Home / Van Halen or Van Hagar? It’s a Battle Royale!

Van Halen or Van Hagar? It’s a Battle Royale!

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Ok, all you Blogcritics and Blogcritic readers who are fans of Van Halen. Help me settle a dispute.

It started with this post on my blog, in which I extol the virtues of David Lee Roth over Sammy Hagar. Or maybe it started way back here.

I find myself spending large portions of my days defending DLR era Van Halen and DLR himself. I don’t know how I became the Defender of Diamond Dave, but I have and I’m dragging you all into this with me.

Now, it’s not that I hate Sammy Hager. I don’t even hate SH era Van Halen (aka Van Hagar). I just like the Dave era better. I think Dave was the heart and soul of Van Halen and what made them so much fun to watch and listen to. Ok, so Eddie’s guitar playing sort of tied the whole act together, but I really don’t think VH would have had the impact they did if not for the flamboyance, theatrics, showmanship and clown-like presence of David Lee Roth.

As for those who think the Hagar era was better than the DLR era, let’s compare and contrast.


I don’t know about you, but if I had to choose between rocking out to Dave singing Atomic Punk and Hagar crooning When It’s Love, I’m going with Dave every time.

Again, I don’t hate Sammy. I don’t blame him for anything. But he ain’t Van Halen. He’s Van Hagar. And yes, there is a difference.

State your preferences. Help me out here.

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About Michele Catalano

  • Josh

    All I will say is Aint Talkin’ Bout Love. That is it

  • flayton

    Well its a toughie…personally I prefer Hagars voice…hes the better musician (sh!t, the guy even plays an instrument sometimes…granted, Diamond Dave was too busy doin awesome backflips, but you see my point)and they released some great ‘rock anthems’ during the Hagar era…but then, DLR IS the eternal showman..and a hell of a lot more fun…so I really cant split em..lets say LIVE, DLR, for chucking on some old tunes in the car, Hagar..either way, just wish the band had’ve continued with ONE of them up front! all else has been a failure!

  • Sammy Hagar by far. If Roth fans actually listened to all the albums they are far more diverse and better than the Roth era.Van Hagar more keyboards and harder rock and better music in general

  • Brokenwing

    Hagar gives a far more mainstream pop style to the band, and personally I prefer his voice to DLR its a lot more powerful.

    DLR is the original wild rock van halen and naturally he will always be van halen.

    Personally I prefer hagar, his style just appeals to me more

  • Van Hagar Rocks

    Van Halen with Hagar aka Van Hagar, rock, unlike the poster above who probably didn’t listen to the albums but only listen to his favorite Top 40 station, which Van Hagar unlike Roth Halen, was played on all the time. Listen to the all 4 #1 albums there are way more rockn songs on them than Roth could of even attempted.

  • The Visitor

    Van Hagar became Journey with Sammy in the group. The band may have been as rockin’ as your girlfriend allowed in the apartment but they were weak

    so declares The Visitor

  • Sammy-is-da-Man!

    Sammy Hagar has it all over that no-talent clown David Lee Roth. Someone described Roth as just another balding lounge act. He hit the nail right on the head.

    Hagar brought a new dimension to the band that they sorely needed once Roth quit/kicked out. It was quite refreshing to see Sammy playing rhythm guitar alongside Eddie on stage.

    AMSTERDAM, baby!

  • VanRock

    Sammy Hagar and Van Halen will always be the best!!!

  • SaraSmilesVH

    Kelsay, that is your loose, should of listened and open your horizin, living in the past 20 some odd years ago isn’t right???

  • S. Kelsay

    I loved Van Halen when David Lee Roth was the front man. He ROCKED. Once David left I never bought one of their albums again they just weren’t the same.

  • Alan

    VH with Sammy (live) was way better IMHO. Sammy actively contributed to the songwriting…played guitar…and (as YouTube shows) could hold pitch without going flat. As far as studio albums went, their styles were different, and lyrically they went from perverse themes like “Hot For Teacher” and “Panama” to ” Wings” and “Love Comes Walking In”. I’ll take Sammy any day. True talent will always win out…just witness Sammy’s illustrious post VH career vs Dave’s dead in the water career.

  • Kid Cahill

    Sorry Sammy didn’t ruin Van Halen he gave us another 10 years of #1 album that rocked, Eddie ruined Van Halen and Sammy wished Eddie didn’t that’s all!

  • 51504vh

    Diamond David Lee Roth is the greatest frontman of all time.

    Sammy is obsessed with EVH and it’s starting to get pathetic. Sammy ruined VH with his shitty lyrics and love ballads.

    Diamonds are Forever!

  • VanHalenOne

    I’m there hasen’t been a new song from Van halen since the Best of Both Worlds Greatest Hits album with the 3 rocken songs from Sammy Hagar??? Sorry Van Halen is done.

  • Gary T.

    Van Hagar was the most recent and most like!!!

  • Alex

    Van Halen with Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony was the best and will be missed by fans and Eddie himself

  • Richard P.

    As much as I like both versions of VH – Personally, I think the Van Hagar version, musically, was far more superior. Sammy brought a lot of cred with him.

  • Sid

    VH with Sammy was better. For those who say VH rocked harder with DLR, you should know that it was Eddie, not Sammy, who took the band into the musical change that occurred post-DLR. One of the reasons they broke with DLR was that DLR didn’t believe that keyboards had any place in rock music, Eddie had to fight with him to record Jump. So don’t say Sammy softened the sound, Eddie did, and I happen to think the hagar era sound was great (as was the Roth era by the way).

  • Andy DiGelsomina

    This is alot like the Ozzy/Dio Black Sabbath debate. Ozzy and Dave weren’t great singers from a technical standpoint, but each had a really unique personality and delivery. Ronnie James Dio and Sammy Hagar each had a terrific delivery and were amazing from the technical standpoint.

    There was alot more a band could do musically with Ronnie and Sammy, as opposed to Ozzy and Dave. Yet it was the original incarnations of the bands that gave them their most unique identity.

    However, the Dio Sabbath and Van Hagar eras were at times just as good as the best of the Ozzy Sabbath and Roth Halen days. A good argument is that they were different bands with the different singers. But REALLY GOOD, different bands!

  • Cindy

    Wait, last album made for Van Halen had Sammy Hagar on it with new material that means Sammy is the last lead for Van Halen we had.
    Sammy all the way. Van Halen is washed up now not even bringing back Sammy would help them, though that wouldn’t be a bad idea!!!


    ’51-50′ was a bigger seller than any Lee Roth CD as the lead ‘show pony’ singer. Hagar toured the world with VH while Lee Roth sat around and tried to undergo a solo career that failed miserably. Hagar, after he found out while away on holiday as Alex and Eddie were struggling to keep their money, recorded a song with Lee Roth for a best of CD that they organised. The man Sammy after making Van Halen bigger than DLR could imagine continued to record killer albums starting with ‘Marching to Mars’ in 1997 and he is still rocking!

  • Halen Hagar

    I miss Van Halen with Sammy Hagar, they were fun and took my mind off of my troubles, I still listen to them and wish they went in the direction of “Human’s Being”, “Up For Breakfast”, “It’s About Time”.
    That’s the stuff I’m talking about.
    Hard Rocking, Kick Ass, Music, that can still be realated to by youths and adults today!!!

