It’s no surprise that David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar have had a feud that’s been going on for decades.
Each led Van Halen for years of massive success, each brought a distinctive style to the band, and each has popular solo careers.
Adding fuel to the fire, generations of fans pledge allegiance to one of the two camps. Simply put, most Van Halen worshipers are either Roth fans or Hagar fans (sorry, Gary Cherone).
The same way your ex-wife doesn’t get along with your new girlfriend — no matter how much they have in common — Roth and Hagar were never going to be bosom pals. There is too much pride at stake.
Still, that didn’t stop them from trying to play nice. In 2002, when the two singers were no longer involved with Van Halen, Roth and Hagar embarked on the Heavyweight Champs Tour.
“Sam and I are like frat brothers who went through the same shitty hazing,” Roth said at the time. “There is a rivalry between us, so the public gets the best out of both of us. You have to think of it as two title fights with no undercard.”
What seemed like a fun and friendly rivalry soon turned ugly. The two traded barbs in the press and avoided each other backstage. Hagar is especially frustrated with Roth, who has dismissed every idea her tour mate has brought to the table. “Fuck, I said, ‘Fuck that guy. He’s an asshole. You can’t get along with him. He’s no fun. He’s full of shit,’ the Red Rocker later recalled .
This is just one chapter in the long history of incidents between Roth and Hagar. Watch the video below for a deeper dive into the classic rock feud.
Van Halen Albums Ranked
A ranking of every Van Halen album.