Through Van Halen was coming off its first-ever No. 1 single when Sammy Hagar joined in 1985, he said their union was as equals. Together, he says, they reached undreamt of heights.
After all, in ’83, Hagar had notched his firs-ever Top 40 hit with “Your Love is Driving Me Crazy,” from Three Lock Box. A year later, “I Can’t Drive 55″ from VOA went to No. 26.
Taking over for David Lee Roth, Hagar says in this new video, only made Van Halen stronger.
“They were doing great before me,” Hagar says, “but it took a giant leap. We had our first No. 1 album. Then we had a string of No. 1 albums. At the time, I was almost as big as them — and I might have been in some places. So, when it came together, it was like, whoop.”
Of course, there were those who argued ferociously over which was the better frontman — Dave vs. Sammy? It didn’t help that Van Hagar, as many fans dubbed the group’s second edition, actually started its initial tour before the new singer’s debut on 5150 had hit the streets.
In that moment, Hagar admits, he had a little trepidation.
“Because we hadn’t proved ourselves,” Hagar admits. “When we went out to do the first show (in Shreveport, Louisiana), the album hadn’t come out yet. They’d only heard the single. So, I was nervous walking out on stage, because we were playing all new songs. I was, like, ‘I hope this works.’ So, that got in my head a little bit. I was chewing my nails off. But we walked our on stage, and we just ripped it up. It was great.”