  • Chimpanzee

    Bob your right on Sammy rocked out with songs like;
    Good Enough
    Judgement Day
    Summer Nights
    The Dream Is Over
    etc. etc. etc.

  • Van Halen roced in 1978-1984
    but exploded in 1986 with Hagar at the helm.
    That is why DLR disapearred from the face of the earth after his second solo trick.
    Sammy is still rockin, and Eddie sure does miss him, plus Van Halen wouldn’t dare make a new album with hop along Dave a.k.a. Strummin’ with the Devil: The Southern Side of Van Halen, barf.

  • Bob C.

    It wasn’t Sammy that changed the band, it was Eddie. If you payed attention, synthesizers were becoming more prominent in the band during the DLR era (Jump?) Sammy could rock out just as hard as DLR, but the slow songs just got more radio time. Most of the Hagar haters probably haven’t even heard songs like Good Enough from 5150.

  • deathmetal4u812

    Looks like the Roth fans have dwindle out, or died off, even since the 2007 tour, just goes to prove we all miss Sammy with Eddie.

  • Crazy5150

    Mr X I comend you on a very exact post.
    Sammy Hagar did make Van Halen a band that was versitile and was the best Van Halen. To bad Eddie Van Halen self destructed and disbanded his perfect Van Halen band, and lost his life long friend in Michael Anthony and lost his BEST friend and great business partner in Sammy Hagar.
    And you are right about Ted Templeton, when he produce F.U.C.K. that album ROCKED !!!!
    Andy Johns helped to propell Van Halen into the Top 40 of rock and roll, but Ted made it rock.

  • Mr X

    This entire argument is crap.

    None of the songs listed on the hagar side were rock songs. What about Best of Both Worlds, Get Up, Source of Infection, Amsterdam, Poundcake, Black and Blue, Humans Being, and Learning To See among the Hagar Era. On the otherside of the bell, Roth never did ballads, or anything that wasn’t macho and sleazy. He was a one trick pony who couldn’t actually sing. The only real thing he did was propel eddie to a larger than life guitar god, selling the songs that Eddie riffed so hard on. Thats not to say their not good. It’s fantastic as a larger than life enigma that van halen was. But thats just it, it wasn’t a real band, it was n’t real people. It was this big monster that drank and f*cked.

    Hagar made the band into more of a band. There’s an everyman’s working charm that he can work hard when it’s time to rock and kick back when he doesn’t have to. His songs are multi-faceted that range from the loved to the lost. He made everyone seem like they were hard working equals, whether it was alex’s powerful steely snare, or mike’s powerful backing vocals to sing along to. Hagar was also a competent guitarist. He was a singer. He was vulnerable enough to make “can’t stop loving you” into a heartfelt sentiment, but sleazy enough to finish what he started and hit on your local waitress in a grease pit diner. I bet you roth couldn’t do that if he tried.

    Thats why Sammy is better. Now you can argue the band was more energized under roth. Certainly the energy was powerful. But That really wasn’t roth’s doing. Ted Templeton made the band’s recording sound like gasoline on a race track. Maybe he was just the lucky man with the right amount of sleaze. Face it, Sammy sings Roth, Roth can’t sing Sammy.

  • Sorry but Hagar wins here!
    More quality!Better charisma within the band!
    Eddie said once:With Dave it was work,with Sammy it’s enjoyment.

  • I always will love the older Van Halen, but it is 2009, so that means the older Van Halen is Van Hagar.
    Van Hagar all the way!!!!!!!

  • Sorry Eddie Van Halen ruined my dream of a dream Van Halen band when he cut ties with Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony after the 2004-2005 tour which Eddie Van Halen ruin with his own hands.

    Van Hagar > Van Halen

    \|/ Chickenfoot /|\


  • Van Halen was great with Dave, but with Sammy they exploded, as Eddie said in the pre-recorded video during the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame induction.
    Sammy could ride the sound of Eddie’s guitar so well, it was just awsome, Hopefully Sammy and Joe Satriani will do the same with CHICKENFOOT !

    I pick Sammy Hagar.

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  • Michele-nice article. So many comments.

    Basically, I’m a guitarist, so I’m an Edward fan first and foremost.

    But I’m also a rocker and a sentimental fool, so both versions of VH work for me. The only thing about Roth’s era is that there were no ballads (it’s not such a bad thing, isn’t it—Motley Crue did a couple, so did GNR) for me to listen to during those lonely nights driving around. Roth knew how to make Big Rock, but so did Sammy. And Sammy can sure sing a ballad as well. So for me, it’s no comparison. I love both. Even the Gary Cherone incarnation—this was the only incarnation I’ve seen live, and I was blown away. Now if only they can get Eric Martin (of Mr. Big fame) to sing for them, that would be such a lethal combination!

  • I believe I was mocking you, lck5150, and, whilst I may be an asshole, at least I still had one last time I looked, I’m certainly not pretentious.

    Talking of pretentious, El Bicho, you lack many things and here is just one of them – é.

  • touche

  • lck5150

    At least I’m not a pretentious asshole who reads blogs and puts down the very thing he’s reading about…But I do like Sam n Dave and all the Staxx records people.

  • So you’re a fan of a really lame rock group and named your sons after a soul duo?

  • lck5150

    Sammy invites you to a party and wants you to have a good time. Dave is the party.
    I love both eras, though. In fact I named my twin sons after Sam n Dave.

  • Will

    Both eras of Van Halen were great and that is why til this day this debate will never die.

    As a fan of the band for many years i can say that DLR era was the band in its youngest and most influential phase. A rawer, more energetic unit. My personal faves are Fair Warning and Women & Children First.

    However, when Sammy came in they became the greatest American hard rock act ever! All albums went to #1, they reached more mainstream appeal, and Sammy’s voice and persona were much more likable than DLR. They wond grammy’s, mtv awards, billboard awards, american music awards, etc.

    Sammy over DLR every day of the year!

  • Paul

    I enjoy both versions of Van Halen, but as a musician myself i have to say that i would more inclined to play the Hagar material…i think he brought a sense of melody that was missing to the band and his guitar playing opened up a whole new element as well live. Alex’s drum patterns were off the chart on the on the Hagar era discs as well and F.U.C.K and Balance are two of the best sounding discs sonically i’ve ever heard.I also think Sammy has a better vocal range and can pull it off live, unlike the last few times i’ve seen Dave, his voice just isn’t there for the whole night.I’ll put it this way, when i’m drunk and want feel like i’m 15 again i put on Fair Warning or 1984…when i want to push myself as a player i listen to the Hagar discs for the melodies and intricate playing.

  • an Halen Rocked with both Sammy and Dave,but Sammy is my choice.
    He was a great second guitarist with the band too!

  • aj

    i think that the DLR era was much better because when you think van halen you think flamboyance and outlandishness. not to say that hagar wasn’t great because he was but Van Halen is a band that rocks. hagar was about balads roth was about shred fests

  • 1st of all, Dave Van Halen sold more only because it has been around longer. So meaning it sold then and like my self that had gotten into Van Hagar in 1988 with my first Van Halen cd OU812 which had me and other new fans of Van Halen buy 5150 and then the previous 6 cd’s with Dave causing a doubling of record sales for the Dave Van Halen, but Van Hagar was a stronger selling band, because FUCK and Balance had the compitition of other types of bands and acts and still came up as number 1 in charts for sales and popularity, unlike the Dave Van Halen which back in the day only had a few rock bands and Disco to compete with.

