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  1. #1
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    Default What always got me about Sammy (and led to al lthe hoo-hah ever since he joined)

    **Before I start, I am not a Dave or Sammy fan boy. I like both. In fact, I like more Sammy songs than Dave songs.**


    I don't know if this has been said before, here or elsewhere, but I always got the impression that Sammy was to blame for the splitting of Van Halen fans into rival camps and thus the hassle that's sprouted ever since.

    IMO Sammy thought he was a bigger star than he actually was. Van Halen were giants in the mid 80s whilst Hagar was a moderately successful artist. When other singers (or any other musician for that matter) join existing bands - Bruce Dickinson, Ripper Owens, John Corabi, Blaze Bayley, Ronnie James Dio etc - they slip into the vacated role, understanding that they're joining an existing band not co-forming a new one. Regardless of his past achievements, the penny should have dropped that he was replacing a missing piece.

    Instead he refused steadfast to do the old tunes (save for a reluctant 2 or 3). LWAN was a great show but they played practically the full album when the norm is to showcase about 4. Not only was Van Halen huge but so too was DLR. How can you not replace him and expect to not sing the back catalogue? Gary got it. Gary came from a popular band yet didn't have any qualms about doing any Van Halen material and only Van Halen material.

    And then, astoundingly, he injected his own songs into the VH setlist - One Way to Rock, Give to Live, Eagles Fly, I Can't Drive 55. That's pretty arrogant IMO - joining a band then getting them to play your tunes. It once again smacked of someone who thought he was on a par with the others and was forming a supergroup instead of joining one of the biggest acts around.

    At first I thought this was to flesh out the setlist but as the years went by and the Van Hagar catalogue grew, they still played these tunes. Now I like ICD55 and OWTR but they're not Van Halen tunes and to include them at the expense of actual Van Halen tunes (not to mention the Roth-era songs that hadn't been played since '84) was deeply arrogant and misjudged IMO.

    And this to me is the cause of the hoo-hah ever since. We all have our favourite incarnations of bands - Scorps with Michael Schenker, Maiden with Di'anno, Sabath with Ozzy etc - but it's usualy just a slight grumble. Not all out war as it has been ever since Sammy joined. Don't get me wrong, I still think the DLR fans would still have wanted Dave back in the band and would have mocked Sammy singing about aliens and love but they would be less vocal, and the animosity between two clear sets of fans would have been less, had he done what everyone else would have done and just knuckle down, cranking out the tunes, slowly increasing the number of Van Hagar tunes in setlists as more are recorded with his new bandmates. Instead, he acted like it didn't exist and plonked a fucking huge elephant in the concert arena.

    In an interview a couple of years ago, Sammy admitted he was a bit stubborn when he joined the band and should have done more Roth-era songs. I give him props for admitting this but stubbornness or not, how can you ignore the common sense that you don't ignore the old material? That you don't play your entire debut album and act like the previous incarnation didn't exist? More to the point, why - in the wake of this epiphany - did he not play fair and split the setlist evenly between his and Dave's era?

    His solo spot was also curious. Solo spots are usually given to the other guys in the band as the singer is always front and centre when singing and it's a chance to let the other guys have their moment in the spotlight. Now, I don't agree with solo spots anyway but that's just me, yet on every tour, Sammy straps on hsi acoustic and not only does a solo spot but yet again sings songs from his solo era. It always hit me as this guy thinks the people are coming to see Sammy Hagar as opposed to the truth which is Van Halen (of which Sammy Hagar is a member).

    On top of this, we all know of the hate between Sammy and Dave with Sammy correctly stating he's a better singer. In which case go out there and play the DLR-era songs and blow him away. Personally I thought his version of Jump on RHRN was light years ahead of Roth's and if he could do that on the majority of material then he'd go a long way to putting the rivalry amongst the fans to bed. I bet he could take Dance the Night Away, Women in Love and Hot for Teacher to new levels.

    And what's really peculiar is Sammy is not short on confidence but his avoidance of DLR| material smacks on insecurity to me. Some arrogance in there, too, but mainly I think he was terrified - be it that he thinks he can't do them justice or worried the fans would cheer more at the end of those songs than his Van Hagar songs.

    All throughout Sammy's reign, Ed and Alex said they don't play the Dave tunes because they're bored of them (nice to see they don't think of the fans in this regard) yet the minute Gary takes over we hear Ed say it's a relief to be able to have a singer who has nohang ups about playing the old tunes!

    Dave has played his part, too. Since returning to the Van Halen camp he's refused to do any Sammy-era tunes (and I'm not sure he could if he wanted to) and so he too has plonked a fucking great elephant in the room. Now Van Halen are conspicuously ignoring all the tracks post 1985 and emboldening the status of different bands as opposed to one band, different singers.

