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    Default Sam Hagar's Unpublished Biography, Chapters 19 & 20

    Another fellow and I were discussing this material, as well as the era it comes from this morning, and I must admit this makes some quite compelling reading. A few years ago, Hagar and Guitar World writer David Huff did an interview (you can read it here: ) that was the nucleus of a biography on Sam Hagar. In the end, the project fell through, yet not before a pair of chapters highly critical of the Van Halen brothers and (at the time) manager Ray Daniels were leaked to the internet.

    Apparently during the "hack of 2004", all links and postings of this material were lost (I could be in error here, yet we all know how reliable the "Search" function is at this site ). I did manage to find the excerpts in the archives at .

    Be forewarned, this material is quite long and quite unflattering to all involved. Yet for those interested in Sam Hagar's real reasoning for departing VH, it will come as somewhat revelatory.

    Sammy Hagar book excerpts, Chapters 19&20

    Chapter Nineteen: Source of Infection

    "For some reason," acknowledged Sammy Hagar, "the changes I've
    experienced in my life have always been very big and very dramatic. I
    have shed my skin so many times over the years, I refuse to take stock of
    the work I've accomplished. You would never catch me shouting, "Hey
    world, look at me! Look where I've come from and what I have done. I'm
    worth this much money, and I have this much power." Though I have every
    right to be proud of my achievements, I'm not the least bit interested in
    bragging about them. I don't care about what I've done in the past. I'm
    only concerned with what I can do in the future. It's not that I take
    anything for granted. I believe that when you die, you are shown an
    inventory of what you've done in your life and are judged accordingly."

    Until the very end, everyone in the Van Halen organization thought Ed
    Leffler was going to pull through. When his condition suddenly took a
    turn for the worse, no words could describe the anguish and pain that
    gripped Hagar after his death. The Van Halen brothers were equally
    devastated. After the funeral, the band got together for an informal
    discussion about their future. They were all curious about one thing. In
    the past, had Leffler mentioned to anyone who he thought should succeed
    him as manager in case something happened? When the answer turned up no,
    they all looked at each other with some misgivings. During their
    manager's entire stay in the hospital, no one had mustered up the courage
    to pose the management succession question to him. Up to his last
    breath, everyone had tried to convince themselves (and Leffler) that
    everything would be all right. When the worse case scenario came to pass,
    it left the four musicians entirely clueless as to how their business
    affairs had been run. No one, including the accountants, could provide
    anyone with answers. Ed Leffler's business sense and management style
    allowed Van Halen to fully flourish. That unique level of trust between
    the band and its manager played a critical role in the development of
    Eddie and Sammy as one of the most prolific songwriting teams in rock.
    Their partnership had produced three straight, chart-topping albums.
    Outside of the Rolling Stones seven consecutive No. 1 records in the
    '70s, no other rock band outside of Led Zeppelin had come remotely close
    to matching the remarkable streak. The incredible chemistry that existed
    between guitarist and singer was as formidable a duo as any Page and
    Plant, Townshend and Daltry, or Richards and Jagger combination.
    Leffler's presence was the thread that bound everything together. When he
    died, the fabric of the band began to unravel. His losing battle with
    cancer threw the group into a tailspin the likes of which they'd never

    "Don Engel was Leffler's close friend and attorney," Hagar said. "We
    asked if Ed had ever confided in him the name of a person to manage Van
    Halen, in the event something went wrong. Don said, "No, Ed just told me
    the names of people he didn't want involved." Howard Kaufman was
    mentioned as one, and somebody else, because they handled too many
    artists. Now you would think that as much as Leffler and I talked every
    day, this kind of thing would have come up. It never did. Not once did I
    ever say, "Ed, if anything ever happened to you, what's our deal at
    Warner Bros.? Who do you talk to there? Who did you make the deal with
    at Warner/Chappell? Why did you do this? Why did you do that?" We always
    talked about the band, the direction we were taking, problems within the
    group or Van Halen's future. We often talked about my personal problems
    with Betsy, or our kids. For some strange reason, it just never crossed
    my mind to ask him any questions about our business. We wrote the music
    and completely trusted him to run our affairs. There was no reason to
    ask him any questions about a successor, because he was going to be with
    us to the end (or so we hought.)

    "I never realized how much we took him for granted, until it came time
    for us to find a replacement. We had decided to delay looking for a new
    manager until the start of the new year. No one seemed to be in any
    hurry, least of all myself. To this day, it's still hard for me to
    believe he's gone. It is true that you never appreciate how much someone
    truly means to you until they're gone. Although Ed's death was especially
    hard on me, it really had a demoralizing effect on Eddie and Alex. They
    loved the man and would have done anything for him. I honestly believe
    that Eddie stopped trusting me the day Leffler died. He had always been
    there to ease his worries and to reassure him that the projects I
    involved myself with, outside the Van Halen framework, were okay. With Ed
    gone, the balance of power he always maintained between the brothers and
    myself, started to tilt in an ugly direction."

    Soon after the funeral, a distraught Hagar decided to get away from the
    band. He and Kari flew off to Maui, where the couple rented a house, with
    plans to stay there a few months. Outside of a November 5 appearance at
    Neil Young's seventh annual Bridge School Benefit Show at the Shoreline
    Amphitheater near San Francisco, Sammy remained isolated on the tropical
    isle. Shortly after Leffler's death, his private utopia was interrupted
    by a disturbing call from Cabo San Lucas concerning the club. The Cabo
    Wabo needed another cash injection to continue operating. An outraged
    Hagar lowered the boom on the manager. He had just been down there for
    his birthday bash and raised tens of thousands of dollars for the bar.
    How could it possibly need more money with the holiday season
    approaching, and tourists starting to pour in?

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    "David Haliburton was the worst manager in the world," Sammy asserted.
    "People just hated him, because he was such an asshole. When Ed Leffler
    died, he kept hitting me up for money. I said, "David, I ain't giving you
    no more money. Close the club on Monday and Tuesday; fire half the
    employees; do whatever you have to do but cut expenses. I'm not putting
    any more money into the club." The two of us were on really bad terms.
    The last three months before Leffler died, this guy started stealing
    money and doing a lousy job keeping the bar open. The club had been going
    down for a long time. It was losing money every month, and because we
    toured so much that year, Mike and I couldn't go down and support it. My
    birthday bash was the only time we were down there in 1993."

    Hagar was planning to quietly celebrate the holidays in preparation for
    what he knew would be a busy year. In addition to making a new album,
    there was also the business of selecting a new manager for the band. The
    process was not going to be easy, and he knew it. It was going on three
    years since Van Halen put out its last record. Sammy and Eddie's
    songwriting skills would be put to the test, especially in the absence of
    Leffler's fatherly influence. Unfortunately for Hagar, he was about to
    face a year of adversity he would not soon forget. The church refers to
    the seven deadly sins of man as greed, gluttony, lust, sloth, envy, wrath
    and pride. Starting January 1, 1994, the Red Rocker would come face to
    face with these human failings, when he unexpectedly found himself in a
    battle for the soul of Van Halen.

    The new year filled Hagar with a sense of hope. After all, how could it
    possibly get any worse than the personal loss he had just suffered. That
    question would be answered sooner than he ever expected. The first
    indication that 1994 was heading in the wrong direction came when David
    Haliburton again phoned the singer's Hawaiian retreat. This time it was
    New Year's Day, and he had an announcement to make. The suitcase heir was
    quitting and had given the Cabo Wabo's keys to the employees the night
    before. Jolted by the news, and somewhat relieved, Sammy immediately
    chartered a flight to Cabo San Lucas to see what shape the club was in.
    When he walked into the bar, he was taken back by what he saw. The place
    was in utter chaos. Haliburton's total neglect of the club's business
    affairs had left it in dire financial straits.

    As he inspected the books and totalled up the damage, Hagar's shock
    turned to anger when he realized his baby needed almost $300,000 to stay
    solvent. "When Ed Leffler died," discovered Hagar, "everything at the
    Cabo Wabo went downhill. Leffler used to keep an eye on Haliburton, even
    though he stopped bringing money up from the club in June. He was either
    spending it or putting it in his pocket. On New Year's Day, the asshole
    calls me in Maui and says, "I quit. I gave the employees the keys." When
    I finally got to the bar and started checking things out, I was thinking,
    "Wow, what's going on here? Why aren't we selling any beer?" I found out
    that from June 1993 to January 1, 1994, David had not only stopped
    keeping the books, he quit paying the bills. He didn't pay the government
    their taxes on the building, or the employees, or their workman's comp.
    The club owed something like $170,000 in back taxes. None of the vendors
    had been paid, so they stopped selling us beer, food for the restaurant
    and tee shirts for the gift shop. I kept mumbling to myself, "I'm going
    to kill this guy." The place was totally wiped out. "I reported my
    findings to the band and told them how much we owed. Eddie and Al said,
    "We ain't paying it." Mikey said, "Let's do what we have to do. I don't
    want to let it go." I didn't either, so instead of letting the government
    seize the property, I talked to Marco Monroy, who had built the club. I
    told him I needed his help to save the bar, and would he be my partner.
    His family was pretty influential down there, plus they were politically
    well- connected. The governor of the state was a family friend. Marco
    intervened on my behalf, and the government had mercy on me. Instead of
    going into my pocket to pay the back taxes, they allowed the club to make
    $3,000 a month payments toward the debt. All we had to do was stay
    current with everything else. Marco arranged all this and said, "I'll
    take care of the payments; don't worry about it." I told him that would
    be great. To come in as my partner, paying off the debt would be his
    equity in the place. He even paid off the vendors off and started
    remodeling the club. We shook hands on our deal and I flew back to

    With the bar problems apparently solved, Hagar returned to Maui to enjoy
    the island paradise. His reprieve was short„lived. Toward the end of
    January, Sammy received yet another surprise phone call. This time it
    came from old friend, John Kalodner. He was calling to inform him that
    Geffen Records was set to release a Sammy Hagar greatest hits album in a
    couple of months. Kalodner wanted to know if he would participate on the
    project. "Kalodner called to let me know what Geffen was planning," he
    said a bit surprised. "John said, 'Leffler held us back for all these
    years. Now that he's gone, we're going to do it.' Before I could object,
    he says, 'Would you do a couple of new songs for it?' I asked him for how
    much, but he didn't know. So, I said, 'Well, if you guys pay me $500,000,
    then I'll do it. Otherwise, you can put a greatest hits record out, and I
    won't support it.' Now I wasn't sticking them up, but I figured if
    they'd give me that kind of money, it would be worth my time to work with
    them on it."

    Ed Leffler had negotiated a clause in Hagar's original Geffen contract
    that called for him to be paid $250,000 in the event he agreed to record
    two new songs for a greatest hits record. Sammy had a special purpose in
    mind for the additional half million dollars he was requesting -- it was
    earmarked for his divorce. The matter had been dragging through the
    courts for over 18 months, because Sammy's accountants were slow in
    getting financial information on his various holdings to Betsy's lawyers.
    Since California law clearly stated that the assets of his marriage be
    divided equally, Hagar was expecting to hand over a substantial amount of
    cash to his wife. He figured that instead of pulling the money out of
    his pocket, he'd try his hand at picking someone else's -- namely Geffen.
    Though the logic was sound at the time, the act itself was immediately
    misinterpreted by Eddie and Alex.

    "The tension between the Van Halens and myself," pointed out Hagar,
    "really started in late January. That's when they accidentally heard
    about my involvement on the greatest hits package Geffen was putting
    together. One day, while they were speaking to Don Engel on the phone,
    he mentioned in passing that he was talking to Geffen Records about
    Sammy's greatest hits record. I had not told the brothers what was going
    on, because I was waiting for Kalodner to call me back. If Geffen
    accepted my request for an additional $500,000, then I was going to give
    them the songs. If they didn't, I would not get involved. There was no
    need for me to say anything until I heard back from the record company."