  • Vinny Palsqucci

    Van Halen with all the lead singers were the bomb, but I did like the newer stuff better than the older stuff.

  • Well as a woman I like the Sammy era better!
    The Sammy era brought the band into a new direction, which the Dave version couldn’t. DLR was getting old sounding and dated and probably wouldn’t of been able to compete to the likes of RAP, GRUNGE, ALT ROCK AND POP ROCK, like the Sammy/Van Hagar version could and did, why Eddie let that great sound of Sammy riding every note on his guitar go, is a shock to me still??? Even to have them reunite in 2004 was just a heartache knowing that from 1996-2003 we could of had at least 4 other albums with some of the best rock and roll ever if Eddie could have just kept his head straight and bit his lip so Sammy could of kept them flying high!
    Oh well we still have “The Other Half” to have us feel that the Band Van Halen w/Sammy Hagar still is around, Thank God.

  • I prefer Sammy Hagar version, Dave could have never sang one Hagar version Van Halen song if he tried. Love this blog needed a place to show my feeln’s

  • Wait, Sammy was the better singer and preformer, DLR the better Clown.
    But, cut Hagar some slack, not only did he have 4 # 1 CD’s, but Sammy had some great ROCK’N Songs that had no synth in them, with Van Halen:
    Good Enough
    Summer Nights
    ** 5150 **
    Mine All Mine
    Cabo Wabo
    Sucker in a 3 Piece
    Judgement Day
    Man On A Mission
    The Dream Is Over
    Top Of The World
    The Seventh Seal
    Don’t Tell Me (What Love Can Do)
    Need I say more!

  • Diamond Dave all the way, but Eddie is the heart and soul.

  • Tommy

    It like Dave once said about Van Hagar . Its like a beautiful girl with rotten teeth. Diamond Dave all the way. Dave was the better songwriter hands down.Great lyrics full or attutude.And isnt that Rock and Roll is all about ??

  • “DLR could have…never done Dreams”

    That’s actually a good thing.

  • jomama

    I think DLR could have done Black and Blue. But he could have never done Dreams or Right Now. Sammy Hager style Van Halen was great I loved it and it Kicked A– However I just saw VH in Dallas with DLR 2008 and they are Rockin and Im a big fan of the WOLF.

  • mikemagoo

    Why do I always get the vibe that Roth fans are nothing more than jealous of the success Hagar had with the band.

    Dave more rocking? During his time in Van Halen they did mostly covers and 3 minute pop songs. Hagar was just a better singer/songwriter the band became much more progressive and diverse. They were just able to do more kinds of music with him. Dave never could have sang ‘Right Now’ or ‘Black and Blue’.

  • Scandia

    VAN HAGAR!!!!!!!!!!

  • sammyisking

    I extremely prefer sammy’s stint with van halen he put out many great songs with van halen before van halen and after van halen.

  • rocketboy

    Ithink what everyone is missing here is the idea of synergy (I.e., when certain people working together creates more energy or output than if they all did their own thing individually). Well my friends, diamond dave with VH creates synergy. It does not matter if sammy has more range and is a better guitar player. Unplug his @ss because I am ther to see Ed. They look like a group of demented gypsy rockers with dave and way totally more approachable than with the Red rocker. Also, sammy would not have agreed to an all VH set. Dave could have insisted on “yankee rose”, but no, he can hang with what is best for a VH show.

  • jerry stiensteinburger

    Eddie over all the singers anyday.
    Anybody like the song “feel your love tonight”?
    That’s what im talking about! The first two albums had that high energy fire thing going.Anyone remember how that sound was all like wow….what the f is that!? It was new and fresh and had tone….

  • Ripper

    Hagar no contest!! Roth was just a frontman, Sammy could write with Eddie, play guitar and was 1,000 times better than Dave

  • JJ

    Look, my 2 cents are as follows. Dave era was awesome, however; it was the past and that is where the original Van Halen should stay. I mean Dave was so damn cool in his era, but now he is just a sad old man that thinks it is still 1984. Do you people not make fun of the 50 + year old man with the earring and the long hair? He has the bald spot on the top of his head! Still trying to pick up 20 year olds. That is DLR! If you cannot see that, well then you are probably that guy too.

    Sammy, weather you love or hate him, he has aged very well. I mean if I saw my Father with the long hair and the Bermuda shorts, slamming tequila I would probably laugh too; However, Sammy is having fun and he knows his bread is buttered from the fans and he treats them that they are the reason for his success. He is having a blast.

    Dave still thinks he is a GOD. It is so funny that he has you people that can’t grow up see him for what he really is.

    Keep slamming Sammy, I don’t care, I have my own life and I am “living it up!”

  • Chicabogirl

    And for those of you professing DLR is “out there saving lives” … he couldn’t cut it as an EMT … or a radio host, and lastly a solo artist.

    HOWEVER, I hope for those of you who do want to see him that Eddie’s stint in rehab is a short and successful one and that the band does get back together for a last tour. However, without Mikey – the band just won’t be VH! I was at both the Chicago shows in 2004 – Wolfgang just was not in to it at all. Granted, that is a whole different thread all together!



  • Chicabogirl

    RE: MYOTHAW COMMENT DATED 9/10/05 06:00 A.M.
    “Generally, DLR is for the people in top layer class and Sammy is for the labor class.”

    Really now? and which class do you fall in to – because last time I checked, I was in management at a global corporation and I am a REDhead with out a doubt (and proud of it).

    “Without Eddie, Sammy is nothing and without Sammy Eddie can’t do anything.”

    Again, I’d like to know where you are getting your facts? Sammy has a very large following and if he were to stop touring today – he’d be set for life at any one of his mansions between No. Cali and Cabo.

    You truly need to think about a topic a little more before you sit at your keyboard and type. David WEAVE Roth is nothing but a washed up has been who can’t remember the lyrics to the songs he performed with VH; he was so bad in Chicago on the Sam and Dave tour, I walked out (along with about 30% of the audience). That man no longer commands the stage presence he had. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE – THE 80’S ARE GONE! This is the MILLENIUM!

  • Tim

    Actually DLR with VH sold more than Sammy’s VH. That being said, I prefer DLR by a lot. I like some Sammy songs (Right Now, When It’s Love, Why Can’t This BE Love, Dreams) but when you compare them to CLASSICS like Ain’t Talking About Love, Unchained, etc it’s a no contest.

  • Scott

    I saw Sammy and the boys 5 times during my high school and college days. Each time I felt so great after the shows. It was for the simple reason of the band really went out of their way to put on the best shows possible, and just when you thought that it couldn’t get any better, they took it over the top. The raw energy that they would unleash on stage was phenominal. The attitude that Sammy put forth onto the crowd was mesmerising to say the least. Van Halen will never be the the way that it was, but man.. wasn’t it great being there when it was happening?

  • MissZ

    Van Halen rocked with Diamond Dave!

    Sammy Hagar rocked with Montrose and as a solo artist.

    Van Hagar is nothing more than a generic yuppie rock band. Van Hagar may have sold more records than Van Halen, but so has Britney Spears and she sucks.

