SAMMY HAGAR: First Nine Years With VAN HALEN ‘Were The Greatest Musical Times In My Life’

On March 15, Mistress Carrie of the Worcester/Boston, Massachusetts radio station WAAF conducted an interview with former VAN HALEN and current CHICKENFOOT frontman Sammy Hagar. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.

When asked about the friction between him and his former VAN HALEN bandmates, Sammy said, “All the smack I was talking about VAN HALEN in [my autobiography, ‘Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock’], I wasn’t dogging anybody — I just was telling everybody the things that happened within that band. And if you read the first part of it, the first nine years of VAN HALEN were the greatest musical times in my life. It’s just that it went sour — it went bad, like a bad relationship. Like a marriage, when you start going in the divorce court and everybody says, ‘Well, she said…’ ‘And he did…’ So it got into all that. But honestly, I was only dogging them in the last couple of years, because they hadn’t done anything for a hundred years. I’m going, ‘If these guys don’t take care of their fans… It’s so wrong. They need to go out and do something for the damn fans. Not with me… whatever. Eddie, go in your studio, make some music for these people. Go out and play some shows. Do something for your fans; they’ve been very loyal.’ And now that they’re doing that, hey, listen, I’m [not gonna] dog ’em again. I’m so happy they’re out doing it. For the fans — not for me, ’cause I don’t care. I was in that band for a long time; it’s part of my legacy. And I don’t want them to kill the damn goose that lay the golden egg. [Laughs]”

Interview (audio):


Although he told Rolling Stone last fall that he would be the “first guy in line” to buy “A Different Kind Of Truth”, VAN HALEN‘s new album with Roth, Hagar admitted to the Boston Phoenix that he has only heard a little bit of the record since it came out last month — but that still hasn’t stopped him from bashing it.

Hagar said, “When I heard ‘Tattoo’, that single . . . it wasn’t a song that made me run out and buy their record. And so I haven’t heard it. I haven’t downloaded it, I haven’t done anything.” He added, “I heard another one that was kinda goofy too, and then I heard, on the radio, ‘She’s The Woman’, and I thought that was kinda cool. That one sounds like what I would expect from VAN HALEN, a little closer to it. The other stuff didn’t sound like what I was expecting, that’s for sure.”

According to The Pulse Of Radio, Hagar also spoke about the current lineup of VAN HALEN ignoring all the material from his four albums with the band in its new live show. Hagar explained, “The difference between Dave and I in that band, besides all the other million things, is that he can’t sing any of the Van Hagar-era songs. Maybe he could do ‘Finish What Ya Started’, possibly — so that makes it kind of weird for [Alex and Eddie Van Halen], I think, to take 11 years out of that thing.”

During his time in the band, Hagar himself only ever agreed to perform four songs from VAN HALEN‘s first six albums with Roth. That left a lot of the group’s all-time classics out of the set for Hagar‘s own decade in the lineup.

CHICKENFOOT is launching a spring tour in May that will find the band playing in Los Angeles right around the same time as VAN HALEN. Hagar admitted that he was ticked off about the scheduling initially, saying, “It’s just gonna cause a needless competition between the fans, and I don’t like that. I want the fans to feel like they can love VAN HALEN and that they can love CHICKENFOOT totally the same.”