As he has done before, Roth styled the image in the form of a newspaper called The Daily Catastrophe and he incuded several front-page headlines that mention Hagar: “Concrete Flowers For Sam,” “Sam The Man Not Only Will Be Giving His Life For Rock And Roll, But Plans To Be Buried In His Recently Acquired Jet!” and “Red Rocker Refuses To Fly 55 In Afterlife”, the latter of which is a reference to Sammy‘s nickname and Hagar‘s hit single “I Can’t Drive 55”.
Hagar replaced Roth in VAN HALEN in 1985 and recorded four studio albums with the band — “5150”, “OU812”, “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” and “Balance” — all of which topped the U.S. chart. The highest-charting Roth-led VAN HALEN album was a No. 2, and it took until “1984” to achieve that. (2012’s “A Different Kind Of Truth” also landed at No. 2.)
Asked about his so-called “rivalry” with Roth, Hagar told Planet Rock magazine: “It wasn’t even a blip on my radar.
“I don’t respect Dave‘s artistry, but I do think he’s clever and a great showman and what he did with VAN HALEN in the early days was fantastic. VAN HALEN couldn’t have made it without him.
“God bless Dave, but he refuses to acknowledge that VAN HALEN with me was even more successful than VAN HALEN with him, and that’s very stupid of him. That’d be like me not acknowledging what he did for the band before I joined: that would be stupid, wouldn’t it?”
Hagar, Alex Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen and bassist Michael Anthony last teamed up in 2004 for a U.S. summer tour. In exchange for taking part in the tour, Anthony reportedly had to agree to take a pay cut and sign away his rights to the band name and logo.
Early last year, rumors were rampant that the classic-era lineup of VAN HALEN would reunite for the first time since 1984. It has since been revealed that a health setback involving guitarist Eddie was responsible for the tour not materializing.
The rumors originally started with Roth, who hinted to Vulture that VAN HALEN would be playing stadiums with Anthony back in the lineup.
VAN HALEN and Anthony had not been on good terms for more than a decade, with Anthony not invited to join the reunion with Roth that began in 2007. The subsequent two tours and studio album, “A Different Kind Of Truth”, featured Eddie‘s son Wolfgang on bass.
Eddie died on October 6 at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. The iconic VAN HALEN axeman died from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.