  • Ed

    Ok just one thing:
    Dave Lee Roth has a shit voice for Rock music.
    The only bad thing about Van Hagar was that there wasn’t enough material…
    Sammy I love you.
    He shouldve been there from the start!
    “5150 Time!”

  • Paul

    It’s David Lee Roth…and he’ll kick your ass

    With a flying leap kick thingy

  • Vern Halen

    Gotta have my 2 cents’ in here (again!). Last year when this thread came up, I went out and bought the first Van Halen album and came to the conclusion that other than a handful of tracks, this is the only essential Van Halen album that everyone ought to own. So my vote goes to DLR.

    But Sammy rules in Montrose!

  • Jim

    Diamond Dave kills sammy hagar. It’s Van Halen Not Van Hagar

  • Cosmo

    David Lee Roth all the way. David Lee roth and eddie Van Halen where the best. Sammy hagar ruined Van Halen

  • Jenny

    Nothing beats the DLR era. Those are the songs that when you hear them you crank up the radio and rock out. As for Van Hagar…….Sammy completely gayified Van Halen and the Hagar era is truly painful to listen to.

  • tanya kristine

    where is Eddie anyway? I’ve seen recent pix of him and it makes me just want to put my arms around him.

    anyway, i’m a girl and i reach for the DLR days buddy…dont’ be speakin’ for me!

  • Jordan

    Gary Cherone!!!

    No just joking I don’t know…
    It’s way too hard.
    As long as Eddie’s in there that’s good enough for me!

  • eddie

    why can this be love sammy coz when its love sammy we are the best band in the world xx peace sammy is the best bye far xx

  • Mitch

    Sammy`s enables Eddie to drink.He`s always pushing his tequlia on everyone no wonder the last tour bombed.And what`s up with michael anthony selling his hot sause ?? The only one who still lives on the edge is Dave Mr EMT helping others saving sick people and rocking the stage.Too bad Van Halen has become a joke and oldies act.Heck even the rock and roll hall of fame passed over them again this year.Sad to see one of the Great american Rock and Roll bands turn into a sick soap opera.Well at leats i still have the first 6 cd to remond me what once was.

  • sam


  • patch adams

    hey ok you guys listin some people like hagar some like roth some even like gary c but see at the end of the day van halen with any singer would rock the world. my fav is sammy hagar to be honest but i aint going to sit her and slag any the other guys simply because i thot roth was class gary c was ok but van halen as a hole are the best rock band of all time in my eyes dave roth with his slick moves and sarcasim sammy with his heart and soul?and i really hope eddie can get out this hole he is the best ther was and the best ther willever be in my eyes u get some van halen fans having a go at eddie but have u uys not got any problems because he is rich and famous it does not mean he can not get downeven if eddie never played again it would be cool that guy knows what he has done eddie we love u..

  • Valerie

    David Lee Roth is GOD saving lives and rocking. Sammy`s on the food network . and wolfgang like his food. and eddie now single because he`s loves his bottle

  • wolfgangs mum


  • wolfgang

    if it wasn`t for sammy hager van halen would`ve never gotten signed.oh my god sammy is van halen.if you believe that then you`re an idiot.everybody want some ?? not if sammy`s in it .i already wasted 150.00 for tickets on the last tour to watch sammy give high fives and sign autographs…hahahahahahaha DIAMOND DAVE ALL THE WAY !!!

  • braveheart




  • jay leno



  • JD

    Van Halen (w/DLR) was great, but got boring after while because DLR was too
    much of an arse..

    Van Halen (w/Sammy) was also great,
    they were/are more serious into the
    songs which make them just as good if not better..

    I like both the DLR & Sammy era’s. Growing up with the DLR era was great,
    it was fun growing up into the Sammy era
    also. But I will most likely grow older
    in the Sammy era, with a splash of DLR
    in the mix..

    And for “Michele Catalano”, I like how you make your “one-sided” comparison of
    the DLR era to the Sammy era.. Next time try to make the comparison a little
    more balanced on each side..

    Top Of The World – VH (Sammy)
    Runaround – VH (Sammy)
    Aftershock – VH (Sammy)
    Can’t Stop Lovin’ You – VH (Sammy)
    Ponudcake – (Sammy)
    It’s About Time – VH (Sammy)
    The Seveth Seal – VH (Sammy)

  • Eddie

    Roth Rules Hagar DROOLS.Roth era Van Halen has stood the test of time 20 Years later and it still kicks ass and 20 years from now it will still be kicking .Sammy era on the other hand was ok but still not the classic Van Halen and 20 years from now will still be over shadowed by Diamond Dave.Eddie and co tried to erase DLR on best of both worlds but by having sammy singing Roth tunes just proves they know Dave was THE MAN .On there recent tour the highlights for me and most of the fans around me were when they played Roth era tunes. It`s a fact that Van Halen is now dead

  • sam


  • myothaw

    As far as I understand, there’s two VH fan groups, DLR group and Sammy group.
    DLR fans like the style and popularity of DLR on the stage. The tune and lyrics are party music type. Sammy group like the inspirational lyrics and tune, aslo the high pitch and energitic vocal of Sammy. Generally, DLR is for the people in top layer class and Sammy is for the labor class. Without Eddie, Sammy is nothing and without Sammy Eddie can’t do anything. Since they 4 (Eddie, Alex, Sammy, Mike) work together, we have 4 albums of our life time. (5150, OU812, FUCK and Balance).
    Eddie want to fire Sammy because he want to rule the band with his own and he would hate Sammy’s anti-woman lyrics. He would dream the band like the combination of DLR & Sammy. So he picked the Gary for the mixture of DLR style and Sammy look alike vocal to do the VH3. The songs in VH3 has some quality, but the VH world is not accepted. I always dream the band would continue with Sammy and dream for the music like Mine All Mine and Judgement Day. I listen the Sammy Hagar music with Wabo Rita band, that’s the same old tune of Sammy Hagar before 1986. Nothing improvement. I was Sammy’s fan and I always wish I could go to Sammy’s BDay Batch in Cabo one day before Sammy die.

    hee hee, i’ve posted this msg in http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=41211 also. ;p

  • steve tyler

    SAMMY BYE A MILE HE IS THE KING sammy hagar made van halen


  • steve

    I saw them play live June 28th, 2004. they put on a good show. any van halen fan will know that the show is all about eddie, not sammy or dave…Id prefer to see dave sing…but sammy can put on quite a show.

  • Steve

    Let face it when Van Halen lost DLR they lost the one thing that made them special and that`s humor.And to hear these guys go at it over and over again makes me relise that it`s never coming back.Sammy keeps threating to re-group if eddie changes.Do we really care?? Sammy was not part of the Van Halen I Loved.tHESE GUY ARE DONE OVER FINISHED PART OF HISTORY.RIP.

  • Mike Merz

    A couple more quick facts …

    I’ve heard many say that Sammy ‘saved’ Van Halen …

    Was 1984 not successful … as far as sales, and fan support?

    Regardless of what was happening inside the band … the fans, overall, were still into what they were doing.

    DLR and Eddie were the main two reasons VH went from playing bars and nightclubs to becoming a major player … YEARS of live gigs … the VH ‘machine’ was already well established when Sammy came into the picture … and it took years of blood, sweat and tears to get it to that point … Sammy just helped keep it going.

    True … not just anyone could do that … giving Sammy credit where it’s due … but VH was the house Eddie AND Dave built … not JUST Eddie … and not Sammy, at all (he just helped maintain it).

