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  1. #1
    Hot For Teacher
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    06.04.02
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    Favorite VH Album

    MCMLXXXIV
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    Too Many To List
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I've been hanging out at this site for about 3 months, and the one issue of discussion that consistently surprises me the most is the "Dave v. Sam" issue that gets flogged to death ENDLESSLY.

    I haven't posted my thoughts about this issue before, but there's been many times that I've logged off this site with this issue lingering in the back of my mind. During those times I found myself wondering just where I stood on the issue and how I would go about articulating it to someone - especially someone that might mistake me for either a Roth-Head or a Red-Head.

    The only time this possibility surfaced was in a thread about the 'DLR Band' album. Somehow, an undertone of the "Dave v. Sammy" issue developed, with the usual suspects lining up on either side of the battle. I opted out after making my case in support of 'DLR Band' and avoided further coloring in some people's minds that I am nothing more than a rabid Roth-Head.

    So this post is my attempt to think through my personal position on this issue annd convey it rationally. Do with it what you will...

    [img]smile.gif[/img]

    I became a Van Halen fan in 1984, at the age of 13. At that time, Roth was still in the band & was just about ready to make his unfortunate exit. As a new fan I quickly became familiar with Van Halen's biggest tunes via the radio and because Roth had been the only singer on the entire catalog, I came to accept that that lineup was definitive of what Van Halen was. What attracted me most to Van Halen as a 13 year old kid was the power, energy, and attitude that the guitar, vocals, drums and bass (yes, in that order [img]smile.gif[/img] ) conveyed so effectively to an unpopular kid in 8th grade. Van Halen - along with the long-departed Led Zeppelin & retooled AC/DC - were the 3 bands that most effectively pushed my emotional buttons. All three of these bands had entire catalogs of music that made me (and a lot of other people both older and younger than me) want to get up and shout & pump your fist & play air guitar & let the world know that rock and roll was what was worth living for.

    At the same time that I became a [Roth-era] Van Halen fan, I also became a big fan of Sammy Hagar. The first two rock albums I ever bought were 'Eliminator' and 'VOA', and I beat 'VOA' to a pulp. I quickly latched onto virtually all of Sammy's solo catalog, as well as the first Montrose record. A lot of people (not necessarily friends) that I knew in junior high and high school that also listened to rock didn't like Sammy because of the "cheese factor". A lot of rock books that I read, particularly those that were written by - or had contributions from -critics also panned Sammy heavily; the term "second-rate" was regularly applied to Sammy as a vocalist, guitar player & songwriter. I always dismissed these opinions about Sammy, primarily because I always perceived Sammy for what he was, and still is: a guy that loves rock and roll and partying. Sure the guy's not Pete Townsend or Bruce Springsteen, but HE NEVER TRIED TO BE THOSE GUYS, EITHER. So I've always held the same opinion about the critics and non-fans rearding Sammy Hagar, the musician: "F*ck 'em" [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Getting back to the mid-1980s: I didn't think much of the DLR EP that surfaced in 1985 (the only song I really dug was "Just A Gigolo"), and I assumed that all was still perfectly fine in the proverbial VH camp. Well, when 1986 rolled around and there were rumblings about Van Halen having dumped Roth and signed up Sammy, I didn't really pay attention. Until March of that year, when I heard "Why Can't This Be Love?" for the first time.

    My initial gut reaction was severely conflicted. I was extremely happy that a new Van Halen album was coming out, but I was suppressing a very sinking feeling that this was not going to be "Van Halen". I was also disappointed that Sammy wouldn't be releasing any more solo records. I went out and got '5150', and all summer I got into just about everything on it except "Why Can't This Be Love?", which I had already grown tired of and recognized for the corporate Warner album trailer it was . Yes, I even got into "Love Walks In" & "Inside", and my favorite tunes were "Good Enough" & "Get Up".

    But I couldn't escape the feeling that something was missing, and at the time I latched onto the obvious: David Lee Roth. When 'Eat 'Em & Smile' was released in mid-summer '86, I loved it. I wasn't overboard about Vai's guitar tone, but the songs were great and it felt more like Van Halen than '5150'. After the luster of the initial bombardment of both records wore off, I found myself increasingly wondering "When's Roth going back to VH?" In 1987 this sentiment was solidified when Sammy's last solo Geffen record was released during the summer and Eddie was all over it, including the Eddie & Sammy appearance on Letterman.