    For years, Ed Leffler had kept Geffen from releasing a greatest hits
    album of Sammy's solo material. Every time the subject was brought up,
    Leffler would tell them that Van Halen had a new album coming out and to
    reconsider. Since the label was getting fifty percent of the profits
    from anything new the band recorded, they would back off. When David
    Geffen sold his company to MCA Records, keeping the company at bay was
    difficult but manageable. After the manager unexpectedly died, however,
    the floodgates were opened and there was no control switch to stop them.
    Management green-lighted the project. Since he knew all the principle
    players involved, and Van Halen had no manager when Kalodner stunned him
    with his disclosure, Sammy decided to handle the negotiations himself,
    with Don Engel's assistance.

    "Leffler always knew what to say," divulged Hagar, "whenever the subject
    of the greatest hits record came up. He always said the right things to
    keep both Geffen and Warner Bros. happy. When Capitol released "The Best
    of Sammy Hagar" in 1989, we had absolutely no control over that. When
    Eddie and Al found out what Geffen was doing, they called me in Hawaii
    and wanted to know why I was getting involved with the greatest hits
    package. I was flying into Los Angeles in a couple of days, so I told
    them I'd explain everything when I got into town. Kari and I flew in
    from Maui and checked into the Bel-Air hotel. From there, I went straight
    to Don Engel's law office. Then I placed a conference call to the
    brothers at a prearranged time. With Don listening, I explained to Eddie
    and Al that my involvement with the greatest hits package centered on my
    divorce. I told them the main thing holding it up was money. To settle
    the property issue, I was going to have to make a large cash payment to
    Betsy. The deal with Geffen was simple. If they gave me the half
    million I requested for two new songs, I would also do a two-week press
    junket in Los Angeles and New York to promote the record. That ended my
    involvement with the album. There would be no new single release and no
    videos. If Geffen didn't pay me the figure I thought was fair, I wasn't
    going to have anything to do with the record."

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    Hagar says he repeatedly emphasized to the brothers that the only reason
    he was involving himself in the greatest hits package was to settle his
    divorce with Betsy. "When I finished my explanation," he replied, "Eddie
    and Al assured me they understood, and everything I was doing was fine
    with them. Their comments should have been reassuring words to hear, but
    they weren't. I knew they were up in arms over what I was doing and
    didn't dig for one minute my involvement with Geffen, whatever the
    reasons. Frankly, I didn't care. I wasn't making any money off this
    project, and they damn well knew it. If they couldn't deal with it, that
    was their problem, not mine. From my standpoint, buying Betsy off in one
    large chunk was a good business deal."

    Kalodner called Hagar two weeks after their initial conversation and said
    the label had agreed to his terms. He flew into Los Angeles to finalize
    the agreement with Geffen, then went to Conway studio where he recorded
    "Buying My Way into Heaven" and "High Hopes" with producer Mike Clink.
    The two songs had previously been submitted to Van Halen for
    consideration, but Eddie rejected them. "You know what's amazing," he
    mused. "I presented those songs to the band two albums in a row, and they
    passed on them. When Eddie and Al found out I was using them for my
    greatest hits album, they got really pissed off. "What are you going to
    do now Sammy, go solo?" Those two were so paranoid, they were suspicious
    of anything I did outside the band. Eddie had totally closed down on me
    after Leffler's death. Without Ed around to validate exactly what I was
    doing, the brothers stopped believing me. When I gave those two songs to
    Geffen, Eddie honestly believed I was only out for myself and was trying
    to become a solo artist again. He thought I was going to pull a Roth trip
    and screw him and his brother. Again, without Leffler to verify what I
    was saying, Eddie and Al grew increasingly suspicious of me. They stopped
    trusting me after that.

    "I was ticked off by their ridiculous attitude. I had been in this band
    for almost nine years and had never done a thing to warrant any type of
    suspicion. For reasons known only to themselves, the brothers couldn't
    stand for me to do anything outside the band. However, they did whatever
    they wanted to musically, under the context that it was for Van Halen.
    If Eddie and Al wanted to do an instrumental for the record, we'd do it.
    In other words, they had a solo project within the band. I didn't play
    guitar on the albums, and I didn't write the music. My job was lyrics and
    melody. We had built Eddie's 5150 studio into a state-of-the-art
    facility. Since it was located right outside Eddie's house, and Al lived
    less than two miles away, the Van Halen brothers became studio rats.
    They were in there all the time, doing whatever they wanted. Eddie would
    write music, tell Al what to do, and they would play for hours. It's not
    that I really complained about this arrangement, but the scenario was
    strange to deal with, especially when they were griping about me doing
    outside projects. And the thing is, I never did anything outside the
    band, so what was there to bitch about?"

    The new year was barely six weeks old, and already Sammy was getting a
    bad taste of what life in Van Halen was going to be like without Ed
    Leffler. The Red Rocker longed for the soothing effect his old friend
    had on the band, especially when the brothers started turning on him.
    For the longest time, Sammy had absolutely no idea who was fueling their
    suspicions. He says the drastic behavioral changes Eddie and Alex
    exhibited toward him were quite unsettling. Tensions especially boiled
    over when it came time to select a manager for the group. Though the
    atmosphere was friendly between the parties when potential names were
    initially discussed, it turned ugly soon afterward.

    Throughout the process, Hagar sat in amazement as Eddie and Al
    continuously objected to the various people the band interviewed for the
    manager's job. For reasons known only to themselves, he says the pair
    would come up with the lamest excuses to dismiss people from the list.
    Surprisingly, the individuals they were rejecting were no lightweights in
    the music business. A number of well-regarded managers expressed an
    interest in managing Van Halen. The band met several of them in their
    offices, while others were interviewed over the phone. After weeding out
    several candidates, they invited the finalists to lay out their
    management proposals.

    "There was Doc McGee," revealed Hagar, "whom we knew from his Bon Jovi
    days. There was Neil Young's manager, Elliot Richards. We met with
    Toto's managers, who were really nice and interesting gentlemen. We
    talked with Tom Petty's manager, Tony Dimitriades, and Tim Collins from
    Aerosmith. Herbie Herbert, from Journey, was thrown into the mix, as
    were Cliff Bernstein and Peter Mensch. Paul McGinnis from U2 was
    mentioned, but we never called him. The process was going smoothly,
    until we got together to discuss the various proposals. Ed and Al had
    something negative to say about every person we had interviewed. I was
    shocked, because everyone who survived the cut was a top-line manager.
    Finally, I suggested we team up Johnny Barbis and Shep Gordon to manage
    our affairs. Johnny was a marketing whiz and Shep was a manager Leffler
    highly respected. Combining their respective talents would make them a
    dynamic team. The brothers got really excited with the idea and asked me
    to set up a meeting."

    When Hagar called Gordon and Barbis about combining their respective
    talents to manage Van Halen, the two music executives were excited over
    the idea. Sammy had known Shep for a long time, and counted him as one
    of his closest friends. Gordon had also managed Alice Cooper's affairs
    since he started in the business. Barbis had been a close friend of Ed
    Leffler's for years, and the Van Halen's knew him well. "Johnny flew in
    from New York," he announced, "and Shep caught a flight from Maui. We
    all met at Shep's L.A. offices for lunch, and the meeting went better
    than I expected. That evening, I went to dinner with Johnny and the
    brothers, and we had a great time. The next day, when we all got
    together, Alex started things off by saying, "I don't think they're going
    to work. Shep Gordon stole money from Alice Cooper. He made side deals
    with promoters, like with P.A.'s. Alice would be paying out $15,000 a
    week, but Shep would only be charging promoters $10,000, keeping the
    other five." I looked at Alex and said, "You've got to be kidding! Shep
    Gordon is one of my best friends. You're an idiot to say that. Shep and
    Alice are best friends, and he's been managing Alice's affairs for 26
    years. He never burned him. For God's sake, do you think Alice would
    still be with Shep if he had stolen from him?" I looked straight at Alex
    and asked him where he heard that. He simply replied, "Well, I just heard
    about it." At this point, I knew the brothers had been talking to
    somebody. I just wasn't quite sure who it was."

    The next day the band got together for further discussions over the
    management situation. When Hagar arrived for the meeting, another figure
    was present. It was Alex's brother-in-law Ray Danniels. The voice
    behind the whisper in Eddie and Al's ear now had a face. Apparently the
    brothers had enlisted the Canadian to be their unofficial advisor in the
    management hunt. "Ray was in the room with us discussing the different
    management proposals," the singer stated. "Immediately he tried to sell
    himself to us by stabbing every other manager we had talked to in the
    back. Instead of coming into this thing telling us what he could offer,
    he did the opposite. He says, 'Well, if you want to use so and so, that
    guy steals money from his clients. Oh, you want to use that guy, he was
    caught doing drugs. That guy there, oh, he's hated by every record
    company.' You know what I mean. He had something negative to say about
    every single person, and Ed and Al are going, 'Oh really!' I'm sitting
    there listening to this guy saying, 'Bullshit!' Then he started
    attacking Shep and Johnny, two of my very best friends. He said quote
    unquote, 'Shep stole money from Alice Cooper. He made side deals with
    promoters. Johnny Barbis will burn you guys; he's a promotion's man, and
    all he'll do is sell you guys out and sell you cheap.' When he said that
    shit, I said, 'Listen you fucking asshole. Those guys are my friends.
    Don't ever say anything bad about them in front of me again, because I'll
    punch you in the fucking face.' Outside of Ed Leffler, Shep was one of
    the most brilliant managers I knew. Johnny was just a great guy, and the
    brothers knew that. They would never do the things Ray Danniels was
    accusing them of. I was so damn mad, I went off and busted him on the
    whole thing. I said, 'You're a piece of shit for the way you've come into
    this band talking to us. I would never allow you to be my manager.' After
    that, I had to get out of there. Later I heard from Michael Anthony that
    Ray stayed up all night with Eddie and Al slamming me. He said things
    like, 'Sammy wants his guys in there so that he can make side deals. Him
    and Ed Leffler made side deals. Him and Ed Leffler stole from this band.'
    It was all total bullshit, and these guys, I'm telling you, it was
    really, really bad."

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    The subject of Danniels handling Van Halen's affairs was closed as far as
    Sammy was concerned. However, Ray was far from being out of the picture.
    From the very moment Hagar confronted him with the lies he was spreading
    about other managers, then threatening to punch him out, a dangerous
    enemy had been made.

    "Ray Danniels is a cunning snake," declared Hagar. "He's like the devil
    where he can tell you everything you want to hear. When it came to me,
    Ray couldn't pull off that shit. From that day on, the two of us never
    got along. Michael Anthony was on my side at first in vetoing Ray as
    manager. Unfortunately, he's the spineless wonder type. He has no
    say-so in the band unless Ed and Al need his vote. Then they make him do
    what they want. When Mike informed me that he was siding with Eddie and
    Al to vote Ray in, that did it for me. In our next meeting, I told
    everyone that if Ray Danniels became the new manager of Van Halen, I was
    quitting the band. Alex jumped up when I said that and wanted to fight
    me right there on the spot. We were pushing each other and would have
    gone at it, if Eddie and Mike had not split us apart."

    "In the nine years I had been in the band, this was the first time Al and
    I ever started screaming 'Fuck you, fuck you!' at each other. When
    things simmered down between us, I told Alex that if he and I were going
    to fight over Ray Danniels, Van Halen was over. If I kicked his ass, the
    band would never be the same. If he kicked my ass, the band would be
    broken for good. Finally I said, 'Al, if you really want to fight me,
    let's take it outside and really do it without Ray Danniels being an
    issue.' Eddie quickly entered the conversation and said, 'Listen Sammy,
    why don't you call David Geffen, or so-and-so, to see what they think
    about Ray.' That broke the tension, and cooled off the situation between
    Alex and me. I told Eddie I'd call around to see what I could find out."