    I don’t think Dave was perfect, either … that high pitched scream thing came along a bit too much for my taste on the earlier stuff … he cut down on it a bit toward the end (thankfully).



  • WTF

    The vibe and the verve was with Davy Lee. Hagar… I never really listened to them after that. And I wasn’t that big of a DLR fan. I just thought the band rocked harder with DLR.

  • Mike Merz

    Seems like the majority of the 80 plus responses have been pro DLR … add mine to the mix. 😉

    Look at it this way …

    If … tomorrow, Van Halen announced it was going to tour and put out a new CD with A) Sammy B) David Lee Roth … which one do you think would make a bigger impact? Make more fans happy?

    I think you ALL know the answer to that one … whether pro DLR, OR pro Sammy. 😉

    I’m been following Han Halen since Day 1 … and I got into it because it was balls to the wall, walking down the beach with a drink in my hand while checking out the ladies, roll down your car windows on the highway and turn the volume up rock and roll.

    If I wanted to hear love songs, I’d pick up an old Commodores CD … political stuff? The Clash, or U2.

    Ass kicking Rock and Roll?

    ‘Classic’ Van Halen.

    Much success,

    Mike ‘Van Halen : 1977 – 1984’ Merz

  • Curt

    Dave is king. Loved every album. I will give Sammy fans the benefit of several tremendous songs, all of 5150, much of ou812 and some from FUCK (Poundcake, Runaround, Right Now) – but overall, the DLR albums I love from the first sone til the last !

  • Jim Stantion

    It is simple. Dave rocked. I just saw him on my birthday this summer and even my wife who is not a fan of VH said she was rteal impressed. Sammy turned VH into Journey.

  • mike

    Roth hands down, everyone knows this incuding the VH brothers. They try their best to make all of the fans forget about dave (refuse to release videos, live concerts, bring dave back, release best of videos w/ only 3 roth songs, it goes on and on…)

    Dave much much much better.

    I like hagar as a solo artist and would see him assuming he didn’t try to trash dave

  • Randy

    The fact that people are still arguing about David lee Roth after 20 years of his exit from Van Halen prove how big of a shadow he cast over the band.Sammy has been in and out of the band twice and all we (the fans) care about is DLR ERA.There will still be people that will argue that sammy is a better blah blah blah but those are the same people that thought Pink Floyd was still pink floyd without Roger Waters.The real Van Halen fan knows that without Dave, Van Halen was just another band.To qoute DLR from I`m the one “We came here to entertain you you say we aggervate you don`t you know it means the same to me”.Now that`s real ROCK AND ROLL.mY VOTE IS FOR dAVE.

  • TK

    Dave era wins no contest. Sammy had (has) a great solo career, and his work with VH was great, but Dave’s work with VH changed music. Those are phenomenal records, great timeless music, instant classics.

  • Sam

    What i think is really sad is the way the van halen brothers try to change history by putting sammy singing DLR song on best of both worlds.all that does is show how inferior sammy was to dave.DIAMOND DAVE ERA IS THE REAL VAN HALEN

  • WiMac


    This is the most one-sided contest since the US entered WW II.

    When it’s Van Halen you crave, y’all want Diamond Dave!


  • therake

    Remeber the “reunion” of 1996 or so with DLR? The two songs VH did with him then “Can’t Get This Stuff No More” and “Me Wise Magic” have so much more lyrical depth than any of Sammy’s stuff. No doubt Sammy is a talent singer and seems like a nice guy. But the DLR stuff with its humor, raunch and in your face attitude stands out as real classic rock for the ages. One thing about Sammy is that he keeps moving on and working and playing and recording. Good for him. DLR put out three pretty good albums, too. But VH has done nothing without SH or DLR. Anyway, DLR days rock!

  • Chris

    As much as I like Dave, the man really can’t sing. Great entertainer, but listen to his stuff – he basically shouts his lyrics. Sammy is just an all-around better musician and vocalist. And his image was definitely a party image, so I don’t think he can be held responsible for the change in musical direction. That has always been up to Eddie. The old stuff everyone remembers as being great – “Unchained”, “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”, “Panama”, even “Jump” – aren’t great because they are Dave songs. It’s Eddie’s openings (guitar or keyboard) and solos that make those so memorable.
    Eddie wanted to use keyboards more. Dave wasn’t into that, which contributed to him leaving. Sammy didn’t soften the band – it was heading in that direction anyway. But because they had more musical variety doesn’t mean they didn’t have some good power songs – “Poundcake”, “Best of Both Worlds”, “Judgement Day”, “Humans Being” aren’t as raw as early VH, but still rock. Sammy worked better for the band because he could pull off ALL of the stuff Eddie wanted to do.

    Too bad Eddie has turned out to be such a problem child.

  • JoJo

    Let me clarify.
    What I was trying to say is Van Hagar sucks.
    But i will allow a fat chic to fondle me. Unless she is a metaphor for VH with Sammy Hagar. In that event I definitely would not allow her to rub my package because i do not enjoy Van Hagar’s music.
    Now if you’ll excuse me I have to get back to my lab at NASA.

  • NO way … Van Halen with Sammy? – the metaphorical skank who traps you in a corner at a party, thinks she’s interesting and then keeps on bumming cigarettes. She goes for the fondle – and you MOOOOOVE out of the way.

  • JoJo

    Van Halen with DLR:
    The hot slut you fuck hard in a cheap motel after snorting coke of her tight body.
    Van Halen with Sammy:
    The woman you have to go home too.

  • adolph

    DIAMOND DAVE ALL THE WAY !! The first 6 Van Halen cd`s drip and ooze everything that makes rock and roll exciting and vibrant.And as the years roll on and dave and eddie get older those 6 cd`s are frozen in time forever to be enjoyed.Now for the later van halen cd they have aged like a Journey record.Vand halen with Diamond Dave will always be the ultimate rock and roll band.

  • scotland


  • Vern Halen

    I got a vested interest in this thread….but I’ll go with Roth, for his assasination of cover songs. The first time I heard them do You’re No Good (made famous by Linda Ronstadt) on their second album, I thought it was Alice Cooper killing a chicken. And let’s not forget the classic cover from Diver Down…Happy Trails, indeed.

  • Doh – it’s just ocurred tome – Skysraper is a DLR solo song.

  • Dan

    I must comment on the thought that DLR solo stuff is better than any of the Sam Halen; every Sam Halen album went platinum multiple x’s…DLR solo albums collect dust on the music store shelf. Now with that said, the Dave era VH has outsold every band in history with exceptions to the Beatles and Led Zep.
    Just respect both era’s because they both rock !

  • JR

    I don’t know about “greatest of all time”, but he’d certainly make the top ten if he could sing.

  • He he. Mediocre minds think alike. LOL

  • Bennett

    “David Lee Roth is the greatest hard rock entertainer of all time.”

    Heh. You’re joking, right? He doesn’t even make the top 1000.

    He was a frontman and vocalist for christ’s sake. His solo career certainly showed what the man was capable of, eh?

    Oh such raw talent!

  • >>David Lee Roth is the greatest hard rock entertainer of all time

    When you say it like that – you kind of lessen the honor / title. LOL.

    Skyscraper .. there’s another awesome VH song. So that’s three.