    After 'OU812', 'Skyscraper' and the Monsters Of Rock Tour, I knew Dave wasn't coming back for the foreseeable future, and I finally resolved to accept the "new" Van Halen. 'OU812' ended up being my favorite Van Hagar release, but I still couldn't get over what was missing and for me, 'OU812' isn't as good as any of the Roth-era VH albums except MAYBE 'Diver Down' or 'Women & Children First'. It's definitely a long, long ways beneath the other 4 Roth-era VH albums.

    Over the ensuing years I've owned & enjoyed all 4 Van Hagar releases to varying degrees, and I've never felt that Sammy was a detriment to the band. So unless I'm missing something somewhere, logic dictates the following: 1) Dave was a massive ego that the brothers got tired of dealing with, so Eddie & Alex dumped him, 2) to continue on as Van Halen, they needed another singer, and Sammy showed he could do the job AND could fit personality-wise, 3) the brothers (Eddie in particular) wanted to write "more serious" music and thus, the break with Roth enabled them to have greater influence over the subject matter of lyrics and arrangements in the material, and since Sammy was lucky to just be in the band, he conformed to Eddie's desires in this regard, 4) the brothers wanted to fundamentally change the "sound" of the band by changing producers. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Sammy doesn't figure as the catalyst in ANY of these realities.

    So in hindsight, the 2 real reasons I don't like Van Hagar as much as I like Van Halen are (in this order): no fiery influence in the writing and the playing that David Lee Roth undoubtedly inspires (foments) in the brothers, and no Ted Templeman. The former is affirmed for me in the 'Best Of' '96 Roth tracks: the inspired playing (from Eddie in particular) resurfaces in these tracks as though Van Hagar never happened. When I first heard them I genuinely thought they were instrumental outtakes from either the 'Diver Down' or 'MCMLXXXIV' sessions, with Roth's declining voice added in '96. I'm positive the INSTRUMENTALS in those tracks would've sounded WAY WAY different had Hagar been the vocalist. The mere thought of Roth brings out a different and BETTER type of playing & writing in this band, period. It's too obvious to ignore.

    But this does NOT make me a Roth-Head. I really dig both singers as solo artists as well as the material that both singers were a part of in Van Halen. I just happen to dig Roth-era Van Halen more than Sammy-era Van Halen, and the above manifesto hopefully puts into words why this is the case. There's really no question that Van Halen had more fire and inspired chops in the 6 Roth-era albums, and I humbly disagree with anyone here that would assert otherwise.

    Now, if anyone ever calls me a Roth-Head, I will simply bump this and go Ted Kaczynski on their ass!!!

    [img]graemlins/bounce.gif[/img]

    Just Kidding...

    Have a great Labor Day weekend all.

    The Real Deal
    <a href="http://www.the-real-deal.com/index.htm" target="_blank">The Real Deal</a> does old VH better than any other band in the SF Bay Area. Hearing is believing...

  2. #2
    Little Dreamer
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    PHOENIX, AZ
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    Favorite VH Album

    Balance
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    7th Seal / Amsterdam
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Dude, no offense-but you got waaaaaaaay too much time on your hands!
    "Dude, that smells...Did you check your drawers?" -EVH<br /><br />witch-hunt.com

  3. #3
    Hot For Teacher
    Join Date
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    Favorite VH Album

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    Too Many To List
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    [img]graemlins/scared.gif[/img]



    Actually, I'm headed to rehearsal. I just had a "little" time to kill, and I figured no better time than the present. I've got a busy weekend...

    The Real Deal
    <a href="http://www.the-real-deal.com/index.htm" target="_blank">The Real Deal</a> does old VH better than any other band in the SF Bay Area. Hearing is believing...

  4. #4
    Eruption Red-Diamond's Avatar
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    04.06.02
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    L.A. (Cabo in my mind)
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    Favorite VH Album

    1984, Balance, Van Halen, 5150
    Favorite VH Song

    Mike on SGMAD, Baluchetherium
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    02.12.07 @ 03:44 PM
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    Good post, . . . I respect your opinions, It's kewl u did that without bashing Dave or Sam
    The only thing that bugs me is when peope say van HAGAR, i don't know it just REALLY annoys me, . . . but hey thats just me
    [img]graemlins/bounce.gif[/img]
    How to make a “Mad Anthony”