    Hagar wasted no time in making phone calls to people around the industry
    to get information on Ray Danniels. Sammy says he was totally dismayed
    by the negative reaction he got from people who knew the manager. All
    the individuals he polled were unanimous in their opinion that Danniels
    was not a wise choice for the band.

    "He had the worst rap for a manager I had ever heard in my entire life,"
    said an astonished Hagar. "Straight up, I was told that if Van Halen
    hired Ray Danniels as their new manager, the band was finished. I got
    the very same answer from record company presidents, financial people and
    promoters. Everyone I spoke with in a position of authority, who had
    some sort of contact with him in the past, told me quote unquote, 'If you
    use Ray Danniels, this band will go down to nothing. This guy is a slime
    bag. He will stab you in the back, and he will rob those guys.' Every
    one of the people I spoke to felt the same way about Ray. Ed and Al
    still wouldn't listen to me when I reported my findings back to them."

    "I even went to Mo Austin with a list of managers' names we were
    considering. He looked at it and said, 'Ray Danniels! Who's that?' I
    explained to him that he was the manager for Rush and he said, 'Na,
    forget it!' Eddie and Al still didn't care when I told them what Mo
    said. They were like moths drawn to a flame when it came to Ray. They
    had a single-minded consciousness about him. No matter what obstacles
    were thrown in the way, nothing was going to stop them from voting their
    man in as Van Halen's new manager. He had to have made some sort of deal
    with them, because the brothers offered to give a bigger percentage of
    their earnings than they gave Leffler. Now I didn't do that, and that's
    why we never got along. I wouldn't give him what he wanted. Here's the
    thing. Michael Anthony's the key. He would never say it now, but if he
    ever gets kicked out of Van Halen, or quits, he will have one helluva
    story to tell. He knows everything, because he was at a lot of the
    meetings with Ray and the brothers that I didn't attend. When Mikey was
    on my side, he told me some unbelievable things about Ray Danniels. You
    know what? Mike is still on my side, but he can't acknowledge it, if you
    know what I mean. If he did, the brothers would kick him out of the

    After Johnny Barbis and Shep Gordon were voted down as a management team,
    Hagar's last chance to get a good manager for the band rested with Tim
    Collins, who handled Aerosmith. Sammy thought he would be a good fit for
    Van Halen, because he could help break Eddie from his drug and alcohol
    dependency ! just as he had done with Joe Perry. Hagar says that when
    the Boston native first hooked up with the Aerosmith guitarist in the
    early '80s, he was in terrible shape, worse than Eddie Van Halen ever
    thought of getting. Collins not only cleaned up Perry's act, he was
    instrumental in reuniting him with Steven Tyler. When he assumed
    management duties of the reformed band, a clean and sober Aerosmith once
    again became a powerhouse in the music business. Sammy believed the
    manager would do a good job of keeping Van Halen psychologically sound.
    Things were starting to get a little goofy in the studio, as he puts it,
    between Eddie and himself, and the band needed someone to calm things
    down. Another factor weighing heavily in Collins' favor was his strong
    relationship with MTV. Having won three video awards on their last
    album, Hagar thought it was especially important for Van Halen's new
    manager to have a strong relationship with the music video channel. Ray
    Danniels, he found out, had absolutely no pull at the network. Sammy
    thought it was vital to have MTV's support when the new album was
    released. An Aerosmith/Van Halen combination, he was convinced, would
    make both bands a powerful combination to be dealt with on a worldwide
    level. "I figured with both groups under his control," explained Sammy,
    "Tim could make phone calls and say, 'Oh, you don't like Van Halen.
    Well, you aren't going to get Aerosmith either.' Hearing that, people
    would go, 'Wait a minute; let's talk.' With both bands at his disposal,
    it would give Tim considerable clout in all aspects of the music
    business. He could definitely help us out in the European market where
    we had trouble. I really thought the brothers would understand that and
    vote him in. When I mentioned his name to Alex, he said, 'Tim Collins?
    He already manages Aerosmith. That's all he'll ever do. Aerosmith will
    be No. 1, and we will always be second.' I told Al that wouldn't be the
    case. In fact, I had already asked Tim that very question, about
    juggling both bands. Since these guys were already slamming every
    manager we talked to, I thought I'd better confront him on the issue
    before he spoke with the brothers.

    "Tim was very matter-of-fact with me on the subject. He told me that if
    we scheduled everything just right, one band would be recording their
    album, while the other one was out touring to support their new release.
    Tim was up front and to the point with me about where his true allegiance
    rested. He said, 'Sam, if there was ever a time when both Aerosmith and
    Van Halen had a single coming out at the same time, my loyalty would lie
    with Aerosmith first. I'm not stupid enough to do something like that,
    but if it did happen and I was forced to make a decision for whatever
    reason, Aerosmith would take precedence over Van Halen.' After he said
    that, I knew he was the one we needed. If I would have posed that same
    question to Ray in regards to Rush over Van Halen, he would have said,
    'Oh well, of course it would be you.' He would have said we were No. 1
    over his wife, his kids, you name it, just to manage the band. When Tim
    told me that, I was thinking, 'Wow, that's a great statement. That's what
    I want to hear.' I told Al about my conversation the next day, and he
    said, 'That is a psychological ploy. He's been messing with all these
    psychologists that are involved with Aerosmith. He knows exactly what to
    say because of them.' I looked at Alex and said, 'Well, Ray's had
    fucking Rush for 23 years. Do you think he's going to be more loyal to
    us than them?' He said, 'Oh, Rush is going to retire. They are washed
    up. Ray knows they're finished. He told me that himself.' Alex went on
    and on with all this horseshit about Rush he'd been told by Ray."

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    Hagar says he was appalled at the negative comments directed toward Rush
    by Alex Van Halen that he attributed directly to Ray Danniels. Sammy was
    even more offended at the fact that Al's brother-in-law wanted to manage
    Van Halen so badly, he was willing to sell out his other band to get the
    job. For over two decades, Danniels had stood behind Rush. From what
    Hagar was hearing, apparently that was a thing of the past. The Red
    Rocker even spoke to Ray himself about the Canadian trio and was
    astounded by the answers he received.

    "Ray even bad-mouthed Rush to me," said an incredulous Hagar. "Can you
    believe it? He was saying shit like, 'If they had a good singer, they
    could have made it on pop radio.' He was telling me that with the kind
    of music they play, Rush would never be any more than they already have
    been. I started hammering him with questions. I said, 'Ray, Rush should
    have been the Canadian Led Zeppelin. Why don't they sell records? Why
    did their last record only do 400,000 or 500,000 records?' He said to
    me, 'If they only had a singer.' He was crazy to say that, because Geddy
    Lee has one of the most unique voices in rock. Rush's big problem is
    they never had any videos which is one of the major complaints I had
    against Ray. I knew his dealing with MTV would bury us. I even called
    over there and asked them about their relationship with him. They didn't
    even know who Ray Danniels was. When I told them he was the manager of
    Rush, they said, 'Well, we never had a relationship with Rush. We've only
    had a couple of videos from them.' In other words, Ray had no clout with
    them whatsoever."

    About a week after Alex and Sammy had their conversation, Hagar received
    a phone call from Danniels. He was in management discussions with the
    band Extreme, and wanted to know his thoughts about taking the band on as
    a client. The Boston-based outfit had been under the guidance of Louis
    Levine, who also managed Michael Bolton. The group, featuring Gary
    Cherone on vocals and Nuno Bettencourt on guitar, hit the big time in
    1991 with Pornograffiti. The double platinum album featured the No. 1
    smash, "More Than Words" and the Top Ten hit, "Hole-Hearted." After that
    record, the group stumbled badly and never again recaptured its past
    glory. "Ray was kissing my ass so bad you wouldn't believe it," added
    Hagar, shaking his head. "He called me and said, 'I have been asked to
    manage Extreme. I want to know your opinion of it.' He was trying to get
    me to say okay. Instead I just said, 'I don't think you should do it.
    Extreme is a bunch of losers No. 1, and second, their career is over.
    Ray went on to tell me that he had hired a guy in New York to handle the
    situation, so it wouldn't get in the way of things. He says, 'I promise
    you some other guy will manage the band. I'll just oversee it and help
    them out politically.' Let me tell you, he got way involved with them.
    When I brought up the subject of Ray managing Extreme to Alex, he said,
    'Ah, fuck them. That doesn't matter; they're nothing. Besides, he's got
    another guy to work with them anyway.' I'm thinking to myself, 'Here we
    go again!'

    While the debate over a new manager raged on, Van Halen was in the studio
    working on the album they were dedicating to the memory of Ed Leffler.
    David Lee Roth released Your Filthy Little Mouth on March 26. It entered
    the Billboard charts at No. 78 and dropped off fourteen days later.
    While Warner Bros. was trying to squeeze some airplay for Roth anywhere
    in the country they could, the Red Rocker was busy promoting his 12-song
    greatest hits album for Geffen. He called the record Unboxed, to poke fun
    at all the artists and bands that were releasing boxed set collections at
    the time. Released on April 2, Sammy stayed true to his word and did a
    two-week press junket. He did the David Letterman Show and appeared on
    CNN's Showbiz Today. He was slotted to do the Tonight Show and perform
    "Give to Live," but the brothers forced Michael Anthony to withdraw from
    Sammy's band at the last minute, thus cancelling the performance.

    When Hagar returned to Los Angeles to resume the management debate, Sammy
    was convinced more than ever that Tim Collins was their man. Aerosmith
    was scheduled to kick off the Japanese leg of the Get a Grip tour in
    Yokohama on April 27. Collins flew out to L. A. about two weeks before
    the tour to talk with Van Halen and listen to some of the new songs. He
    answered all the brothers' questions about conflict of interest and band
    loyalties. He laid out his ideas for integrating his management style
    with both groups. The more he explained his plans regarding Van Halen,
    the further impressed Hagar became. After about a week of meetings with
    the manager, urgent business in San Francisco called Sammy away. As he
    was leaving for the airport, he told Collins they would speak shortly.
    Hagar was fairlyc confident that Ray Danniels was going to be cast aside
    in favor of the Aerosmith manager. When he returned to Los Angeles a
    couple of days later, to resume work on the album, he was stunned by what
    he saw in the studio. Eddie Van Halen's long hair was gone, and replaced
    by a crew-cut.

    "When we took a break from recording that day," the singer said, "I found
    Alex outside smoking a cigarette, and asked him what had possessed Eddie
    to cut his hair. He then told me about the late night rendezvous with
    Tim Collins. After I had left town, Eddie called Tim late one evening in
    his hotel room and told him he needed to talk to him right away. When he
    arrived at the studio around two in the morning, Alex was there and sat
    with Tim through this meeting. Eddie was in really bad shape, just fucked
    up out of his brain. Valerie had apparently kicked him out of the house,
    because she didn't want him drunk around the baby. Tim sat with Eddie
    for two or three hours that night, while Edward laid his heavy guilt trip
    on him. At one point, Eddie started crying, grabbed a pair of clippers,
    and cut all his long hair in front of Tim. He said, 'I'm so frustrated.
    I've got to stop drinking. I've got to stop doing drugs. I'm not happy,
    I want to kill myself. I can't make a record like this. My wife hates
    me.' Alex told me his brother released every insecurity he ever had on
    Tim Collins that night. "About a week after this episode occurred, I
    received a phone call from Tim in Japan. He confirmed Al's story, and
    told me he was bowing out of the management picture. He said, 'I'm sorry
    Sammy. I really love you and Van Halen, but I don't think I can handle
    both bands. I don't think it would be fair for me to attempt it.
    Besides, Steven Tyler doesn't want me to do it.' That was a polite way
    for him to really say, 'I have my hands full with Joe Perry and Steven
    Tyler. I can't take Eddie Van Halen, too!' I understood where Tim was
    coming from completely. I told him thanks for spending all that time
    with us and wished him good luck. From that point on, I resigned myself
    to the fact that Ray Danniels was going to manage Van Halen whether I
    liked it or not. But, I had meant every word I told him in our first
    meeting, when I discovered he was the one behind the rumors about Shep,
    Johnny and the other managers. He was never going to be my manager, I
    didn't trust him, and I certainly didn't like the way he conducted
    business. The animosity between us really started to heat up when I
    absolutely refused to sign any documents that would acknowledge Ray
    Danniels as my manager."

