Sammy Hagar states that he was forced out of Van Halen
Former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar recently got the call from friend and singer Adam Levine to be a mentor on the pop-leaning TV talent show The Voice. Hagar was interviewed by Yahoo Music’s Reality Rocks for the occasion before the interview turned to familiar topics including whether Hagar thinks current Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth would make a good mentor on The Voice, how Hagar ended up leaving Van Halen and the problems that Gary Cherone faced after him in Van Halen.
The following are excerpts from the interview by Yahoo Music’s Reality Rocks:
But when asked if his notorious Van Halen predecessor, David Lee Roth, would be a good Voice fit, Hagar bursts into laughter.
“Oh, no!” he scoffs. “He’s one of those guys — it would be all about him. He’s not there to help the other guy. He’s there to glorify himself. Come on. He’s too quirky for that. You’ve got to get people that make good teachers: open-hearted souls that want to help someone else, and are not interested in their own gain… and won’t ego-trip [contestants], or hold them down, or make it all about themselves.”
Of course, any conversation with Sammy Hagar eventually gets around to Van Halen and Sammy’s ” surprisingly successful years with the band. A couple of the “Van Hagar” albums, like the sextuple-platinum 5150 and quadruple-platinum OU812, actually even outsold some albums from the Roth era — but Van Halen Mach II never quite earned the same respect. “The Van Halen controversy never has helped me out,” Hagar says with a laugh. “Well, the years I was in the band and we sold 40-some million records, having #1 albums — sure, that helps. The fame, it helps you be part of the fabric of that era. But all the controversy between us after getting thrown out, or quitting, or whatever people seem to think — I was not thrown out of the band, I was forced out of the band, how about that? The point is, the controversy also puts a little black mark on me. So since then, I really haven’t cared.”
Hagar concedes, however, that he didn’t have it as bad as the above-mentioned Cherone, whose brief tenure in Van Halen was a critical and commercial disaster that forever turned the Extreme frontman into a rock ‘n’ roll punchline (and punching bag). “That was a horrible thing. It’s not Gary’s fault, because he’s a decent singer and all that,” says Hagar. “It was a very controversial time in that band. They had a manager that wasn’t really helping things out too much. That was a quirky time for them. If you think about what happened after I left the band, it really pretty just much ruined the whole band. They never made a great record since then, they never did a bunch of tours, they don’t do anything. It’s like, what the f— are you guys doing?”
You can read the rest of the interview at Yahoo Music’s Reality Rocks.