Sammy Hagar has commented on his fellow ex-Van Halen singer David Lee Roth, expressing regret for calling him “an asshole,” as he doesn’t want to “ruin” the band’s legacy following the death of Eddie Van Halen. However, he also called Roth’s public persona “bullshit,” and criticised his singing voice and approach to performing.
Appearing on an episode of Inside With Paulo Baron, Hagar was asked about the difference between his and Roth’s approach to performing, to which he replied: “I enjoy him. But talk about cringing… the difference between him and me 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.
“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 [David Lee Roth] cares about anything like that.”
Hagar was also asked about Roth’s public persona, commenting that “He’s not what he’s saying he is. he’s pretending. He’s totally bullshit. Everything he does is thought up and it’s an image.”
He then went on to speculate: “I don’t think he’s happy. He’s never been married, never had a relationship, never had children… How do you live like that? I don’t know… He hasn’t aged well, his voice.”
Hagar is correct in stating that Roth has never been married. However, in 2013, Roth said in an interview that he was “in love.” Talking to the Brisbane Times, Roth said: “I live in Tokyo and hang out with a girl half my age and it’s no longer a legal issue. It was not an impulsive move to come here. We are in love and my girlfriend is Japanese.” He confirmed that he still did not want to get married, however.
Hagar also referenced his past comments on Roth in the press, saying that he initially didn’t want to “cause trouble.” “When I joined the band, I tried to be nice. And then when I left the band, I tried to be nice about [Roth],” he said. “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.’”
However, Hagar implied regret at these comments in the wake of the death of Eddie Van Halen “After Eddie’s death, I feel, once again, he’s part of the Van Halen legacy and he’s important,” he concluded. “I wouldn’t want to ruin anything to do with what he brought to the legacy… I want Eddie to be the legend and get the respect he deserves… And the only way to preserve that is by being kind about the past.”