    Ray Danniels unofficially came on board as Van Halen's new overseer later
    that spring. As work on the album progressed, Hagar quietly went about
    the task of separating his publishing money from the Van Halen account it
    was previously going to. Before Ed Leffler died, all the band's
    publishing income went into Yessup Publishing. The funds would then be
    divvied up from there. Shortly after Unboxed was released, Sammy
    instructed ASCAP, the music firm that monitored and collected album and
    song royalties for Van Halen, to separate his share of the proceeds. He
    now wanted his portion sent to Nine Music, the holding company that
    received all royalties from his solo work. After completing that task,
    the singer realized he had some publishing dollars coming from
    Warner/Chappell for the greatest hits album that was now on the market.
    He asked Van Halen's lawyer, Gary Stamler, to talk to his publisher, Rick
    Shoemaker, about the situation.

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    "Gary was involved in negotiations with Rick," recounted Hagar, "because
    he was making a publishing deal with Van Halen for the new record.
    Shortly after I asked Gary to talk with Rick, I received a phone call
    from him. He wanted to know what kind of money I was looking for. I
    said, 'Rick, until the Van Halen deal is done, you and I are not going to
    talk about money. I am not going to screw them out of anything. I don't
    want this to be used as any kind of leverage. I'm a fair guy. When you
    finish the Van Halen thing, call me.' He said okay, and after he
    finished working out the deal with Gary, he phoned. I told Rick my
    publishing contract with Geffen called for a $250,000 advance on the
    greatest hits record. I wanted an additional $500,000. He thought that
    was a little steep, but like John Kalodner before him, he told me he'd
    see what he could do. About ten days later, Rick called and said my
    request had been approved. When I hung up the phone, I had a big smile
    on my face. Without help from anyone, I had negotiated an extra million
    dollars out of the greatest hits deal."

    During a break one day in the recording studio, Hagar made an offhand
    remark about the money that Warner/Chappell owed for publishing money on
    his greatest hits record. Ray Danniels overheard the comment and asked
    how much the contract guaranteed. When Sammy replied a quarter of a
    million dollars, the manager offered to intercede on his behalf to raise
    the ante. "Ray came over to me," he smiled, "and said, 'Sam, I can get
    you $350,000 if you let me go talk to them for you.' I just kind of
    looked at him and said, 'Oh really. That's odd. I already made a deal,
    and they are giving me a total of $750,000.' You should have seen the
    reaction on his face when I told him that. He was humbled, believe me.
    Ray thought he was really going to show me how great a businessman he
    was. My remark was not intended to lead him on, but he smelled money and
    jumped on the statement. He wasn't making anything with Van Halen yet,
    so he was looking to make some cash anyway he could. I didn't mean to
    hurt his feelings, well, maybe I did unconsciously. I wanted to let him
    know, that I knew, how much of a jerk he really was. After our
    conversation, Ray went to Alex Van Halen and told him I had been
    responsible for holding up Van Halen's publishing contract for the new
    record, while I negotiated a deal for my greatest hits record. The
    brothers would have freaked out if I had told them Ray offered to make
    the publishing deal for me. I never said a word about it. After he got
    involved with the band, I never told Eddie and Al anything about my
    business dealings, unless it had something to do with Van Halen."

    That particular incident, plus the mistrust Hagar's involvement with his
    greatest hits package created, played right into the manger's hand. He
    was able to use these episodes as fuel to flame suspicions that had
    already surfaced within the band. Despite his misgivings over Danniels'
    appointment, Sammy says he was completely unaware of the damage he was
    doing to undermine his credibility.

    While this silent war was being waged, south of the border, Marco Monroy
    had done a remarkable job turning around the fortunes of the Cabo Wabo.
    Though it still owed a tremendous amount of money to the government, it
    was holding its own financially. Part of the thanks went to the $300,000
    Monroy had put into the club remodeling it. The architect had also hired
    an experienced club manager to get the place back on its feet. When
    Sammy flew down and saw the changes, he couldn't believe his eyes. He
    also knew he had to gain control of the club from the band, or Monroy's
    superb rebuilding efforts would be in vain.

    "Right after Marco and I shook hands in January," replied Hagar, "he
    started pouring money in the club. He paid off the vendors, took over the
    debt to the government, bought new furniture and remodeled the entire
    club. I'm telling you, he turned the bar into a showplace. It was
    absolutely beautiful. Everyone in the band knew the situation with the
    government had been worked out thanks to Marco's intervention. I was
    totally up front about his involvement. If the band wanted to stay in
    the club, all they had to do was pay their share of the debt owed. I
    asked the brothers at least ten times if they wanted to stay involved.
    Eddie and Al would say, 'No, we want out. We want out!' Fine, then let's
    get it done."

    "We hired this guy named Tito Roberts to run the Cabo Wabo. He had
    relocated from Mexico City to take over another club in town. Marco
    talked him into running our place, and he came in and did a great job.
    Since there was no deal in place with the band to sell their interest, I
    had to warn Marco to back off from what he was doing. I said, 'Marco,
    you're spending all this money. You know what can happen. If I don't
    get this club back from the band, I'm fucked. I can't sell you a piece of
    the club, because I don't own it.' I had to make something happen as
    soon as I got back. Alex still wanted to give the bar back to the
    government so they could write off their whole investment. I said, 'If
    you're going to give it to the government, then I'll take it. I don't
    want a tax write-off.' Al goes, 'What about the debt? How are you going
    to pay for it? What if they come after us?' I told him that was my
    responsibility, and I would indemnify everyone if it happened, just get
    the lawyers together and draw up a deal."

    Alex Van Halen's prediction that Cabo San Lucas would one day become the
    Riviera of the Pacific was about to take place. Though the building boom
    hadn't reached the harbor town yet, it was close at hand. Property
    values were climbing steadily, and modern civilization was slowly
    encroaching on the area. The land the Cabo Wabo stood on was worth
    millions but, for some reason, that aspect of the bar was lost on the Van
    Halen brothers. Ray Danniels intervened on Hagar's behalf and had Gary
    Stamler and Michael Karlin draw up papers to transfer the brother's
    interest in the club to Sammy. The singer in turn, went to Ed Leffler's
    widow and offered her the same deal. She could relinquish the estate's
    right to the Cabo Wabo or pay its fair share of the debt. She signed her
    interest over. Hagar then approached Betsy. She loved the area and the
    club, and didn't want to sign away any claims to it at first. Sammy,
    however, convinced his soon-to-be ex-wife that the holdings were a money
    losing proposition she didn't need to be saddled with. Still in love and
    willing to do anything that her husband asked, she signed papers giving
    up her stake in the property.

    "Believe me," lamented the Red Rocker, "the papers I had to sign with the
    brothers to get the club was a really shit deal for me. The terms were
    unbelievable. For instance, if I ever made a penny selling it, I would
    have to repay the band the money they wrote off on their taxes. Next, if
    I ever brought the concept to the United States and tried to franchise
    it, they would get fifty percent of the profits forever. That same deal
    also extended to anything associated with the Cabo Wabo name. I had to
    sign all these documents that stated in the event anyone got sued, I paid
    all the costs. It even said in the contract that I could not let the
    club interfere with the band. If Eddie and Al voted that it was not a
    good time for me to travel to Cabo because they needed me, I couldn't go.
    God's truth that fucking clause was in there. I had to agree to all
    these conditions, otherwise there was no deal."

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    Hagar had no bargaining power, and he knew it. Apparently, neither did
    Michael Anthony. The brothers made him divest his interest in the club as
    well. If he didn't, Sammy says, they would have kicked him out of Van

    "When it came right down to it," he said assuredly, "they didn't want
    Mike to have anything to do with the Cabo Wabo. They especially didn't
    want him and me to own the club. The bottom line to the whole deal was
    this. I gave the brothers what they wanted, which was control over me.
    Eddie and Al knew that I'd do anything to keep my wonderful, great idea.
    They wanted to rub my face in it and say, 'See, it didn't work. We lost
    all this money.' Believe me, they didn't like the idea of me saving it.
    What they pulled on me was nothing but a powerplay; I guarantee it. The
    funny thing is it backfired. From January 1, 1994 when David Haliburton
    walked out to January 1, 1995, we paid off all the outstanding debts,
    redesigned the club, and I pocketed a tidy $300,000 profit. It was

    Making Balance was not a very fun proposition for Hagar. Though the band
    was working with a real producer this time, Bruce Fairbairn, the
    atmosphere in the studio was anything but pleasant. The Canadian-born
    studio veteran had caught the band's attention for his impressive work on
    Aerosmith's last two albums, Permanent Vacation and Get a Grip.
    Unfortunately, the producer would inadvertently get sucked into the mind
    games that were being acted out at the 5150 studio. He would later play
    an unwitting role in the final drama that unfolded between Sammy and
    Eddie Van Halen.

    Throughout the recording of the album, the brothers, particularly
    Alex,would remind Hagar of the mistake he made recording "High Hopes" and
    "Buying My Way into Heaven" for his Unboxed collection. The singer
    admits he might have backed off the project completely if it hadn't been
    for his pending divorce. With his motives behind the project clearly
    stated, Sammy refused to let anyone make him feel any guilt for his
    decision. That included Alex Van Halen, who had money problems of his

    "It used to really tick me off," said Hagar frankly, "whenever those two
    brought up my greatest hits record. I had participated on the Unboxed
    record for two reasons. One, I needed the cash for my divorce. Two, I
    really believed the release of the greatest hits package would stop any
    speculation on Eddie and Al's part, that I was angling toward reviving my
    solo career. Hell, I didn't need the extra money for those two songs. If
    push came to shove, I could have taken the money out of my bank account
    to settle the property issue with Betsy. As I look back on those events
    now, I realize there really wasn't any one thing I could have done to
    forestall the inevitable. Ray Danniels was slowly gaining control of the
    brothers. I'm sure he was behind the scenes telling these guys, 'Hey,
    you better watch out for this guy.'

    When Hagar received his publishing check from Warner/Chappell, the
    divorce lawyers for both sides got together to hammer out a settlement.
    It was not a very happy scene. Betsy's attorney even had to pull her
    away from Sam as the terms for the divorce were being finalized. "While
    the lawyers were talking," said Betsy, "Sam and I were sitting in an
    empty courtroom waiting for our hearing. I said, 'Sam, we've probably got
    30 or 40 more years on the planet. You can always come home if you ever
    change your mind.' He said, 'Well, I'm not closing any doors Betsy.' I
    started crying, and he put his arm around me. He said, 'Oh God, we
    shouldn't even be here.' My lawyer then came inside and dragged me away
    saying, 'Don't sit near him. Don't you go anywhere near him.' Sam knew I
    loved him, but you know, I realized that people have a different capacity
    for love. I'm a person that cares and loves deeply. Sam was very tender
    and passionate with me the whole time we were together. A part of me was
    spiritually evolved enough to forgive him, and willing to believe he
    would return some day."