    Like I said, I have nothing against Sammy. Just calling it as I see it and IMO most of the hullabaloo since he joined could have been avoided if he'd simply slotted into the band, sang the songs, and just integrated fully - like every other replacement does - instead of constantly trying to separate himself from the band.
    Last edited by BlofeldsCat; 06.25.15 at 09:57 AM.

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  3. #2
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    I respect your opinion, but it's easy for me to respond to this post: I disagree with every sentence in it. Take the opposite of what you said, and that's my opinion.
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  5. #3
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    No problem and I respect yours. I am particularly iinterested in hearing how you disagree that Sammy being wrong to ignore the Dave era especially when he's admitted to doing so. Also how you justify him inserting Sammy songs into the Van Halen (not Van Halen and Sammy Hagar) setlist. Especially when no other joining member ever does the same but just takes his place.

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    I had no issue with some of Sam's songs being in the setlist. VH just made them BETTER. As for the solo spot, I had no issue with that either.
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  9. #5
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    And what about all but ignoring the Dave era from day one - as he's admitted to doing?
    From the very first tour, playing just 3 DLR songs whilst playing practicallty all of his initial album with the band?
    The norm is to play 3 songs from the new album not 3 songs from the back catalogue.

  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlofeldsCat View Post
    And what about all but ignoring the Dave era from day one - as he's admitted to doing?
    From the very first tour, playing just 3 DLR songs whilst playing practicallty all of his initial album with the band?
    The norm is to play 3 songs from the new album not 3 songs from the back catalogue.
    you're making it sound like they played no old VH material. Just going by the setlist from Toronto on the 5150 Tour as I know it, they opened with a CVH tune and they closed with one. They also played Panama. They played two Sammy solo tunes, one Zep Cover and a Monstrose tune. They also played 8 songs off the new album since they wanted to stress this was an album worth playing

    You know who else did basically the same thing in Toronto later that year? A singer who was coming off a breakup with a huge band that had an enormous catalogue of hits but instead he decided to play 8 tunes from his solo album instead of drawing from his back catalogue? You might heard of him His name was David Lee Roth.

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  12. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlofeldsCat View Post
    And what about all but ignoring the Dave era from day one - as he's admitted to doing?
    From the very first tour, playing just 3 DLR songs whilst playing practicallty all of his initial album with the band?
    The norm is to play 3 songs from the new album not 3 songs from the back catalogue.
    And what about this situation is "the norm"? This whole thread is rehashed, overargued, nothing new here points. Sam and the Brothers came to an agreement and he joined the band. They all decided together what they would play. And I disagree with this nonsense that Van Halen was so much bigger than Sammy. Sam had been around for years and was hitting it big himself. To me it only makes sense you would include his bigger hits in the show. By your logic, Dave should now be expected to sing Sam Era Stuff.
    ,
    AKA Kevohman and KevohmanII

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  14. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlofeldsCat View Post
    And what about all but ignoring the Dave era from day one - as he's admitted to doing?
    From the very first tour, playing just 3 DLR songs whilst playing practicallty all of his initial album with the band?
    The norm is to play 3 songs from the new album not 3 songs from the back catalogue.
    Every tour the band had with Sam was basically all the new records material minus 2-3 songs. The rest was filled with previous Van Hagar hits and then Panama, Jump, and ATBL.

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  16. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev View Post
    And what about this situation is "the norm"? This whole thread is rehashed, overargued, nothing new here points. Sam and the Brothers came to an agreement and he joined the band. They all decided together what they would play. And I disagree with this nonsense that Van Halen was so much bigger than Sammy. Sam had been around for years and was hitting it big himself. To me it only makes sense you would include his bigger hits in the show. By your logic, Dave should now be expected to sing Sam Era Stuff.
    ,
    nonsense?

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  18. #10
    Atomic Punk I Coulda Hada VH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev View Post
    And what about this situation is "the norm"? This whole thread is rehashed, overargued, nothing new here points. Sam and the Brothers came to an agreement and he joined the band. They all decided together what they would play. And I disagree with this nonsense that Van Halen was so much bigger than Sammy. Sam had been around for years and was hitting it big himself. To me it only makes sense you would include his bigger hits in the show. By your logic, Dave should now be expected to sing Sam Era Stuff.
    ,
    Van Halen was WAY more popular than Sammy Hagar when he joined the band in 1985.
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  19. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by I Coulda Hada VH View Post
    Van Halen was WAY more popular than Sammy Hagar when he joined the band in 1985.
    I can't speak for the States but Sammy was damn near unknown up here when he joined. In fact when it got announced only one of my older brothers friends (they were all into hard rock) even knew who he was. We had to search through old rock magazines to get a photo.

