimated - was not ruining the band. A lead vocalist is tough to replace, a star like DLR moreso. Hagar stepped in and he was adequate, and adequate was all VH needed to stay a great band.

I usually make the same arguements with my friends every couple of years or so.
However, I don't believe that DLR was yet a parody of himself with VH, that didn't come until his third solo album.
And while I liked Sammy Hagar's stuff (Two sides of Love is a great, great song) I felt he really didn't have a lot to offer VH in the of actual progression.
I mean, listen to "Poundcake", are you gonna tell me that DLR couldn't written something cleverer?
DLR did complete EMT training, from what I've read online, he's a pretty cool guy and left any rock star attitude at the door.
I hear he's doing some DJ work and may replace Howard Stern after he moves to satellite next year.

SAMMY HAGAR IS SIMPLY THE BEST
DREAMS
RIGHT NOW
WHY CANT THIS BE LOVE
HUMANS BEING
I COULD GO ON ALL NIGHT SAMMY PAVED THE WAY FOR THE TRUE VAN HALEN
PEACE XX