    "I'm so thankful that I had Andrew and Aaron in my life when Sam left.
    Otherwise, I wouldn't have had anything and been totally alone. I'll
    tell you what's interesting. Most of the times women in divorce retain
    everything, and the men go off by themselves. In this case it was
    reversed. I was the one that was cast adrift. Sam kept the house, the
    lifestyle and all our friends. I was the one left holding the bag.
    Right after he left me, I thought the only way I was going to get through
    it was to replace him as soon as possible. I got involved with this guy
    who was totally in love with me and wanted to get married. The problem
    our relationship had was my inability to let Sam go. Let me tell you
    something. No one going through a divorce has any business dating.
    Every time I was with him, I did nothing but cry about Sam. We went back
    and forth over this subject for over a year, and it was awful. Finally,
    we both knew our relationship wouldn't work out, because I still wanted
    my husband to come home."

    Betsy's lawyers made it clear to her that since she had been married for
    so long, California's tough divorce statutes entitled her to support for
    life. To their astonishment, she didn't care about the financial aspects
    of her case. Her attorneys often got upset with her, she says, because
    of the dispassionate manner in which she viewed the proceedings. They
    were looking out for her best interests, but were hampered by the strong
    feelings Betsy still harbored for her soon-to-be ex-usband. In her mind,
    she had come to the conclusion that a friendly settlement would make
    Sammy feel more comfortable to come back home to her one day. When an
    agreement was finally reached, Hagar's wife only accepted the cash value
    for her half of their community property and alimony for nine years. She
    steadfastly refused to take any royalties her husband earned from his
    music, or make him financially responsible for her well-being the rest of
    her natural life.

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    "I know it must have been rough for my lawyers to deal with me," admitted
    Betsy. "They were trying to do the best job they could for me, and there
    I was going, 'I don't want to make Sam mad. I want him to come home.' I
    was so stupid about the divorce, even my son Aaron wanted me to fight for
    everything. My friends would say, 'Betsy, you got so screwed in your
    divorce settlement.' I said, 'No, no, I'll be fine. I got enough, I'll
    be fine.' I'm not a malicious or vindictive person. I wanted Sam to
    come home so bad, I thought if I made the divorce easy on him, he would.
    The whole situation was so horrible in the first place, I just wanted to
    make sure I had something coming in. I didn't complain about the
    arrangement. I always felt I was going to be fine. My lawyers wanted to
    go after everything of Sam's. They wanted to go through his home studio
    in Mill Valley and confiscate all his tapes. They said, 'You are
    entitled to the royalties of any song that was written while you were
    married.' I said, 'No, don't do it. I don't want to do that.' The other
    lawyer involved said this was the most amicable divorce he had ever been
    involved with."

    Betsy admits that her intense love for Sammy blinded her to the realities
    of divorce. Instead of settling for what was fair, she went for less.
    She received half the value of the three homes they owned and other real
    estate holdings her husband had around Southern California. Betsy also
    retained some IRA accounts and half the gold Hagar always kept in a safe.
    Her total take from the 23 years of devotion to her marriage was a
    fraction of her husband's net worth. The alimony payments would stop in
    December 2003. From that point on, with no job skills other than her
    songwriting talent, she would have to fend for herself. Even that
    important fact of life didn't phase her. Money had never held any real
    value to her, especially after everything she'd been through with Sammy.
    Love was the one commodity she took stock in. For over two decades,
    Betsy had gladly stood by her man. Sadly, that sentiment was not

    "The one thing I'm very sorry I didn't get was my mother's silverware,"
    confided Betsy. "Sam wouldn't let me have it. Once, I went up to Mill
    Valley to get all my things out of the house. All the locks had been
    changed and the gate recoded so I couldn't get in. I told my lawyer
    about it, and he said he'd get the police to escort me up there so I
    could get whatever was mine. Like a fool, I told him no, I didn't want
    to do that. Sam and No. 2 decided which of my things I could have. They
    just threw things into boxes, and one of the band's roadies drove them
    down to Spindrift. The only thing I got from my home of all those years
    were the items he decided were okay for me to have. I remember a time
    Andrew came back from visiting his father, and he told me he'd polished
    silver during his stay. I thought to myself, 'How funny; that's my
    mother's silverware.' Sam had a library built for me too, and I had
    several beautiful books I had collected over the years. I asked him if I
    could have them back, and he said no."

    "Sam always told everyone how horrible I was during the divorce, and how
    I went after him. He has no idea how easy I was or maybe he does. When
    my lawyers got involved, right away, they started thinking Sam had moved
    money and hidden it somewhere. They saw that he was a lying, cheating
    jerk. The way to get to Sam is through his money. If you mess with it,
    you're in big trouble. In the beginning, he was furious about having to
    give me anything. He said, 'Betsy, you spent all of the money you
    deserved while we were married. You shouldn't get a penny!' He seemed to
    forget that I was the one who was responsible for redecorating and
    furnishing all the houses we lived in. I bought all the clothes and our
    food. Sam didn't go out and do any of that stuff. It was so comical of
    him to accuse me of spending all this money on the family, yet he would
    go out buy Ferraris without thinking twice about it. Finally, Ben
    Winslow, his attorney says, 'Hey look, this is California. You have to
    give her half.' He was totally upset about having to give me anything.
    Again, I didn't care about the money. All I wanted was for Sam to come
    home, and at one point, I thought he would. When I flew into Los Angeles
    to see my attorney, this one particular driver I knew from the limousine
    service we always used met me at the airport. He told me he had picked
    Kari up one time, and they started talking. She said, 'Look, don't
    worry. I know about Betsy. Sam and I are just going to have fun; he
    won't leave her.' Obviously that didn't last very long."

    The saddest part of divorce, says Betsy, was losing touch with her
    husband's family, especially Bobbi. Once they accepted Kari into the
    family, she quietly bowed out of their lives altogether feeling betrayed.

    "Divorce is a ruined concept," offered Betsy. "I likened the experience
    to high school. When you're going through it, you are nowhere ready to
    deal with it. I could have been very mean to Sam, but I wasn't.
    Throughout the proceedings I wanted him to come home, so I made every
    effort to be nice. You know his entire car collection was registered in
    my name. He had eight cars at the time of the divorce, half of which were
    Ferraris. He had put all his automobiles in my name, because of his
    awful driving record. Sam could not get any insurance. Since the cars
    had to be insured, the only way we could get a decent premium was to
    register them all in my name. One of my friends said I should have
    rented a flatbed truck, drove it up to Mill Valley, and taken possession
    of all them. The only thing I got out of it was my 1953 Chevy truck, and
    half the cash value of his collection."

    "Sam really couldn't drive 55. When he wrote that song, believe me."

    "Sam really couldn't drive 55. When he wrote that song, believe me, it
    was the truth. Not only did he speed, but he was dangerous. One time
    when I was with him, we got pulled over in Marin County by an officer
    that had followed our car for some time. This highway patrolman was so
    angry at Sam's reckless driving, he wanted to haul him off to jail. This
    man even walked over to my side of the car and said, 'Do you know this
    man?' I said, 'Yes, he's my husband.' The patrolman says, 'What on earth
    are you doing in a car with him. He's a horrible driver!' I said, 'Well,
    he's my husband. I have to come with him.' I can't even describe to you
    how furious that officer was. Usually, Sam got off because cops
    recognized him. He would sign autographs, tapes, and most the time get a
    warning. But his cars were all registered in my name, because no
    insurance company would touch him with his record. Since he loved his
    cars so much, I didn't let my lawyers make an issue out of me owning

    When the divorce was finally granted, Betsy says she was not prepared to
    face the real world. "Do you know the saying, 'Woman, get thyself to a
    nunnery?'" she echoed. "I always joked with my friends that's exactly
    what I should have done. My whole life had been sheltered. I went from
    living at home with my parents to being with Sam. Even though we had a
    tough life at times, Sam protected me. Since he handled all the money, I
    didn't know what the real world was like. When he left me, I was a
    trusting fool left all alone with what most people would consider a lot
    of money. Sam always had so much help in that area. They gave him good
    advice and watched over his business affairs. I didn't have that, and
    consequently, I made a lot of mistakes."

    "I think the most criminal thing that Sam did by leaving me was setting
    this naive woman loose in the world. For years afterward, I made bad
    monetary calls, because I wasn't fit to be alone. That was the cruel
    part about our divorce. After 23 years of marriage, where you're
    dependent on one person for everything, preparing yourself for single
    life is hard. Not only was I clueless to how things worked in the real
    world, our divorce had left me an emotional wreck. My judgement was so
    clouded, I just wanted to isolate myself from the everyone so I wouldn't
    make any more errors."

    Life did go on for both parties. When the curtain call for that
    bittersweet symphony was over, the next settlement to be brokered was the
    contract Ray Danniels was submitting to Van Halen. With the new album in
    the mixing stages, it was time to finalize his management deal with the

    Hagar says that when he read the agreement that had been drawn up, he
    couldn't believe the terms Al's brother-in-law had proposed. "I remember
    the son-of-a-bitch wanted to get paid for the rest of his life," said an
    utterly amazed Hagar, "and that was for every Van Halen record sold in
    the catalogue. Even if he got fired tomorrow, he wanted 20 percent of
    everything. And get this. He wanted 20 percent of gross, not net. When
    I saw what he was trying to do, I went to the brothers raising hell.
    They were willing to sign Ray's proposed deal the next day. I went to Ed
    and Al and said, 'Are you guys crazy?' You don't understand, I was the
    only guy fighting this. Michael Anthony didn't have a real vote per se,
    so his involvement was limited. He's not a full partner, just a salaried
    musician in the band. He was almost replaced on every record we did, but
    believe me, I fought for Mikey too."

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    Hagar refused to sign documents granting Ray Danniels any authority over
    his contributions to Van Halen since 1985. He thought the Canadian
    manager's demands were outrageous, considering he was stepping into a
    position that was already running smoothly, thanks to his predecessor.
    Because of his intense distrust of Danniels, Hagar wanted to implement a
    codicil into the manager's contract to insure a smooth transition, in
    case he was ousted from the band. The concept was called "the sunset
    clause," a prorated pay scale that would eventually phase him out five
    years after leaving the band, for whatever reason. The language Hagar
    worked out with attorney Don Engel stated that if Danniels was replaced,
    or left the band for any reason during the first year, he would be paid
    his previously agreed upon full percentage. The second year, he would
    get half of that. The third year Danniels would receive five percent,
    the fourth,one percent, and after five years, Van Halen was finished
    paying him. The idea came to Hagar from a conversation he had while
    touring with the legendary Joe Cocker, nearly twenty years earlier.

    Hagar refused to sign documents granting Ray Danniels any authority over
    his contributions to Van Halen since 1985. He thought the Canadian
    manager's demands were outrageous, considering he was stepping into a
    position that was already running smoothly, thanks to his predecessor.
    Because of his intense distrust of Danniels, Hagar wanted to implement a
    codicil into the manager's contract to insure a smooth transition, in
    case he was ousted from the band. The concept was called "the sunset
    clause," a prorated pay scale that would eventually phase him out five
    years after leaving the band, for whatever reason. The language Hagar
    worked out with attorney Don Engel stated that if Danniels was replaced,
    or left the band for any reason during the first year, he would be paid
    his previously agreed upon full percentage. The second year, he would
    get half of that. The third year Danniels would receive five percent,
    the fourth,one percent, and after five years, Van Halen was finished
    paying him. The idea came to Hagar from a conversation he had while
    touring with the legendary Joe Cocker, nearly twenty years earlier.

