We’ve been excoriated by fans of Van Halen, after the band’s Sucks Series entry somehow ignored Sammy Hagar. This new list, of course, won’t help. Still, we’d like to make the argument for those times when Van Hagar was pretty good.
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The rift between Sammy Hagar and his bandmates has become the stuff of legend, up to and include their fractured induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — which saw only Hagar and Michael Anthony appear. But is it all made up?
Van Halen was in the midst of its propulsive rendition of Roy Orbison’s classic “(Oh) Pretty Woman” in Manchester, New Hampshire, when a fight broke out in the audience. David Lee Roth called the song to a screeching halt, yelling: “Knock off the fucking fighting. Fuck you!”
David Lee Roth breaks down the Van Halen sound — from early influences, to 'Biblical' solos, to those fiery endings
David Lee Roth has described Van Halen’s music as “whiskey in a paper cup,” recommending “short doses and not every night — please!” Now, he’s ready to go in depth on what makes their sound so special.
When you turn on your stereo, does it return the favor? – David Lee Roth from “The Trouble With Never”
I stand corrected – and pleasantly surprised, too. When I went into my first listen of Van Halen’s A Different Kind of Truth, I was expecting a steaming pile of mediocrity.
Van Halen was one of the smartest, funniest, toughest bands around at the turn of the 1980s. Three decades later, the greatest fear surrounding a reunion was whether they could recreate any piece of that. And they did, all of it.