  • Harrison

    David Lee Roth is the greatest hard rock entertainer of all time. Sammy Hagar is a rodeo clown. Crazy from the Heat, Eat ‘Em And Smile, Skyscraper, and the DLR band album are much better than any Van Hagar mess. It’s like if Led Zeppelin became Journey. Why can’t this be love, Don’t tell me what love can do, Love walks in, When it’s love, and Can’t stop loving you. Someone needs their poetic license revoked.

  • Curt5150

    The Dave era is the real Van Halen that last throughout the ages. Listen to the radio and you hear Ain’t Talkin Bout Love, Cradle, JUMP, Panama, Where Have All the Good Times Gone. Sammy was good – I like VH – I go to the concerts. I buy and listen to all of the music and love it. But, Dave is Diamond and will always be.


    Ridiculous question. Anyone who would choose Sammy over Dave has no sense of history, taste, or flair. Heck, Dave’s first solo record is better than anything VH did in the Hagar era, and that record’s pretty iffy itself. Nobody, and I mean nobody, filled out a pair of chaps like Diamond Dave. And on this, there can be no debate.

    np: Chimaira “Inside the horror”

  • Kevin Staji

    Dave era VH is superior to the Van Hagar era. VH with Dave was a Hard Rock party band. They became a Journey clone when Hagar came on board. I still listen to the 1st six DLR era cd’s quite often.


    HAGAR Is a friggin disgrace to the DLRML!!!! Hahaha!! That’s a Yahoo group called David Lee Roth Mailing List, in case you were wunderin. HI DLRML PEOPLE!!! 😛

  • Mike777

    If you were going to be deserted on a desert island and could only choose one era of VH to take with you which one would it be? I would take the original with Dave
    over the Sammy era anytime. The first four
    albums from VH rocked and were far better than any other they put out with Sammy.

  • Harry

    DLR all the way.Put on vh1 or 1984.Those records still kick and scream ROCK AND ROLL.And 20years from now they still will.Van Hagar reminds me of REO Speedwagon.

  • Jérôme

    Sorry: I meant this

    DLR IS VH!!! 😉

  • Dan

    Both generations are great and should not be compared. Dave’s stuff is great and filled with testosterone. When Sam came in, it afforded the band the opportunity to write more diverse music. There are a few who say that Sam doesn’t rock..You can’t say that Amsterdam, Sucker in a 3-piece etc. don’t rock…that is ridiculous to say. Dave displayed a softer side in I’ll Wait and Jump has that ‘pop finesse’ that all of you accuse Sam of having. Just face it everyone, their both great catalogs…Hell, the Cherone stuff is pretty darn good..Fire in the hole rocks.

  • 5150


  • Love Walks In
    Why Can’t This Be Love
    When It’s Love
    Can’t Stop Lovin’ You

    just plain icky.

  • Hagarfan29

    Sorry guys,but Sammy Hagar is the one who belongs as VH frontman.Dont get me wrong,i like DLR and the retro VH,but to me,Sammys voice coupled with Eddies talent on guitar is a natural collaboration.Seems like all the macho-wannabe crowd tends to like DLR era.Sammys sound is not freakin pop.it sounds a lot better than some so called bands we have today.



    That should sum up my opinion right there! Dave was ROCK and Sammy was POP, which do you prefer? Dave Van Halen ruled the world and changed rock and roll. Sammy may have had the #1 albums, but that is because the 80’s pop ruled when he was in the band. Put your favorite Dave songs in order and then Sammy’s and see who dominates who! Dave will always be the only real Van Halen!

  • sandy cherry

    VH with Dave = Force
    VH with Sammy = Farce

  • DLR_EngineRoom

    What do Record execs, Rock DJs, Rap/Punk/Rock artists and the majority of Van Halen fans around the world all have in common?


    In the immortal words of Dr. Evil:
    “Put that in your pipe, and smoke it!”

  • wow

    actaully thats 5 people. i think van halen iii was a great album. A for Hagar vs. Roth. Van Halen made better songs with roth as their frontman, but in terms of who is the better singer Sammy wins by far.

  • 4 people.

    i liked it too (except for that icky ballad that eddie made the mistake of ‘singing’).

    the thing about Cherone is that he didn’t seem all that dissimilar from Hagar.

  • Duane

    Cherone is a minor historical footnote to the van Halen saga. And that is not a comment on his ability as a singer and front man. Feel free to spice up my stab at the VH history.

  • Gmoney, I defer to my 12 year old son, who wrote the following haiku as a homework assignment:

    David Lee Roth rocks
    Gary Cherone doesn’t count
    Sammy Hagar whines

  • Gmoney

    Umm where’s Gary Cherone?

    Seriously there’s me and like 3 other people in the world that liked Van Halen 3. Even the band seemed to hate it.

  • Duane

    I don’t know if it’s chemistry, but it goes something like

    EVH, guitar God gets challenged by the Satrianis, Vais, and Malmsteens

    EVH wants to one-up the competetion and play keyboards

    writes “Jump,” which leads to 6 billion copies of current album and goofy MTV videos

    DLR gets pissed, while getting rich

    EVH plays on Michael Jackson song

    DLR gets pissed, releases EP, decides he’s a solo act

    EVH gets pissed

    DLR fired

    Hagar joins

    EVH decides that they will continue churning out pop/rock hits and make so much money that DLR will become envious. Also, EVH has short-lived concern that DLR will coast into superstardom as a solo act.

    DLR bombs as a solo act, but it’s too late baby. VH hits their 40s, and they don’t mind the big paychecks.

    It’s just a guess, of course.

  • SFC Ski

    The greatest mystery is how a kick ass band like Van Halen and a kick-ass rocker like Sammy Hagar could combine to be so lame, is there a chemical formula to explain it?

  • I think of DLR Van Halen and it makes me think of all the teenagers I respected as a little kid for being apparent badasses. But, by the time I was a teen, though, it was “OU812″ and I was looking to Guns N Roses.

    As for DLR, perhaps look to the wisdom of the immortal words of Rich James: …”Cocaine is a helluva drug.”

  • mykel

    For anybody who thinks that Sammy can’t rock check out one of his old bands –

    Sammy vs Dave – Different styles, different bands. Both have merit, whereas Gary C?



  • Team Lamb

    Who cares about Van Halen. They are not as talented as Mariah Carey, the number one act in music history.


  • Tim

    I can’t believe there’s still a debate over who is better. I thought I left these debates behind in high school when the change took place.

    Look, here’s the deal–it’s two totally different bands. They should have changed the name. VH with DLR was quite the party band–they ROCKED. Eddie wanted to expand musically and DLR held him back. I remember an interview with Eddie in which Dave told him that they could not do the song “Jump” because no one wanted to see Eddie’s ass sit behind keyboards–they wanted to see the guitar god. Face it, the musical portion of VH was changing and DLR was stuck in 1978. You can hear it on the albums, Van Halen was growing up and Dave stayed, as another poster stated, 18 years old.

