Sammy Hagar Fires Back at David Lee Roth Over Van Halen Setlist
Specifically, Hagar questioned whether Roth could handle the vocals on a Hagar-sung Van Halen hit like "Right Now," while introducing a live version of the song by his new band Circle as part of the Sammy Hagar's Top Rock Countdown broadcast.
"The boys are out on tour -- happily doing well, I hope," Hagar said, "but they're not playing any Van Hagar songs. My buddy Diamond said it was something about a quality issue. I laughed. I'm cracking up. You know, sometimes the guy says the wackiest things. But there's a lot of truth in that. A quality issue -- you think about that. Think about them with Diamond, singing this next song, it would definitely be a quality issue, OK? [Chuckles.] It would definitely be a quality issue."
Roth was a co-founding member of Van Halen in the '70s, working with the group until Hagar took over between 1985-96. Roth returned briefly in 1996, while Hagar was back from 2003–05. Roth has fronted Van Halen ever since, releasing a 2012 comeback album and, more recently, a live set titled Tokyo Dome in Concert.
The latter project showcases Van Halen's current setlist with Roth, one which focuses on albums from his initial tenure between 1974-85 and on songs from the A Different Kind of Truth reunion project. Hagar has already criticized the vocal performance on Tokyo Dome in Concert.
Roth then took a shot at Hagar back stage during Van Halen's recent appearance at the Billboard Music Awards. Asked about performing Hagar-sung tracks, he said “there’s a credibility issue there. Good, bad or in the middle, you know Roth means it; the other guy doesn’t. ... And why would you bring that into the proceedings? This hamburger don’t need no helper.”
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