    "When Ray Danniels initially proposed his contract terms, I thought of my
    conversation with Joe Cocker. There was no way I was going to let Ray
    tie up every guy in this band. He wanted to make money off the whole Van
    Halen catalog from the first David Lee Roth record until now. I fought
    him for a month. First thing, I wouldn't give him any of my percentage
    of 5150, OU812, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, and Live: Right Here,
    Right Now. I kept going to Eddie and Al saying, 'Come on you guys; think
    about this.' All they would say was, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever you
    say.' They would not stick up for me. Ray had them convinced that the
    reason the old catalogue didn't sell was that Ed Leffler never pushed it,
    because he didn't own a piece of it. Well, the reason Leffler never
    pushed the Roth stuff was the simple fact he didn't give a shit about

    "This band had sold 65 million records in their 18-year career, and Ray
    Danniels knew exactly what he was walking into. He wasn't fooling me
    with the bullshit he was telling the brothers. Eddie and Al went ahead
    and gave Ray a large piece of their percentage of the old catalogue with
    Roth. They even gave him part of their percentage for the albums I was
    on. I refused to give him anything. I didn't need Ray Danniels
    breathing down my neck, sucking my dick, holding my hand and selling me
    out all in the same picture. You want me to tell you something else? Ray
    Danniels makes more money off the David Lee Roth era albums than Michael
    Anthony. How about that one? Ray Danniels makes more money than Michael
    Anthony period! It's sick, man. Ed and Al go along with it, because they
    make more themselves."

    Hagar's rage at Danniels continued to bubble under the surface, as he saw
    the manager manipulate the Van Halens like puppets on a string. "I never
    signed a contract with him after I saw how he was doing things," he said
    defiantly. "This guy came in and immediately wanted twenty percent of
    everything. I said, 'You're walking into a band that's already making
    millions. You have the nerve to ask for more than the last guy made who
    did everything in the world for us! All you are going to be doing is
    making the same deals Ed Leffler already made with the promoters; the
    same deal with our record contract; and renewing the same publishing deal
    already in place. You think that since you're the manager, and you come
    in to answer the phone, that you should get twenty percent? I absolutely
    refuse to sign anything that gives you more than Ed Leffler made.'

    With the new album coming out, and plans for an extensive tour starting
    to unfold, some sort of agreement with Danniels had to be reached.
    During one conversation with Ray, Hagar mentioned the unfair treatment
    Michael Anthony had been receiving from the Van Halen brothers. The bass
    player, he felt, at least deserved an equal percentage of the stage money
    they earned from their nightly road performances. "Michael Anthony
    stands there on stage every night," insisted Hagar, "and works as hard as
    me, or anybody else out there. I thought it was chicken shit that he
    didn't get his fair share of the stage money. Well, Ray Danniels, to get
    his vote, went to Mike and said, 'I will get you your equal percentage of
    the touring money.' You want to know why he told him that? Because he
    knew I'd vote him in as manager. Ray went in and made the deal with the
    brothers to get Mikey his stage money, although he still didn't get
    anything from merchandising, the records or publishing. Mike got conned
    and made a deal with the devil himself, though he didn't have to do it
    that way. A long time ago, he could have come clean if he would have
    just stood up for his rights. But I'm not here to ridicule Mikey. He
    did what he felt he had to do."

    Hagar ended up signing a deal with Danniels, recognizing him as the
    manager for only the upcoming Balance album and tour, nothing else.
    Sammy's contract called for Ray to make 17 percent of net, not gross,
    like he originally wanted. Eddie and Alex Van Halen gave him the same
    percentage across the board for everything.

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    On October 2, 1994, Eddie Van Halen made the daring statement that he was
    giving up alcohol for good. The announcement was met with considerable
    skepticism considering the fact the guitarist had failed three previous
    attempts to go into rehab to kick his habit. With the help of a
    therapist, he boldly declared his days of drinking were a thing of the

    "Eddie's affair had a lot to do with him making that statement," noted
    Hagar. "Valerie had been trying to get Eddie to quit drinking forever.
    When that incident happened, she had an ace on her. She said, 'Now,
    you're going to stop drinking. You are going to straighten up, or I'm
    leaving you.' Now I'm not quoting what I heard, I'm telling you that's
    what happened. Listen, I don't blame Valerie for taking a stance like
    that. She was the one positive influence in his life. For years, she
    had been trying to get him to stop drinking, and she absolutely refused
    to let him smoke in the house. Despite her best efforts though,
    "I never interfered in Valerie and Ed's marriage. What goes on between a
    couple is not anyone's business, unless they ask for your help. No one
    really understands the strange quirks between two people that makes their
    relationship work. It's like an invisible substance. Valerie was totally
    cool with me, and I think she was happy that I tried to help her husband.
    She knew I was a positive influence on him. A couple of times Valerie
    asked for my help when Eddie would tell her, 'Hey, I'm going to go get
    some drugs.' She'd ask me to stop him, and I'd go over and say, 'Man,
    come on Eddie. Fuck, let's go into the studio and work.' About the only
    thing Valerie ever had against me was this competitive thing she felt I
    had with Eddie on stage. I was half of the star of the band. She used
    to push her husband to compete with me more, because she wanted him to be
    the man. That's the only thing that I ever felt from Valerie, and I
    understood it. Other than that, if she ever said I wasn't a positive
    influence on Edward, then I'd be very, very disappointed."

    Hagar's management deal with Ray Danniels was completely separate from
    the one he signed with Eddie, Alex, and Michael Anthony. The way Sammy
    had his contract structured did little to endear him to the manager.
    Ray's animosity toward the Red Rocker would escalate over the coming
    months as he carefully picked his engagements. The Canadian was
    determined to erode the singer's leadership role in Van Halen. Despite
    the contempt Sam felt from the band's new administrator, he carried on
    his business as usual. One such case involved his involvement in an
    all-star musical tribute to Elvis Presley. The performance, along with
    other musicians strongly influenced by The King, was going to be
    broadcast live on pay-per-view, October 8, from the Pyramid Arena in

    "Johnny Barbis had called me up," disclosed Sammy, "and asked me if I
    could take part in an Elvis tribute. Bon Jovi had backed out, and he
    wanted to know if I'd take his place. Of course I said yes, because I
    was an Elvis freak. I took Guns 'N Roses drummer Matt Sorum with me and
    played 'Good Rockin Tonight,' the Elvis Presley tune Montrose played on
    their first album. I told Ed and Al what I was doing, and they didn't
    care. Eddie knew how much I loved Elvis. We used to lightheartedly
    debate about him all the time. One night when I lived in Malibu, Jon Bon
    Jovi, Eddie and myself talked about Elvis all night. Jon had bought a
    house down the street, so I invited him over. We ordered pizza, had some
    wine and argued the entire evening. Eddie did not dig Elvis Presley at
    all. He said, 'What the fuck man. He didn't write his own tunes, he
    made them fucked up movies, why the fuck is he such a big star?' I'd say
    because Elvis was the most charismatic...and he'd cut me off and say,

    Sammy's appearance at the event was the highlight of what had been a
    rather dismal year. Though he was not allowed to contribute "Good Rockin
    Tonight" to the Elvis tribute album released later, it really didn't
    matter to him. He got paid for doing something he would have done for
    free. Before Ray Danniels started his pitch battles with Hagar, Sammy
    fired off one of his last impudent shots. The manager dodged the bullet,
    but the message had clearly been sent.

    "Johnny Barbis said they wanted to pay me $25,000 for my appearance,"
    replied Hagar. "He wanted to know who he should speak to about it. I
    phoned Ray and said, 'Call them up and make the deal.' I tried to throw
    him a bone, because I was trying to keep peace in the valley. Now, I had
    a totally separate arrangement with Ray. I had language put in my
    contract that stated he does not manage me, or anything I do as a solo
    artist, unless I chose to put a deal through his office. It was like,
    'Ray, someone offered me this deal. Call them up and handle it for me.'
    If I chose to do that, then I would give him 10 percent of the deal.
    When I threw the deal his way, Ray goes, 'I don't want ten percent of
    anything. That's embarrassing to me.' Well anyway, I sent Ray a check
    for $2,500 after the show was over. He was such an asshole, he wouldn't
    even cash it."

    Van Halen should never have paid him 17 percent for anything. Those guys
    agreed to pay Ray for things he had no part of. I made it clear that he
    wouldn't get a thing from me for 5150, OU812, For Unlawful Carnal
    Knowledge, and the Live album. That's another reason why he pulled all
    his shit behind my back. I retained my 30 percent without giving Ray
    Danniels a fucking penny, because he didn't deserve it, he's a criminal.
    I voted to give him percent of the new record and of the tour, just
    like everybody else, mainly because of Michael Anthony. I didn't screw
    him in any deal. I just gave him his percentage of what he did, not
    something he didn't do."

    The way 1994 had been going for Hagar, he never knew what to expect when
    he answered his telephone at any of his homes. Perhaps the biggest
    surprise call he received came from Mo Austin, the legendary head of
    Warner Bros. He phoned the Hagar residence in Mill Valley to let Sammy
    know that he was stepping down as president of the label. Austin had
    been forced out in a boardroom coup, orchestrated at corporate
    headquarters in New York. He was leaving the company he'd built into a
    powerhouse with his second in command, Lenny Waronker, at the first of
    the year.

    "You know," he remarked soberly, "I was the first guy in the band that Mo
    notified, when all this happened to him. He called me at home and said,
    'I just wanted to tell you that I am stepping down. I didn't want you
    guys to hear it from the news media.' I said, 'Wow Mo, that breaks my
    heart.' He goes, 'Look, circumstances happened, and it's time for a
    change.' The news really upset me, because he had been such a strong
    ally of the band. I said, 'You aren't going to quit the business are
    you?' He laughed and said, 'No, what do you expect me to do, play golf?
    My whole life has been music. I'm going to take some time off, and see
    what I'm going to do next.' Anyway, during our conversation, Mo said,
    'So, I don't know what you guys are going to do, if you're going to
    exercise your option, or what.' Now that news really startled me. You
    see, I'd always heard about these options Ed Leffler had made with the
    label. He always tried to put a key man clause in our contract that
    stated if Mo and Lenny left Warner Bros., we were automatic free agents."
    Austin's comment about Van Halen exercising their option intrigued Hagar.
    He called his bandmates and informed them of the shake-up at Warner Bros.
    Then he called Ray Danniels to let him know what was happening. Hagar
    says the manager was shocked that Mo Austin had personally called him
    with the news of his departure. This was the first he was hearing about
    it. Sammy also informed Danniels about a possible out clause in Van
    Halen's contract they could now exercise since the label president was
    leaving the company.

    "That was a real tricky thing," admitted Hagar. "Don Engel swore he
    never saw it in the contract, but Leffler always told me we had it. Mo's
    son, Michael, kind of hinted it was there as well. He said, 'Yeah, my
    dad says you guys are free agents if him and Lenny leave.' I'm positive
    Mo and Ed had some sort of a little agreement between them, but it went
    to Leffler's grave with him. With the lawyers going 'I don't know, I
    don't know,' there was no one to corroborate what actually happened.
    When I first brought it up, everybody started freaking out on me. Ray
    Danniels says, 'No, no, no, I read the contract.' I then told them there
    might have been a side deal somewhere. It ended up going nowhere."

    The gentleman's agreement might have come to light had the group upheld a
    request Austin made of them. He set up a meeting with Ray Danniels and
    the band to propose an option with them. If Van Halen could get the new
    album mixed, and the masters sent to Warner Bros. by late November, he
    would orchestrate a massive marketing campaign behind the record,
    guaranteeing huge sales over the holidays.

