Ex-Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar gave his opinion on original Van Halen singer David Lee Roth in an interview with Paulo Baron. Hagar recalled when he toured with Lee Roth and said he doesn’t quite understand the singer.
Sammy Hagar gives his opinion on David Lee Roth:
“He’s a real character, a showman. He’s all show. I enjoy him. But 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 – I don’t think he cares.
“The difference between him and I is that 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 that 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 – to bring that to people and change their life – if I can.
“I don’t think he cares about anything like that. And that’s the difference between our presence. He’s very much into himself, very much into being a showman, and doesn’t really care. I don’t know what he cares about, I really don’t. But 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 shit.”
What do you think when you see the way David presents himself to the public?
“Well, the first thing I’d say is I look at him and I think, ‘Wow. He’s a strange person, a strange character…’ He’s not what he’s saying he is – he’s pretending. So he’s totally bullshit. 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.
“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. When we did tour [the 2002 co-headlining tour ‘Song for Song, The Undisputed Heavyweight Champs of Rock and Roll!’], 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 and 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.
Sammy Hagar continued, saying:
“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…
“I used to not wanna cause trouble. First, in the old days, before I was in Van Halen, I ripped him through the fucking coals when I did the press – before I ever was in that band. And then when I joined the band, I tried to be nice.
“Then when I left the band, I tried to be nice about him. And then we did our tour together, and then I fucking said, ‘Fuck this guy. He’s an asshole. You can’t get along with him. He’s no fun. He’s full of shit.’
“And then now, after Eddie’s death, I feel, once again, he’s part of the Van Halen legacy and he’s important. So I wouldn’t wanna ruin anything to do with what he brought to that legacy. I want Van Halen to go down as one of the greatest rock bands of all time – but not just mine but Dave’s era. I want Eddie to be the legend and get the respect that he deserves, and the only way to preserve that is by being kind about the past,” Sammy Hagar said.