Nearly 20 years since they toured together, Sammy Hagar seemingly still has a major beef with his Van Halen predecessor “Diamond” David Lee Roth. Blabbermouth reported during Hagar’s appearance on the Inside With Paulo Baron Internet show, he had some cutting remarks about Roth both as a performer and a human.
Hagar said, “(He’s) a real character. He’s a showman. He’s all show. I enjoy him. But you talk about cringing. I can’t imagine how he feels when he looks at some of them old videos, the way he was dancing and moving, and the way he was singing live sometimes. I don’t know how he feels about all that, but I don’t think he cares. The difference between him and I (is) I sincerely care — I care about everything I do and I care how it affects people and I care what they think. I care that it touches them and it makes them happy. And what is important to me is enlightening and elevating people spiritually and making them happy and making them have big dreams, making them want to be better themselves. And that’s my goal with everything I do — is to bring that to people and change their life, if I can. I don’t think he cares about anything like that.”
He added: “He’s very much into himself, very much into being a showman. . . I don’t know what he cares about; I really don’t. I don’t know him. I have no idea who that guy is; I don’t think anyone does. But he entertains me. I enjoy watching him do stupid s***.”
Hagar went on to say, “He’s a strange person. He’s a strange character. He’s not what he’s saying he is; he’s pretending. He’s totally bull***. Everything he does is thought up and it’s an image. It’s nothing to do with who he is; he’s not exposing who and what he is. And I know this for a fact. I knew that the first time I saw him. I said, ‘This guy, he’s putting on an image, putting on a show.’ He goes back home and goes in his house, and he’s a whole different guy — nothing to do with that guy (you see on stage). He’s not honest about his image and his performance. That’s what I see when I see him; that’s how I feel. But I tried to be friends.”
Hagar touched upon the legendary “Sam & Dave” tour, in which the two Van Halen frontmen alternated sets each night: “When we did tour together, I thought it was gonna be so much fun. I thought, ‘If he’s anything like he claims to be, we’re gonna have a good time.’ But he wasn’t. He was the worst guy to be around. He wasn’t ever around. He hides out. You never see him. He puts on this whole big front and comes out, ‘I’m here. David Lee Roth is here,’ and then he goes and hides again. I don’t think he’s happy. He’s never been married; never had a relationship; never had children. It’s, like, man, how do you live like that? I don’t know. I’m a family man. And I love women — I love women and children. . . He hasn’t aged well — his voice. (Laughs) I don’t know. It’s hard.”
Ticket sales for the initial run of Roth and Hagar’s 2002 shows were strong enough to warrant additional dates. At the time, we asked David Lee Roth why he thought the pairing with Sammy Hagar was such a hit with fans: “What we serve up here is entertainment in a very classic form, and I don’t mean just classic rock. I mean in a vaudevillian, burlesque, gypsy, Django Reinhardt, snake oil, arm-wrestling in the Deep South (laughs), four-square gospel, Baptist-type of classic showbiz — that kind of stagecraft, okay? And between preachin’ atcha and adamantly leading the conga line, well, we kinda got the market cornered, don’t we?”
Not too long ago, Sammy Hagar gave us the backstory on the infamous 2002 joint tour: “In the beginning of the tour, Dave and I got along pretty good, ’cause we were trying to make it happen. And once it happened, and everybody got used to that, we went back to our old selves, who don’t get along, and all the stuff backstage got ugly a couple of times.”