    Now bring in Sammy. Sammy isn’t about being a rock star, he’s about being Sammy, who happens to be a rock star. He didn’t keep Eddie from being a guitar god, he let Eddie be a musician. The two of them created some great music together. If you liked DLR era VH, you probably didn’t like Sammy era VH. Two totally different bands. One was musical and tried new things, the other was about partying and playing nothing but party music. DLR vs Sammy? No, DLR vs Van Halen. Van Halen with Sammy is the REAL Van Halen. If VH had started with another singer, they would have started playing Sammy-era music a lot sooner. Read the interviews with Eddie (the primary songwriter) and you’ll find that this is his opinion. Eddie wanted to leave the band because DLR was stuck at 18 and was holding him back. He wasn’t able to express himself musically until Sammy joined and let him do what he wanted to do.

    Here’s the bottom line: Van Halen with David Lee Roth is not Van Halen with Sammy Hagar. They are two totally different bands. Van Halen died when DLR left and it became Van Halen when Sammy joined. Same name, different band. You are welcome to like one and not the other. I personally like them both for different reasons. Sammy era VH is a musician’s band that appeals to a more pop crowd. DLR era VH is a party band that appeals to a more rock crowd.

    Some people like DLR era VH, some people like Sammy era VH, some people like both, some people (insane individuals) like neither.

    End of story. Can we finally let this go?

  • RobCan

    I really like the David Lee Roth era. It’s been mentioned a lot already that the band had more personality with him and I have to agree. Sammy was probably a better band-mate, but Dave was a much better showman. Yes, he’s cocky and an ego-maniac, but he is charismatic.

  • Just to get in on this, I enjoy some of thre Hagar stuff, but to me Van Halen will always by the DLR era!

  • The Dave era was superior. Eddie’s guitar never sounded better than on the first two albums, and the songs are unbeatable heavy rock. The Sammy era songs are pop-rock and while some are pretty good, they just aren’t as balls-bustin’ as the Dave era material. Maybe this has more to do with Ed’s songwriting ability waning over the last twenty years or so, while Sammy allowed them to continue on as a bloodless corporate rock act.

  • Van Hagar was crap. When Dave left, I switched to listening to other (“alternative”) bands. It almost happened in 96 but the true Van Halen will never exist again. Do not even mention what’s his name from Van Yawn 3. Disgrace.

  • Here’s a disjointed ramble (cross-posted from Michelle’s site).

    Both versions of the band had one–count ’em–one legitimate great from start-to-finish album, and they were the first ones, “Van Halen” and “5150,” in both cases recorded when the band had something to prove.

    Afterwards, everything was very uneven. “Fair Warning” is rightly lauded for “Unchained” and “Mean Street”, but most of the rest is filler–and that, sadly, is Van Halen’s real track record: two or three great songs along with 20-30 minutes of filler (I might be moved to make an exception for “1984” on some days, but certainly not “Women and Children First,” “Diver Down,” or any of the post-“5150” Hagar albums). I’ll readily grant that the best songs from Dave are by and large better than the best songs with Hagar (although I still have a sneaking suspicion that the title track from “5150” might be the best song VH ever recorded).

    I missed seeing the original lineup. Had a chance at a ticket for the 1984 show in Birmingham, but it was on a Monday night, I was in junior high, and that was just too much hassle. “I’ll catch ’em on the next tour,” I said.

    Who knew?

    When “5150” came out, I was a record store dude (and they were still records back then, just barely). It was, by far, the best-selling album of my three-or-so years in that store. 100 copies in the first week, and that was unheard-of for a small town in south Alabama. We used to play it religiously, every night. At 8:30, “Good Enough” hit the turntable, we locked the doors at 9, and by the time “Inside” rolled off on side two, we were ready to GTFO for the night. I don’t listen to it every day (okay, or even every month) any more, but I still love that record.

    I did see Roth on his first solo tour, and that was one hell of a show. Too bad he’s still doing the same tired act 20 years later. Caught the Sam-and-Dave tour a couple of years ago. Dave wasn’t bad or anything (and frankly had better material as a whole), but Hagar blew him off the stage. It wasn’t close.

  • wolfgang van halen

    sammy paved the way for the true van halen why can this be love>dreams>right now>summer nights>humans being. sammy is a true rock star still rocking 2day. and i hope van hagar can put the past behind them and come out and tour 2006 van halen are the best ever.xx

  • Soul Reaper

    Dave all the way!

    When Dave was in the band is was all about fun. Which came through in the music. Hot For Teacher, Panama, Atomic Punk ,Runnin’ With The Devil and Jump just wouldn’t work if that poodle haired nitwit (Hagar) was singing them.

    Sammy Hagar’s supposedly ‘more mature’ lyrics doesn’t account for how much the music sucks. I can’t bear Dreams, Can’t This be Love, Is This Love, Up For Breakfast etc. etc.

    With Van Hagar I think they dabbled too much into synths and keyboards, as proven by the less memorable guitar work EVH did with Hagar. EVH’s guitar work with DLR was indeed memorable, it changed guitar playing as we know it (Eruption, Hot For Teacher, I’m The One, Panama).

    Van Halen always will be and always has been Dave.

  • brutus chhangte

    Been a Van Halen fan for years,since I was a kid in India….all i could get were pirated compilation tapes of Van Halen songs. I say both David and Sammy had their moments and contributions.Both are/were great!! Now all I want is a new Van Halen album to make me want to energize me, and make me smile, laugh, and beleive again in Rock n’ Roll!!

  • JasonR

    It’s Diamon Dave as he had the style & stage presence plus some damn fine tunes. I like Hagar as well but after the ‘Balance’ album it all went fairly average even ‘F.U.C.K.’ only had a few good tunes.

  • Ok- now what made DLR such an a-hole, no.1 bad man?

    To the fans?
    His bandmates?

  • El Bicho

    “I always thought that song should be sung by a girl.”- Roth about Sammy Hagar singing “Panama”

  • Though the band broke the cardinal rule of rock when they replaced a living lead singer – I would have to say I prefer Sammy years.

    Sure, it ain’t as rockin’… but DLR is such an asshole it is a major distraction to everything. I mean, DLR has to be the biggest narcissist in the history of rock… and he wasn’t even talented. he just sang.

    If you are going to be a collosal asshole, at least have a tiny shred of music ability (am thinking of Axl Rose).

  • Duane

    Panama provided a sad foreboding of even worse things to come. And we do not suck.

  • This debate has been worthless so far because of the sole omission of “Panama” in the post and comments.

    You all suck. Panama wins.

  • Bennett

    Agreed Temple. Saw them in Cali at the Shoreline last year, great show.

    Did so many great songs, lots of high energy stuff. When the opening keyboards from “Eminence Front” started, and then Zak Starkey fucking pounding into the drums to start the groove…. That’s it, all I ever need from a live show.

    Thank you, drive through.

  • the eagles


  • Cameron makes a good point about the humor of DLR. His interviews were a riot.

    The Who ARE !@#$% aweosme live, even these days. I saw them right after John Entwhistle died at The Gorge Ampitheater in WA and thought they’d be subdued. Nope. They seemed angry but channeled it into their music.

    I wasn’t overly predisposed to their music (had a few favorities. (I got free tickets). But I walked away amazed, energized and impressed.

  • JoJo

    The head of the beast that was Van Halen was severed when Diamond Dave left.
    Heavy Metal was the last (and only) song i can recall Hagar ever truly “rocking out” on. The rest of his music is one step away from christian rock.

  • Eric Olsen

    absolutely Michele, my feelings are very similar to yours: Van Hagar has some nice, if over produced, songs; but VAN HALEN was something monstrous and dangerous, at least for their epochal debut and 1984. There were other ascendant and triumphant other songs too, but with less consistency.

