SAMMY HAGAR Says He 'Would Have Been Embarrassed' If VAN HALEN Had Changed Band Name To VAN HAGAR After He Joined

SAMMY HAGAR Says He 'Would Have Been Embarrassed' If VAN HALEN Had Changed Band Name To VAN HAGAR After He Joined

In a new interview with Marci Wiser of the 95.5 KLOS radio station, former VAN HALEN singer Sammy Hagar was asked if he was part of the discussions about whether to keep or change the band's name after he was recruited to front VAN HALEN following the mid-'80s departure of David Lee Roth. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Yeah, we were all in a room. And I think [head of Warner Bros.] Mo Austin said, 'Why don't we be careful here…?' Our managers and lawyers and the president of the record company and the band was all in a room when we asked for permission for me to join the band — it was official. Everybody came and said, 'We wanna have a meeting.' And we were in the studio and we played 'Why Can't This Be Love' [song from the 1986 album '5150']. And Mo Austin went, 'Oh, I smell money' — he thought it was just the greatest. But anyway, so then he said, 'Did you guys ever think about maybe changing the name to, like, VAN HAGAR or something?' And I know what they were thinking, because they thought, 'If this doesn't work, at least you can go back with VAN HALEN again. But if you're VAN HALEN and it don't work, now you've ruined VAN HALEN.' So they were trying to preserve, I think, the VAN HALEN name. And Eddie Van HalenEddie Van Halen; no one else — said, 'Fuck that.' He said, 'This is VAN HALEN with a new singer.' And everybody said, 'Okay. Word. Gospel.' Boom."

Asked if he was on board with the decision to keep the VAN HALEN name, Sammy said: "I was a hundred percent on board with it. It was VAN HALEN with a new singer. I would have been embarrassed to be VAN HAGAR. I would have said, 'Let's just change it back to [VAN HALEN's original name] MAMMOTH' or something — go back to the beginning."

Hagar recorded four studio albums with VAN HALEN"5150", "OU812", "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" and "Balance" — all of which topped the U.S. chart.

In a 2020 interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, VAN HALEN's longtime producer Ted Templeman admitted that he also initially had reservations about Hagar joining the band. "I wanted them to change the name," he said. "When I first sat down with Sammy and his manager, I said, 'Call it something else if you're going to be in the band. It's just not VAN HALEN without Dave to me.'"

Hagar, Eddie, Alex Van Halen and Michael Anthony last teamed up in 2004 for a U.S. summer tour. In exchange for taking part in the tour, Anthony reportedly had to agree to take a pay cut and sign away his rights to the band name and logo.

In early 2019, rumors were rampant that the classic-era lineup of VAN HALEN would reunite for the first time since 1984. It has since been revealed that a health setback involving Eddie was responsible for the tour not materializing.

Eddie died last October at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California.

The iconic VAN HALEN axeman passed away from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).