David Lee Roth has ruled out performing any Sammy Hagar–era tunes on Van Halen’s upcoming North American tour, saying there would be a “credibility issue” with him singing those songs.
The singer also claims that issue is the reason why Van Halen’s albums with Hagar didn’t sell nearly as well as those from the Roth era.
“Good, bad or in the middle, you know Roth means it,” he told Billboard. “The other guy doesn’t.
“That’s why [the Hagar catalog] sold half as well. Literally, Midas Bible half. Why would you bring that into the proceedings? This hamburger don’t need no helper.”
Roth performed with Van Halen from 1974 to 1985 before leaving for a solo career. Hagar took over until 1996, when former Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone stepped in. Hagar returned from 2003 to 2005, at which point Roth again returned. Roth also had a brief reunion with Van Halen in 1996 to record a pair of new tracks that accompanied Van Halen’s Best Of—Volume I compilation.
Here’s a quick overview of the sometimes-up/sometimes-down history
of the Van Halens and David Lee Roth.
Eddie Van Halen recently told the Washington Times that the band would possibly work on a new studio album to followup 2012’s A Different Kind of Truth when the current tour ends.
“After this touring cycle, we will probably hunker down and do a studio record,” he said. “We certainly have enough material. It is a matter of timing and getting everybody together. That’s the only way it can be done.”
Roth, for his part, said he’s ready whenever Eddie is. “I’m always writing, and I’ve written with a number of other people,” Roth says. “I would always look forward to doing it again with Van Halen.”
At the same time, Roth suggested the band—which includes Eddie’s brother Alex on drums and son, Wolfgang, on bass—might be more comfortable taking the slow approach.
“Everybody has a different work ethic,” Roth says. “Everybody has a different approach. The Van Halens are perhaps a bit more traditional—think like the Rolling Stones.”
Van Halen’s upcoming North American tour kicks off July 5, at the White River Amphitheatre in Seattle, Washington. Visit Van-Halen.com for full details.