‘Hey, it’s all about me’: Why did David Lee Roth accept a partial Van Halen reunion?

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Sammy Hagar says he has nothing against Wolfgang Van Halen. Still, he can’t understand why David Lee Roth would participate in a partial Van Halen reunion without fellow founding member Michael Anthony.

Faced with a similar proposition back in ’04, Hagar says he balked: “When they tried to do the reunion with me without Mike, I said: ‘Shit, I’m out,’ he tells Howard Stern in this clip. “I quit — instantly. I walked out the door.”

Hagar and Anthony went on to form their own band Chickenfoot after the split. When Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, only Hagar and Anthony showed. Their friendship — both musical and otherwise — has continued to grow, even as Van Halen continued on without them.

In the meantime, Roth — who’d sung lead from the band’s inception in 1974 through 1985, when Hagar took over for a decade-long run — returned, and Wolfgang was invited by his father Eddie Van Halen to take over for Anthony.

As for why Roth didn’t have a similar reaction? “I think Dave was just, like, ‘hey, it’s all about me,'” Hagar says, laughing. “It didn’t matter who was in the band.”

Anthony’s departure was marked with a petty response, as he was scrubbed from all pictures on the official Van Halen web site. It stung Anthony, he admits.

“Out of everything that went down, with Wolfie joining the band, I was cool with all of that — except for that one thing,” Anthony tells Stern. “That did kind of hurt, a little bit.” Hagar then jumps in to defend Anthony: “That is a psychosis. I don’t think that it’s even possible that someone would do that. Like the fans are going to buy that.”

Hagar adds that, like Anthony, he has no hard feelings toward Wolfgang Van Halen: “I love the guy,” he says. “Let Wolfie put together a band, and open the show, right?”

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