    2 oz Cabo Wabo® Tequila
    1 oz Spicy V8
    Juice from a fresh Lime
    A generous dollop of Mad Anthony’s Hot Sauce
    Combine in a shaker full of ice and shake it up
    Pour into shot glass garnished with
    a dab of salt
    a small slice of lime
    a slice of Serrano or Jalapeno chili pepper

  5. #5
    Romeo Delight
    Join Date
    06.11.02
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    Long Island
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    Favorite VH Album

    Women and Children First
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    Romeo Delight
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    real
    deal, go see Dave n Sammy live,then tell me Daves voice isnt totally shot or Sammy back would be ho-hum. Me Wise Magic an Cant get this stuff no more lyrics were written by a guy who writes lyrics for Bon Jovi. Dave said that he was a cancer for VH, but still "sang" the lyrics. Congrats to the voice tech for makin sound like Dave actually sang the song during the music
    The problem with self-improvement is knowing when to quit...DLR

  6. #6
    Little Dreamer
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    04.30.02
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    Dumont, NJ
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    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
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    5150
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Originally posted by Red-Diamond:
    Good post, . . . I respect your opinions, It's kewl u did that without bashing Dave or Sam
    The only thing that bugs me is when peope say van HAGAR, i don't know it just REALLY annoys me, . . . but hey thats just me
    [img]graemlins/bounce.gif[/img]
    Eh.. Sammy has even called is Van Hagar, he don't give a crap [img]smile.gif[/img] . To me though it's all VAN HALEN.
    "What is Understood doesnt need to be discussed"

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    03.03.15 @ 08:31 PM
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    Donor

    That was a pretty cool post. What did you think of Humans Being?

  8. #8
    Hot For Teacher
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    Favorite VH Album

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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    MikeL,

    Thanx. Contrary to appearances, I enjoyed our rational disagreements in the 'DLR Band' thread, and I respect that a lot of people don't get past the inescapeable decline in the quality of Dave's voice. One thing I didn't mention in the other thread was that I didn't think very highly of either 'A Little Ain't Enough' or 'Your Filthy Little Mouth', but not liking those two albums should underscore the fact that I think the writing was mediocre for them. On the other hand, 'DLR Band' sounded like a complete departure from Dave's last two by-the-numbers releases on Warner.

    The only tangible thing that solidifies my opinion of Dave's mediocre output in the early 90s was his poolside show that I attended at the Rio in Vegas in July '94. I had VIP seats (stage-left) and recall very vividly watching Dave slouch his way through the obligatory 'ALAE' material that no one knew or cared about. In fact, right in the middle of the last 'ALAE' song Dave yanked out his in-ear monitor and said to the crowd something in the vein of "...I don't want to hear that f*cking song either...let's do something you KNOW!!!", and then he ripped into "Ain't Talkin'..." Unfortunately, I think the poor reception to his latter-day Warner material soured him on ever playing his solo stuff - which is a shame , because I'd go to see Dave for the 'DLR Band' material alone.

    As for "Humans Being", I love that tune and think it's one of the 5 best tunes the band did with Hagar. But if you're asking whether I think that tune sounds like the two post-script Dave tunes on 'Best Of', the answer's no. Not by a longshot. I pretty much like "Me Wise Magic" & "Humans Being" equally, but they don't sound remotely similar...to me, anyways.

    Again, the key is that I think Eddie plays guitar more passionately with Dave in the mix, and in my book there's always more pro than con in the resulting output when that's the case.

    [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]

    The Real Deal
    <a href="http://www.the-real-deal.com/index.htm" target="_blank">The Real Deal</a> does old VH better than any other band in the SF Bay Area. Hearing is believing...

  9. #9
    Romeo Delight
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    correct me please but I thought dave wrote cgtsnm or had a hand in itas well as mwm.

    I cant see dave singing someone elses lyrics unless its a cover.

    also on dave ever getting back with VH, they blew that back in 96' - that was the time to do it and I think the inspiration was there on both parts but now age, time and timing is wrong and 96' was the time to do it with the release of BOV1 and they were at the right age to still do something great again as proven on BOV1.

    its just been way to long and these guys have to big of egos now and are way more angry as people. its really too bad!

    HOF will be cool I think .....something to look forward to.

    I love ya dave but your done, save face while thgere might ba a chance. quit the on stage over done antics you do..... become a little more humble and show the boys you have what it takes to say farewell on one last album and tour.

    dave is the best songwriter ever in my opinion!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

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