Music | June 30, 2021 10:39 am

Sammy Hagar Says David Lee Roth “Hasn’t Aged Well,” Calls Stage Persona “Totally Bullsh*t”

Hagar didn't hold back while discussing his popular Van Halen predecessor

Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth
Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth during their 2002 Song For Song tour.

During a recent appearance on the Brazilian streaming show Inside with Paulo Baron, former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar took some shots at the man who preceded him in the role as the lead singer for the hard-rocking, hard-partying 1980s band.

Not one to mince words, Hagar ripped into David Lee Roth while talking about the differences between the two singers. “He’s a real character. He’s a showman. He’s all show. I enjoy him,” Hagar said of Roth. “But you talk about cringing. I can’t imagine how he feels when he looks at some of them old videos, the way he was dancing and moving, and the way he was singing live sometimes. I don’t know how he feels about all that, but I don’t think he cares. He’s not what he’s saying he is; he’s pretending. He’s totally bullshit. Everything he does is thought up and it’s an image. It’s nothing to do with who he is; he is not exposing who and what he is.”

Hagar continued on with some remarks that sound as if they contain some subtext. “He puts on this whole big front and comes out: ‘I’m here! David Lee Roth is here!’ And then he goes and hides again. Very strange. I don’t think he’s happy. He’s never been married, never had a relationship, never had children. It’s, like, ‘Man, how do you live like that?’ I don’t know. I’m a family man. And I love women. I love women and children. He hasn’t aged well, his voice. I don’t know. It’s hard.”

Hagar’s take on DLR, while informed, seems a little harsh. Is it really fair to say that some of Roth’s antics, like dry humping a plastic dinosaur at the Prehistoric Park of Rivolta D’Adda outside Milan in Italy during the band’s European tour at the end of 1981, were in poor taste? Hagar can say that — but we certainly won’t. You do you (and that dinosaur), Dave.

In the interview, Hagar — the godfather of celebrity tequila — went on to say he regretted exposing the depths of Eddie Van Halen’s alcoholism in his 2011 autobiography Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock. 

“I forgot so many really fun little things, and every now and then I’ll wake up in the morning and have a dream and I’ll wake up and it makes me remember something in the childhood, and I think, ‘Oh I should have put that in in the book,’” Hagar told Baron. “But more than anything, because of the untimely and tragic death of Eddie Van Halen, I apologize from the bottom of my heart for exposing his dark side to where I don’t think anyone wants to hear that now, and unfortunately, it’s in the book.”

Van Halen, who patented his signature finger-tap guitar solo, died in October of 2020 at age 65.