Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sammy Hagar claims Van Halen are trying to shut him down

Sammy Hagar is claiming that the Alex and Eddie Van Halen are trying to prevent him from performing songs from the band’s Van Hagar-era.

Hagar continues to play material from his time in the group when he performs solo and with any of the supergroups he’s a part of – the latest being The Circle, with bassist Michael Anthony, drummer Jason Bonham and guitarist Vic Johnson.

“I feel obligated, because listen — we sold 40 million, 47 million records, whatever it was together,” Hagar tells Eddie Trunk (podcast audio below). “We had all those Number Ones. Those are great songs: ‘Right Now.’ ‘When It’s Love.’ ‘Finish What Ya Started.’ … These are great songs that need to be played for the people that supported it during the era, and it actually irritates me when those guys try to act like it never happened.”

Hagar then goes on to speculate about the band’s motives while attempting to take a shot at the ability of original Van Halen vocalist David Lee Roth.

“I’m going, ‘Why would you shoot yourself in the foot like that just because you can’t do them anymore?’,” says Hagar. "But don’t act like they’re not good songs and you can’t play them and that they’re not worth being played.”

The Red Rocker tells Trunk the Van Halen brothers are out to shut his efforts down.

“If you wanna know the truth, I’m gonna tell you something that’s gonna stir everything and everybody up so bad, you’re not going to believe it,” Hagar continues. “Eddie and Alex Van Halen are trying to stop me from even being able to play those songs. They have had attorneys and people say ‘No, he can’t play them.’ Sometimes you need permission to play something, like on TV and stuff, and they say no. They will actually fight legally to try and stop me, and I’m going crazy.”

“I’m going, ‘I’m gonna break these guys’ neck’”, threatens Hagar. “It’s like they’re so jealous they can’t do them and they don’t want them to be heard because they want to pretend like it never happened because of what they’re doing now.

“When I got wind of this. I was going nuts. I’ve hired an attorney and I’m gonna fight these guys to the end. Those are my songs! I wrote every lyric and every frickin’ melody on every one of those songs, and for those guys to say I can’t sing my own songs … oh my God, I’m going crazy.”

Hagar brought up a recent example of the situation as it unfolded during a taping of his appearance on Live From Daryl’s House with Daryl Hall.

“Daryl wanted to do ‘Why Can’t This Be Love’ and ‘Finish What Ya Started,’” says Hagar, “and their attorney said no and put out a cease and desist thing, so the network goes, ‘Well, we don’t have time to get in a lawsuit and find out who’s right or who’s wrong. We just can’t do the songs.’ It’s just stupid and childish.”

Hagar joined Van Halen in 1985 and – with rare exception – performed virtually the same three Roth-era songs in concert during his time with the group – “Panama”, “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” and the band’s cover of The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” – while playing the same number of tunes from his solo career in the set.

Van Halen – with Roth – will kick off a North American tour in support of their latest release, “Tokyo Dome Live In Concert”, in Seattle on July 5.

See also:

Van Halen expand reissue series
Van Halen tops the hennemusic Hot 10
Van Halen: Sammy Hagar responds to slam by David Lee Roth
Van Halen tops the hennemusic Hot 10
Search Van Halen at hennemusic