Today marks the 25th anniversary of Van Halen parting ways with the second lead vocalist Sammy Hagar. We’re looking back at the events that brought about their parting of the ways.
After Van Halen manager Ed Leffler passed away, the band signed on with Rush manager Ray Danniels, who was actually Alex Van Halen’s brother-in-law. Danniels really wanted Van Halen to do a “best of” album. Hagar wanted no part of that.
Just about that same time, the guys were asked to do a song for the soundtrack of the movie ‘Twister. ”Sammy did agree to that. When it was later decided that song would be included on the movie soundtrack while another song would go on the hits album, Sammy got upset.
The issue was complicated by the fact that the band was recording another new song at the time for the hits album with former lead vocalist David Lee Roth.
All of that boiled over on June 16th.From a 1996 interview, Sammy talked about finding out that he’d been given the boot from Van Halen.
Hagar said, "Eddie calls me up -- it was actually on Father's Day in the morning -- he says, 'We gotta talk man.' 'cause he felt guilty I guess. I don't blame him. He said, 'You never do what we want you to do. You're always doing whatever you want to do and you have never been cooperative.' I'm going, 'Wait a minute. We've co-wrote every song this band has done since 1986. We have a great writing relationship. What do you mean I never do what you guys want me to do? You know, as far as I'm concerned we've done everything right.' You know, it's like this is the first I've heard about this. And he said, 'So I've had it and I just went back and got David Lee Roth in the band.' And I just freaked out. That's how the whole thing happened. I thought this is the biggest betrayal I've ever seen."
The news of the split came out in July with Hagar saying he got fired and Eddie saying that he’d quit the band. Later in September, the guys appeared on the ‘MTV Video Music Awards’ with David Lee Roth, but that reunion quickly ended when Eddie got upset with Roth.
The ‘Best Of-Volume 1’ was eventually released in October of 1996.By then Van Halen had tapped Extreme’s Gary Cherone for vocals. Cherone was also managed by Ray Danniels.
Sammy and Eddie did finally patch things up early in 2020 just months before Eddie passed away.
[Source: Classic Hits Today]