Sammy Hagar Fires Back at David Lee Roth Over Van Halen Setlist
Sammy Hagar has taken to the airwaves to respond to Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth's pointed recent criticism of the so-called Van Hagar era.
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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