    When Eddie is fresh, he is revelatory, but much of the time he has been self-consciously “himself” and reduced accordingly.

  • Bennett

    Nah, 1984 was (is!) a classic album. Eddie’s keyboard work was a great progression for the band. I didn’t follow the whole break-up thing, but again, they would have been better off (imo) by finding a young unknown vocalist.

    Ahh the wasted potential.

  • Sammy is more talented, but David Lee fit the band better, at least before they lamed-out and integrated keyboards into their sound.

    Somewhere in a small and dank home office, Gary Cherrone is reading this thread with a tear in his eye.

  • Going from Diamond Dave to Sammy amounted to giving the band a lobotomy.

  • Rich

    Guys, did you enjoy Van Halen blowing up in 1985? That was the end of DLR. Gone Gone Gone. VH, continued and did a great job. It was a different band, but like Eddie always said. He was not a rock star, but a musician. Van Hager, was excellent, while the DLR Band was lousy. They would still be a good band if Eddie would get his act together. The guy has hit an all-time low.

  • Bennett

    Roth era 100%. Was mightily pissed when they went with Hagar instead of finding someone in the same vein as DLR and continuing to rock.

    DLR was no contributor to the band, btw. It was ALL about Eddie, Alex, and Michael Anthony. DLR’s ego was a tad large for what he actually did, great frontman mind you, but who wrote the songs?

    Would have preferred that VH followed AC/DC’s lead in finding a new vocalist.

    Sammy’s “Young Girl Blues” is one of my all timers, but it aint “Runnin With The Devil” by any stretch.

  • Terry Welch

    It sounds like VH is finally history. Sammy and Eddie put out some great songs together. I’ll take the Dave era over sammy any day of the week. No way in hell would i ever waste a dime on a stones concert. The Who were a great live show. I don’t think they get the credit for their great collection of songs. It’s a shame Dave will never be a part of VH again. All i ever hear on radio is the dave era. Those were great songs that i listen to all the time. I miss those early 80’s. There was a lot better music out there than today. The music sucks these days. VH use to rule the world!


  • DLR all the way man. No question. Van Hagar had a few good tunes, but I remember when it happened – the moment I first heard “Why Can’t This Be Love” – it sounded more like Culture Club that VH. Dave wouldn’t sing about falling in love. Hell. DLR wouldn’t know love if it left a bomb under the seat of his Caddy. DLR was all about the party. About not taking life too seriously. About having a laugh – at life and at yourself. It was his sense of humour that made VH that band it was. Sammy had a voice – but no sense of self-deprecation. No sense of irony. No sense of “this is Rock n Roll, let’s not take it too seriously now folks”.
    Here’s the test – go back and listen to DLR’s first couple of solo albums – now listen to the first couple of Van Hagar albums. Which rocks harder? Which is more fun? Which has the most memorable tracks?

    That’s what dreams are made of?
    Or This must be just like living in paradise?

  • steve tyler

    sammy hagar all the way sammy is the heart and soul of van halen.peace

  • El Bicho

    This is a no-brainer. If you pick the music, it’s Dave. If your girl picks the music, it’s Sammy.

    Here’s a great quote from Dave: “Old Van Halen, when I was in it-classic Van Halen-makes you wanna drink, dance and screw, right? And the new Van Halen encourages you to drink milk, drive a Nissan and have a relationship.”

  • Duane

    The DLR version of van Halen makes the SH version look like a bunch of wimps. Sammy may have helped the band grow up, but I think Eddie calls the shots anyway. I wouldn’t blame Sammy for the descent into wimpdom. I miss the freewheeling guitar songs of the DLR era, like Mean Streets, Drop Dead Legs, So This is Love? Fools, Take Your Whiskey Home. etc., the stuff that let Eddie show off.

  • >>Van Halen was saved by Sammy

    Yet another reason to like DLR. 🙂

    There can’t be any contest as Johno says. I like DLR-era VH. Anything else after bores me to tears.

    >>It’s about who you like more. not what everyone else thinks.

    That IS the exact right answer, but it kind of kills the conversation. 🙂

  • dave over sammy is an easy choice for me. the music just plain rocked harder.

    plus, sammy brought with him all of those ‘love’ tunes, which really werent’ so hot.

    instrumentally, a bunch of stuff changed around that time as well. eddy started playing his signature guitar a lot (which to me didn’t sound as good as his earlier equipment), alex’ drum sound also got much thinner, kinda like he was whackin’ two pop tarts together.

  • it’s about wo you like more. not what everyone else thinks.

    i like sammy over dave because he made the band more musical which wa what helped it survive as long as it did.

    i’ve listened to dave cuts recently on the Army.com and i’ll tell ya something. the man can not sing like he used to. neither can sammy as evadent by the fact that in concert the tunes are tuned down 1/2 step to a step however, david can’t hit it like he used to at all and he still forgets the lyrics.

    dave era was kick ass and fun, but you can’t keep it up like this forever, well almost can’t there are exceptions like the stones (proof that fermaldihyde (sp) works in preserving your guitar player ha ha) but for the most part if you continue in the same vain then your fan base stays there as well.

    sammy made the band grow up. dave is still stuck at 18…

    just my two cents…

  • Rob

    Van Halen was saved by Sammy. The band was over, Dave was over and they lasted another 11 years with Sam. They were great with both, but the change was needed because Roth lost it and was not a team player. He just thought he could do it without VH and what he found out was that he was a balding Lounge act.

  • Hah. I didn’t even notice that.

    (It was WordPerfect)

  • The fact that Microsoft Word thinks Hagar is bad spelling, as evidenced by your screenshot from MS Word, settles it

  • Dawn

    They both have their merits, but Diamond Dave era VH is by far the more rocking version.

  • Roth may have been an ass in public, but I agree that he was a much better front man than Hagar.

    However, it was as much the music as the singing that changed about VH after DLR left. Would Dave really have made “When It’s Love” that much more bearable? I doubt it.

  • Please, no contest!

    Diamond Dave by a mile. Part of the appeal of early VH was that everything was just so totally over the top and loose. Although the drum and bass work was (necessarily) fairly restrained, Eddie’s pyrotechnics on the first couple records wouldn’t have worked as well if they hadn’t been paired with David Lee Roth’s outsize personality.

    Don’t get me wrong. Sammy Hagar is a fine pop-metal craftsman. I’m sure he’s even a nice guy. But he’s got far to great a measure of Joe Average in his persona to fill Diamond Dave’s gigantic brass jockstrap.

    With DLR, Van Halen were an outrageous, campy, druggy and funny act whose pop instincts helped deliver all the madness intact. With SH, the pop instincts rolled over what (arguably) set the band apart from other similar acts, and sucked the fun out of their music. That’s not to say that Van Hagar haven’t had their moments, but “When It’s Love” might as well have been by a different band than “Hot For Teacher,” and the leg kicks and madness are what put David Lee Roth-era Van Halen over the top from good to all time great.

    Then again, we have also had the sad opportunity to watch the Van Hagar incarnation run out of gas slowly over the course of a decade, something that did not happen to the Roth-era band. I bet we’d be having this same exact discussion if Dave never left the band, except we’d be arguing whether the hip replacements and stay at Betty Ford slowed him down or not, and whether that affected Van Halen’s music.