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    "Mo came to the studio shortly after he called me," announced Sammy, "to
    listen to the record. He sat in a room with Ray, Eddie, Alex and myself
    and said, 'If you guys would do me a favor, can we get this record out by
    November?' He was looking straight at me when he said that. We said,
    'Wow, that's pretty quick, but yeah, it's possible.' He said, 'If you
    can get this record out this year before I quit, I promise you I'll make
    this the biggest record that you've ever had. I will almost guarantee
    you an extra million records sold.' Now Mo wanted our record out during
    his last quarter because he got a percentage. We knew that, but at the
    same time, he was giving us an opportunity of a lifetime." With all the
    upheaval going on at Warner Bros. over Austin's forced departure, artists
    like Eric Clapton, Madonna and R.E.M threatened to leave the label. If
    Van Halen followed through on the outgoing president's proposal, they'd
    more than likely be free to go. Their contract they'd been given, their
    contract would be fulfilled, and they were free to go. In light of the
    chaos erupting throughout the entire Warner Bros. organization, finding a
    new home for the band seemed an attractive option, especially with
    Hollywood Records. The $50 million deal was still on the table. Sammy
    was excited by Austin's proposal the deal that had been offered. He even
    spent two weeks at the Canyon Ranch health resort in Tucson, Arizona, on
    a rigorous outdoor fitness program, to get in shape for the upcoming
    video shoot, "Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do)."

    "I thought we should get off Warner Bros.," said Hagar candidly, "because
    of all the changes they were going through. We always had a bad
    relationship with them to the point Ed Leffler thought it was time to
    move on. When Ray Danniels first came on board, we told him about the
    deal Ed had been working with Hollywood Records. We were going to start
    off with them as one big family. They were going to indemnify us for any
    lawsuits if there were any. With the Balance album coming out, our
    contract with Warner was finished. All we had to do now was put the
    record out and everyone would have a Merry Christmas."

    Hagar's plan for a happy holiday would never materialize. Ray Danniels
    thwarted the hopes of the outgoing Warner Bros. president by telling him
    it was impossible for Van Halen to have the record ready for a December
    release. The manager, he later learned, was more interested in currying
    favor with the new regime than doing what was in the best interest of Van
    Halen. In the coming year, Sammy would discover that under Danniels'
    principle style of management, two things were important to him. One was
    to nullify his leadership role in the band, and two, squeeze the profit
    centers in Van Halen today, not tomorrow. The Red Rocker may have
    survived the seven deadly sins of Ray and his disciples, but that round
    was nothing compared to the transgressions he would be crucified for the
    following year.

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    Part 1

    Chapter Twenty: Rise of the Animal

    The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet
    sounds, Is fit for treasons, strategem, and spoils; The motions of his spirit
    are dull as night, and his affection dark as Erebus: Let no such man be
    The Merchant of Venice

    Life in Van Halen the past year had turned Sammy Hagar's world upside down.
    The theatrics being acted out against him never seemed to end. As the Red
    Rocker survived one foreboding Shakespearean scene after another, it became
    increasingly clear who the author of this production was Ray Danniels. The
    manager's ongoing farce, written around the singer's character, would have
    made the 16th century dramatist proud. The subtle twists and turns, Danniels
    weaved throughout his plots, were constantly keeping Hagar on edge. Though
    the final script had yet to be written, the pre-production leading up to this
    tragic ending was already in the works. When it came time to unveil the
    intricate grand finale, the manager wanted to make sure his players were well
    rehearsed. Lies, betrayal, mistrust and greed were factors that would play
    critical roles in the systematic destruction of one of the greatest
    songwriting partnerships in rock and roll history. In order for Danniels to
    soften up Hagar's control over the band, he had to have the full cooperation
    of Eddie Van Halen. Without the guitarist in his corner, any future plans he
    had for Van Halen were useless. The family ties with older brother Alex were
    strong, but Eddie was a different matter entirely.

    Reserved and shy, the guitarist only cared about making music. He could care
    less about the business aspects of his profession. Afterall, that's why they
    hired a manager. Danniels understood the importance of establishing a solid
    bond with Al's younger sibling, if any of his objectives were to be met.

    The release date for "Balance" had been pushed back to the second week of
    February. With that discovery, Hagar may have thought his two week fitness
    regimen at Canyon Ranch a waste of time. He would soon learn to the contrary,
    it wasn't.

    The athletic singer was going to need his mind and body finely tuned for the
    trials he was about to face the coming year. Though he never suspected it,
    the hourglass of time had been turned over on his days remaining with the
    group. As the sands slowly trickled away, the seeds of dissension were being
    sown to supplant him as Van Halen's lead singer.

    While a storm was brewing in Ray Danniels' Toronto offices, a different type
    of weather system was battering the Monterey Peninsula. At the start of the
    new year, Betsy had leased a ranch house for herself and Andrew on the
    outskirts of Carmel.

    She had moved out of the home on Spindrift, because it held too many sad
    memories for her.

    The two acre property she was going to buy, near the banks of the Carmel
    River, served a dual purpose. It was close enough to town for her youngest
    son to go to school and have a social life, but far enough removed from the
    population center to provide her with the isolation she craved. It was also
    just fifteen minutes from Aaron's home. On Jan. 10, a terrible Pacific Coast
    storm descended on the region, pelting the area with torrential rains. Within
    hours of the deluge, the river had swollen its banks.

    "Somebody came through our neighborhood earlier that evening," disclosed
    Betsy, "and said it would be a good idea to evacuate. I told them I wasn't
    leaving. When I agreed to purchase the home, the realtor told me the ranch
    was situated on a 100-year flood plain, but had this huge berm built all
    around the property. The area had never flooded before, which is why I didn't
    leave when the first warnings were issued. Around midnight, a man that was
    helping me remodel the house came over and said the river was flooding. Before
    we could get out, water started rising on the property, because a section of
    the berm had broken. The two of us carried as much furniture to the second
    level as possible before the downstairs flooded. In no time, there was four
    feet of water in the house. When I looked outside from the second floor, it
    looked like we were on an island surrounded by the sea. I called Sam from
    Andrew's bedroom in the middle of the night to let him know what was
    happening. I told him a workman was with us, and that the authorities were
    aware of our situation. About four o'clock in the morning, search and rescue
    came and got us. I put my cat in a pillow case and handed her out the window.
    Andrew crawled out of his window and was lifted down to the waiting boat.
    This flood was a terrible, horrible thing. I had originally leased the house
    with the intention of purchasing it after my divorce became final. After the
    flood, I got out of the deal because the berm wasn't built on the property.
    It needed to be rebuilt, so if I bought the ranch, I wouldn't even own the
    land the structure sat on. I talked the problem over with my realtor. She
    told me that I was not legally bound to purchase the property, so I didn't
    go through with the deal. The lady who owned the place tried to sue me for
    breaking the contract, but withdrew her case the day it was going to trial.

    Here comes a pair of strange beasts, Which in all tongues are called fools.

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    As You Like It

    Warner Bros. decided to release the new Van Halen record in Europe before its
    scheduled U.S. debut. Label executives then asked the band to do a short
    promotional tour overseas the last two weeks of January. During rehearsals for
    the junket at the 5150 studio, Hagar found himself embroiled in a nasty
    confrontation. The showdown pitted the Van Halen brothers against Sammy, and
    would signify the beginning of the end for the group as he knew it. The
    skirmish had been carefully orchestrated by their esteemed manager. "We were
    working on the set list," noted Hagar, "for some of the mini-concerts we'd
    perform as part of the promotional campaign. During one of our rehearsals,
    Michael Karlin, the band's accountant, and Gary Stamler, Van Halen's attorney,
    showed up unannounced. It was odd to see those two together. When they walked
    over and said they needed to see me, I knew something was up. As I followed
    them into a room, Eddie, Mike and Alex were already in there. Ray Danniels was
    conspicuously absent. I sat down, and Gary Stamler cut right to the chase. He
    said, "Sam, we have this problem. We want to talk to you about this publishing
    deal Ed Leffler made a few years ago." I looked at him and said, "What are
    you talking about? What publishing deal?" I glanced over at Eddie and Al when
    Gary said that, and they looked at each other like this was the first time
    they were hearing anything about this. I knew better than that. As I watched
    them sit there semi-calm, I thought, "There's some shit getting ready to come
    down here. Something strange is going on. They're trying to trick me."
    Stamler proceeded to tell Hagar, that right before the "For Unlawful Carnal
    Knowledge" album came out in 1991, Ed Leffler had gone to the band's music
    publishers, Warner/Chappell, and negotiated a new deal. The new contract
    called for Van Halen to receive a $4.5 million publishing advance per studio
    album. In order to close the lucrative deal, Leffler had put the entire Van
    Halen catalog up as collateral including the first six albums with David Lee
    Roth. According to Michael Karlin's figures, the "For Unlawful Carnal
    Knowledge" album had recouped most of the advance, about $3.5 million. "OU812"
    had brought in $700,000; "5150" around $50,000; and the old Van Halen catalog
    with Roth, $300,000. "Ray Danniels," charged Hagar, "had stumbled upon the
    deal when he was going over the various contracts Leffler had put together
    before he died. He thought he'd found some hidden financial chicanery on Ed's
    part, and informed the brothers. Because I was so close to Ed Leffler, Ray
    told the brothers I knew about this publishing agreement. No one in the band
    had any idea this had taken place, least of all, myself. I swear to God on
    that. Only Leffler and our accountant knew anything about this publishing
    deal. Gary asked me what I knew about it, and I said, "Wow, I had no idea."
    Alex said, "Sam, you never knew?"I said, "You fucking A I never knew about
    this. I'd never wanted to take money that wasn't mine."First off, it wasn't
    that much money. I had made millions of dollars for this band. I didn't need
    to cheat anyone out of $300,000." The startling news reminded Sammy of a
    conversation he had with Ed Leffler, two years earlier, right after the
    "Live: Right Here, Right Now" album was released. He was supposed to get a
    separate $80,000 publishing check from Van Halen for two of his songs on the
    two-disc set, "Give to Live" and "One Way to Rock." Over the years, Van Halen
    often performed the tunes live, with Hagar's "One Way to Rock" becoming
    somewhat of an adoptive signature piece for the group. When a separate check
    for his songs never arrived at Nine Music, the publishing company he created
    for his music, Sammy started making some inquiries to its whereabouts. The
    answer the singer finally received stunned him. The monies had been deposited
    directly into Van Halen's bank account instead of delivered to him, per Ed
    Leffler's instructions. "I was puzzled by this odd transaction and went to
    Ed for an explanation," he responded. "Leffler told me, "Sam, don't worry
    about it. You are in good shape. This band has been good for you. You
    shouldn't worry about that money. It has all been accounted for on a Van Halen
    record, so don't worry about it." I looked at him and said, "Bullshit, Ed.
    What do you mean I shouldn't worry about it?" He told me not to make any
    waves, because it wouldn't be worth it. Leffler had been running my business
    affairs for 17 years, so I trusted him completely. Besides, the sum wasn't
    worth arguing about, so I forgot about it and let the matter go completely.
    After the meeting with Karlin and Stamler was over, Sammy went into another
    room with the brothers. The timing of this impromptu conference left Hagar
    with the distinct impression it had all been prearranged to see if he knew
    anything about Ed Leffler's wheeling and dealing. By gauging his reaction,
    or possibly a confession, Danniels could validate his claims that the two
    had lined their pockets at the brothers' expense. The Van Halen's had known
    about the publishing deal for several weeks, but never breathed a word of it
    until the new record was in Warner Bros. hands. They were afraid the singer
    would stop working on the album, if his honesty was called into question.
    Their assumptions, The Red Rocker says, were correct. "Everything was
    happening so fast," gasped Hagar, "that when they asked me what I intended
    to do about the situation, I just said, "I think I should pay you guys back.
    This is really weird that happened." Eddie and Al were being very cautious
    with me. Ray had told them about this deal a long time ago. Instead of
    confronting me themselves, these chickenshits had Michael Karlin and Gary do
    it. The "Live" album was still out there selling, so I said, "Why don't I give
    you the publishing for 'One Way to Rock' and 'Give to Live' since I get money
    for that, and you don't share in it. I'll give you that money until the
    $300,000 is paid back." They said, "Sure, okay."Eddie and Al reassured me
    that what I wanted to do was cool and they dropped the matter for the time
    being, that is. Michael Karlin never said a word about this deal, because he
    would have been fired by Ed Leffler, or in this case, Ray Danniels, for
    volunteering the information. Don't get me wrong, Michael is a good guy. He
    does his job exactly as it's prescribed and won't divulge a thing beyond that.
    He will put all the financial information you're entitled to know in a
    statement. You have to figure out what's going on from there. If you have a
    specific question, he'll answer it; but he won't go any further. Honestly,
    I didn't want to go into my pocketbook and pay those fuckers. I didn't want
    to hand them my cash and say, "Sorry, here's $300,000. Ed's mistake. He's
    dead and gone, I know he's sorry. Here's the money." Leffler wasn't around
    to defend himself, and I felt it was grossly unfair that I was now being held
    accountable for his actions." According to Hagar, there was no way Ed Leffler
    could be condemned for the publishing deal he made. The manager wasn't a
    greedy man, but he was always trying to get Van Halen the biggest advances
    he could from every source available. He had already engineered record high
    rates from Warner Bros. for points, royalties and album advances. Leffler
    even revived a revolutionary idea for concert touring that Led Zeppelin's
    Peter Grant pioneered in the '70s the 90/10 split. Instead of asking for the
    large guarantee he knew the group could easily command, Leffler instructed he
    band's agent, Barbara Skydel, that Van Halen could be booked for $25,000 down,
    provided the promoter agree to a 90/10 split after expenses. Regardless of
    how many tickets were sold, this deal removed any fear on the promoter's part
    they would lose money booking the band. Since their cut of the profits was
    directly linked to paid attendance figures, Leffler correctly surmised that
    promoter's would work hard to sell the shows out. Everyone would make money,
    and both sides would walk away happy. The last frontier for Leffler to
    exploit was the band's publishing deal. With several Top Ten singles and two
    straight No. 1 albums to their credit, the manager had considerable clout
    going for him when he approached Van Halen's publishers. Leffler was
    absolutely convinced that Eddie Van Halen and Sammy Hagar were the greatest
    songwriting team on earth, and the new album about to be released would prove