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  21. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    you're making it sound like they played no old VH material....they opened with a CVH tune and they closed with one. They also played Panama. They played two Sammy solo tunes, one Zep Cover and a Monstrose tune
    I said they played 3. Your defence of them on this matter only listed 3. You're ratifying my point. 3 is a vast minority and that isn't right. There's lmost as many Sammy Hagar tunes in that setlist as Dave-era Van Halen - in fact there's the same number of Hagar tunes if you count, as you should, the Montrose track. That too, isn't right.


    They also played 8 songs off the new album since they wanted to stress this was an album worth playing
    Come on, man, this is a stretch and you know it. Standard procedure for any band, new member or not, great album or not, is to play a handful of tracks to promote said album and give the fans a tour through the back catalogue with the rest of the set. Their playing all of 5150 had nothing to do with it being an album worth promoting and everything to do with Sammy wanting to avoid Roth tunes. Something both Sammy and Eddie have admitted and was also implied by Gary happily delving into the Roth tunes.. If it wasn't, how come the number of Roth tunes never increased on subsequent tours? How come Gary had no qualms about increasing the Roth quota?

    And you ignore the fact that Sammy has admitted to blanking the Roth-era.


    You know who else did basically the same thing in Toronto later that year? A singer who was coming off a breakup with a huge band that had an enormous catalogue of hits but instead he decided to play 8 tunes from his solo album instead of drawing from his back catalogue? You might heard of him His name was David Lee Roth.
    The huge difference here is that Dave went solo - with every reason to want to plough his own furrow. Sammy, on the other hand, joined a band. A very famous one at that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlofeldsCat View Post
    I said they played 3. Your defence of them on this matter only listed 3. You're ratifying my point. 3 is a vast minority and that isn't right. There's lmost as many Sammy Hagar tunes in that setlist as Dave-era Van Halen - in fact there's the same number of Hagar tunes if you count, as you should, the Montrose track. That too, isn't right.



    Come on, man, this is a stretch and you know it. Standard procedure for any band, new member or not, great album or not, is to play a handful of tracks to promote said album and give the fans a tour through the back catalogue with the rest of the set. Their playing all of 5150 had nothing to do with it being an album worth promoting and everything to do with Sammy wanting to avoid Roth tunes. Something both Sammy and Eddie have admitted and was also implied by Gary happily delving into the Roth tunes.. If it wasn't, how come the number of Roth tunes never increased on subsequent tours? How come Gary had no qualms about increasing the Roth quota?

    And you ignore the fact that Sammy has admitted to blanking the Roth-era.



    The huge difference here is that Dave went solo - with every reason to want to plough his own furrow. Sammy, on the other hand, joined a band. A very famous one at that.
    To expect them to play half CVH material and avoid Sammy's stuff would have been a horrible marketing idea. You'd basically be treating him like he was a complete unknown singer you just pulled out of a bar band. I do think that Sammy wanted to avoid joining a damn cover band because he saw that band as having a future with him (he was right) but Sammy sang 3-4 Roth tunes on that first tour wasn't unreasonable at all. Would another 1 or 2 have been nice? sure. But no issue with them playing damn near all of 5150 and a couple of Sammy songs. I think once Sammy got more comfortable as the lead singer in VH he actually added more Roth tunes. I think this was sensible

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    Sammy (and I think Eddie as well) viewed it as a new band when Sammy joined. And there are always going to be comparisons to Dave. You don't rely on old material when trying to build something new. It is the same approach they took with Chickenfoot. If you look at it from that perspective, they played a few hits Sammy had prior to joining VH and the hits Van Halen had which was the right balance at that time. And most band when touring, tour off the new album. U2 is no different. Also had 5150 bombed, its highly unlikely either Sammy or Van Halen would of lasted. A lot rode on that album. And not for nothing, it was this mindset is what kept them hungry, producing some great music. Today's incarnation of VH lacks all creativity or drive other than to cash in.

    In the end, I wish Sammy would of done more older Van Halen tunes like Dance the Night Away, Beautiful Girls, Drop Dead Legs, I'll Wait, Running with the Devil, Little Guitars, And the Cradle Will Rock -- all classics which I think were right in his wheel house. Had things not gone south in '95 we might of seen this in time, if they remained a band and actual friends, but instead we get the longest running rock feud.

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    Atomic Punk I Coulda Hada VH's Avatar
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    Van Halen were extremely pissed at Dave when he left the band in 1985. As Sammy has stated on multiple occasions, they hated Dave when he joined the band. Therefore, it's no surprise that they wanted to play a lot of their new songs when they went on tour to support "5150". Also, that album was hugely popular.

    The Gary comparison doesn't hold water. Van Halen III was a major bomb.
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