Sammy Hagar believes that VAN HALEN tried to “bury” the four albums he recorded with the group, after original singer David Lee Roth returned to the band.
Sammy Hagar joined VAN HALEN after Roth quit in 1985, and fronted the iconic band for four studio albums, 1986’s ‘5150’, 1988’s ‘OU812’, 1991’s ‘For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge’ and 1995’s ‘Balance’. Sammy believes that those four releases were pushed into the background when Dave returned to the foursome’s frontman position.
“It seems like since Van Halen did the Roth reunion that they tried to really bury the Van Hagar era,” Hagar tells Ultimate Classic Rock. “They wouldn’t remaster it, they wouldn’t allow it to be in movies. They wouldn’t allow it to be licensed for video games and commercials. They pushed everything from the Roth era, because they were doing that reunion. Understood.”
Sammy says he believes those albums contain “such great material”, pointing out that they were “All Number One albums. You know, 50 million records.”
Hagar went on to say that songs from the ‘Van Hagar’ era go down very well with audiences when played during gigs by his band THE CIRCLE.
“Every time we play that stuff, the audience goes crazy,” he notes. “We added Good Enough to the show, we added Human Being from Twister. We’ve added some really deep tracks recently and, man, it doesn’t matter which song you play – it ain’t just the hits. They’re not just Why Can’t This Be Love. You play Humans Being and the place goes fuckin’ nuts. They know every word. So we’re going, ‘Man, this stuff is golden.’ It’s never gonna die, and we’re not gonna let it.”
Although Hagar and Eddie Van Halen apparently patched up their differences before the guitarist’s death last year, it seems Sammy still doesn’t seem to have much love for David Lee Roth.
“I didn’t like [David Lee] Roth’s antics,” Hagar told EVH biographer Paul Brannigan. “I didn’t see how any guys could like him, but I guess they did. It’s like Howard Stern once said, ‘If David’s biggest fans ran into him in a bar they’d kick his ass!’“