  14. #14
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    His confidence was amply rewarded by the multimillion dollar agreement he
    orchestrated with Warner/Chappell. When a music publisher agrees to an
    advance, they are giving the band a giant up front loan for a percentage of
    their business. Once the company recoups its money, the publishing company
    will make anywhere from 15 to 50 percent of the group's overall publishing
    from that point forward. The fee could almost be considered an interest
    payment, since the advance is a gamble on the company's part that they fully
    expect to cover. If they don't, they lose out completely. Van Halen's previous
    track record especially Hagar's platinum streak with Geffen justified a
    multimillion dollar leap of faith on Warner/Chappell's part. However, to
    hedge their bets against the huge risk they were taking with Leffler, the
    publishing company would only agree to the manager's terms if he put up Van
    Halen's entire catalog, from 1977 to the present, as collateral. From the
    outside looking in, the publishing deal Leffler struck made it somewhat
    appear that he and Hagar were profiting from Van Halen's past. Hagar
    vehemently denies that was ever the case. For some reason, he says, Ed
    Leffler was obsessed with generating a lot of upfront money for Van Halen
    through advances. To a large extent, he had succeeded beyond anyone's wildest
    imagination. During his tenure as manager, Leffler's deals earned the Van
    Halen brothers more money than they ever dreamed possible. Since he obviously
    wasn't around to explain his reasoning behind the Warner/Chappell deal, the
    episode became Ray Danniels platform to put credibility behind the accusations
    he was leveling against Hagar and Leffler. The charges had no merit, but
    Danniels bold move had successfully instilled strong doubts with the brothers
    about the honesty of their former manager and current singer.

    O! beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock;
    The meat itfeeds on.

    Alex Van Halen would not let the publishing issue go away. The perceived
    deception Danniels had fostered inside him continued to fester away. In the
    general scope of things, Hagar says, the amount of money in dispute was
    peanuts compared to the revenue flow the band generated from other sources.
    On top of that, Sammy's $80,000 publishing check from the "Live" album had
    already been deposited into the Van Halen's Yessup publishing account.
    Technically, the brothers had profited from his past as well. However, since
    Hagar brought Ed Leffler on board as manager, his argument fell on deaf ears.
    The brothers were convinced they'd been swindled. As far as the Red Rocker was
    concerned, trying to reason with the pair, especially Al, was like talking to
    a rock. "Their state of mind," inferred the singer, "that Ed Leffler and Sammy
    Hagar had conspired to cheat them was a sad indication of the damage Ray
    Danniels was doing to the band. The first thing he did when he became manager
    was tell Eddie and Al about the publishing deal. This controversy started the
    bad blood in this band that never ended. If they thought they were doing me a
    favor by agreeing to take my money from the "Live" album until the debt was
    satisfied, they were wrong. The more I thought about it, the further convinced
    I became that I was the one getting screwed. When a riled up Alex demanded
    several days after our first meeting, that I pay the money back immediately,
    any semblance of trust between us was destroyed forever. He cornered me and
    said, "Sammy, you stole $300,000. You and Ed Leffler knew about it the whole
    time."I told him he was crazy, and we almost got into a fight right there. I
    said, "You calling me a liar Alex? I'm looking you right in the fucking eye,
    and telling you that I didn't know about it."

    Ray Danniels was in the room when this confrontation took place. Alex said,
    "Gary Stamler said you told him you knew all about this."That did it. I said,
    "Let's get Gary in this room right now and confront him."Suddenly, Ray jumps
    into the conversation and says, "No, no, no, we don't have to do that. We
    don't have to do that. You guys are crazy. Let it go!" You know why Ray said
    that? The lying piece of shit had told the brothers that Gary Stamler told
    him that I knew about Leffler's publishing deal. I made both brothers look me
    in the eye and tell me that they believed I didn't have anything to do with
    it. I said, "I'm not leaving this room, and I'm going to get Gary on the phone
    unless you motherfuckers sit and tell me that you believe me." Ray cooled
    Eddie and Al out real fast. Michael Anthony later told me Eddie was up in arms
    with Ray Danniels about this. He said, "Ray, if Sam didn't know anything
    about this deal, why did you tell us that he did in the first place? "He told
    them that if I had called Gary, all kinds of trouble would have been stirred
    up." Over the years, Sammy had found it impossible to deal with the Van Halen
    brothers once they collectively set their minds on something. Alex was
    obnoxiously stubborn over this affair with the publishing, says Hagar, because
    he was in financial trouble. Eddie's personality, however, was more fragile.
    He says that if the guitarist had talked to him about the Leffler deal, they
    could have worked it out. "If Eddie would have had the guts to talk to me
    alone in a room about what happened," he surmised, "we could have hashed this
    thing out heart to heart, soul to soul and the issue would have easily been
    resolved. Together, Ed and Al are impossible to deal with. Alex is as
    hardheaded as they come and as adamant a fool you'll ever meet. This guy had
    no qualms about cursing you under his breath, while he looked you in the eye
    and said he believed every word you were telling him. Al went about his
    business like nothing ever happened, but you always knew that in the back of
    his mind, he was holding a grudge against you."

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Every man has a fault, and honesty is his; We have seen better days.
    Timon of Athens

    Hagar's chief complaint against his accuser was simple. Alex Van Halen didn't
    contribute anything to the band's bottom line. Sammy not only generated half
    the band's, he was also responsible for half the income the drummer enjoyed.
    Brother Al shared equally in all the monies brought in, but did little or
    nothing to earn it. The fact he had no problems stripping Michael Anthony of
    his earning percentages in Van Halen irked him even more. As he continued to
    rant about his debt, the Red Rocker says it took sheer will power on his part
    to keep a level head and not put the drummer in his place. "Alex Van Halen
    never wrote one thing in this band," argued Hagar. "In my head, I'm going,
    "Al, you've made millions of dollars off me. Why the fuck are you getting
    uptight about this? Why do I have to share publishing with you in the first
    place. Let's blow off the $300,000 and go forward. We're all in this together
    anyway." When he wanted the fucking money now, I was pissed. When I joined Van
    Halen, I used to joke that I'd taken a pay cut. Well, that was the truth.
    Leffler and I had made more money on our own, than these guys ever thought
    about making. I'd been getting screwed by these guys from day one, because I
    co-wrote every song with Eddie and shared monies with everybody. At the same
    time, I unknowingly took the money, so yeah, I was guilty. For some reason,
    these guys became extremely bitter, and Alex made this money a real issue.
    Of course, they had a bad guy there in Ray to fuel these conspiracy theories,
    which were total bullshit!" Hagar says he was particularly miffed by the
    drummer's rude and abrupt behavior toward him. Ever since Ray Danniels came
    into the picture, their relationship had been going downhill. Sammy had heard
    rumors that Eddie's brother was in trouble with the IRS and owed them hundreds
    of thousands of dollars in back taxes. He says he doesn't know whether or not
    that was the reason Al was so anxious to get his hands on the $300,000, but
    something was egging him on. The one thing he knew for certain was this. The
    brothers became increasingly hostile toward him whenever the subject of the
    publishing deal came up. Alex's bitterness continued to grow toward his
    fellow musician until it became an issue he couldn't ignore. "You know,"
    argued Hagar, "I don't think Al ever knew just how bad his financial troubles
    were. This is where he's not a man. He just overlooked it. There was never any
    compromise on his part about the publishing situation. Alex doesn't write any
    of the songs, and that was a sore issue with him. Since he's Eddie's big
    brother, he shares 100 percent in everything we brought in, as if he deserved
    it which he doesn't. Alex didn't want to do one thing that would ever change
    that. He wanted to make sure that all these little publishing issues weren't
    brought up. All he wanted to do was say, "You stole the money!" Alex wanted
    to make THAT the issue, so he wouldn't have to answer any questions about
    what he did to deserve any of the publishing income. I got so damn mad, I
    finally confronted Ray, I confronted Eddie, and said, "Wait a minute. When we
    get a $4 million advance for writing songs, why does Alex get a million? Tell
    me why . . . he doesn't write the songs! When we get a publishing check for
    $7-8 million for all these wonderful songs that Eddie and I write, why does
    Alex get $2 million? Those questions caused a lot of tension and arguments
    in the band. "This guy was more interested in protecting his publishing
    money," declared the Red Rocker, "than he was in paying the mortgage on his
    home. Finally, I had enough of Al's' whining. For years, he had made millions
    of dollars off the songs Eddie and I wrote. If he was going to be an asshole
    about $300,000, I wanted an explanation as to how, exactly, he had been
    cheated. Alex and Eddie had no problem taking Michael Anthony's money from
    him. He and Eddie got away with it by making Mike feel guilty for taking a
    free ride in the band. Alex had been equally as guilty, but since his last
    name was Van Halen, it didn't count. Mikey wouldn't go against the brothers.
    He did not feel man enough to stand on his own two feet and say, "I'm worthy."
    For some reason, he didn't think his contributions were credible. I thought
    they were, but he didn't."



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