Part 248: Hagar Bashing


RECORD STORE TALES Part 248:  Hagar Bashing

There’s been some Van Hagar bashing recently here at  First there was this, and then this…some strong language here and there as well.  Seems that “Hagar Bashing” has been a hobby for me for a long time.  Witness this nearly decade old record store journal entry that I found.

Date: 2004/08/26 10:03

Someone should pass a law preventing Sammy Hagar from singing any old classic DLR tunes. “I got my ass against the record machine”???  Fuck you Sammy, go drink your tequila.

I kind of like that, I wish I’d worked that into my Best of Both Worlds review.  “Fuck you Sammy, go drink your tequila!”  I’m sure that would be considered a very professional review!  Speaking of which, apparently I wasn’t too impressed with a review that I read in Bass Guitar magazine, judging by the journal entry below.

Date: 2004/08/25 00:25

I hate reading an article in a magazine, and realizing I could have done a better job than the guy who gets paid all that cash for being in a big glossy.  I am reading a bass magazine, and there’s an article on Van Halen.  They’re talking about how consistent Michael Anthony’s sound and style has been, and continues to be on the three new songs.

Well, if the writer had bothered doing any checking, he would have seen that Anthony doesn’t play bass on the three new songs.  He in fact has nothing to do with the new album whatsoever.  I would have known that, not made a mistake in the article, and in addition asked Anthony about it in the interview!  I could have done a better job than this pro…and I wouldn’t even ask for a dime!

And I still haven’t made a dime!  Goal achieved.

Legend has it that Sammy Hagar liked this song even though Thelonious Monster meant it to be insulting.


A Different Kind of Truth (2012) – The Best of Both Worlds (2005 2 CD set) – Record Store Tales Part 186: The Van Halen TinVan Halen III (limited edition tin) – “Can’t Stop Loving You” (1995 single tin) – “Right Now” (1992 cassette single) – “Best of Both Worlds” picture sleeve 7″ single


  1. I refuse to bash Sammy or Van Hagar. DLR stuff is better overall, end of story. VHr (Van Hagar) had some nice songs but Sammy can’t hold Dave’s Glenmorangie.


    1. Haha, well said!

      Sometimes the dumbest things comes out of Sammy’s mouth and it just drives me nuts. Like on the Live Without A New CD. “Tomorrow may not never come!”

      Thanks Sammy :)

      I love both Chickenfoot albums though.


  2. Paint me with whatever brush you want, my favorite VH tracks are of the Sammy variety… Poundcake, Finish What You Started, Humans Being, etc.


  3. I sometimes understand Hagar bashing when it comes to his performances of old VH songs, but when people randomly slag him because he’s not as good as DLR they just come across as misinformed. The DLR-era of VH is obviously the gold standard but Sammy’s been pretty amazing as well. Montrose, some of his solo work and, for me, 5150 all prove that he can deliver the goods.

    As for the second part of your post, it’s amazing how many “real” writers often provide misleading or completely incorrect info. They should have editors & fact-checkers looking into their work but apparently those people are as good at their jobs as the writers in question.

    You may not be bringing in money for your writing, but know that you consistently do a great job and it’s appreciated by some of us out here who are trying to do the same.


    1. Rich, I am surprised there isn’t some kind of deluxe Montrose CD. I was hoping to get one, for a future series. But there’s nothing. Shame! It’s a great album.

      I like most of the Sammy albums (not the live VH) but it’s fun to make fun of the cheese sometimes.


  4. I sort of agree with Patrick here. I mean, I love Van Halen, no matter who’s singing. Well, ok, the 3 album with Gary Cherone was a disaster, but the rest of ’em are all brilliant. But I found it really cool that they were like two different bands with Sam and Dave, but both had all the VH trademarks – EVH’s guitar playing and sound, Mike Anthony’s brilliant bass playing and his backingvocals and harmonies and AVH’s huge drum sound – that guy sounds like on one else. I love both versions of the band equally. But as a singer, Sammy is superior to Dave. DLR’s range isn’t even close to Sammy’s.


    1. Can’t argue with that. Both bands have their merits. I live DLR’s attitude, lyrics and style. Sammy’s a better singer and probably a stronger writer. There’s really no right or wrong, just differing tastes.


      1. It’s all about taste, as you said. No wrong or right. But I find it really weird that it’s so hard for some people to love both versions – it’s not like you have to choose sides. I have friends who says they don’t like the Sam version because they sound like an ordinary pop band…. Waaaaait a minute.. They do not. Sure, more pop, but they kept the VH sound.


        1. When you have Edward Van Halen in a band, it’s going to sound like Edward Van Halen. There’s nobody else that sounds like that. Listen to “Beat It”, it’s instantly recognizable who is playing guitar.

          Van Halen would have gone more pop, anyway. 5150 was mostly (musically) written with Roth still in the band. He described the new music as “morose”. What Sam changed was the attitude, more than the sound. Where Dave was sly with his meanings, and poetic, etc, Sammy was more along the lines of “Get in this car and blow me while I drive!” And of course as a front man he was very different because there is only one David Lee Roth. And hey, that’s not Sammy’s fault. How do you follow David Lee Roth?!?


  5. 5150 was one of my first rock LPs, so I get all nostalgic for that one, but the rest? mmm – I’m just jealous of his millions in the bank I guess! I love the Thelonious Monster – I’d never heard that before, its brilliant.


    1. I saw them perform it live on TV, acoustically. In the middle, the singer went “Go Eddie”! and the guitar player did this awkward fast lick, it was hilarious.

      And in that same interview, they said “Sammy Hagar is so dumb he liked the song. That’s how dumb Sammy Hagar is, that he didn’t get that we’re making fun of him.”


  6. Sorry boys, I can’t help the conversation: I like just about all the VH. Turn it up! Halen Wooooo!

    I bought a Thelonious Monster CD for a guy in Glasgow (not our HMO) for Christmas in the mid-90s and back then it was a tough find, for some reason. I remember he liked it, though.


      1. I wasn’t even looking for cassette then. Huh. I remember I got him the Thelonious Monster on CD and a first-day Vitalogy on vinyl. Good times.

        I did a bit of research and yeah, the CDs can be had. These days I might want Thelonious MONK more than I’d want Thelonious MONSTER, though. Must just be the mood I’m in.


  7. Hagar the Horrible they used to call him,or was it Dave??
    Caught his VOA tour back in 84 in Duluth Minnesota a full yr before he joined Halen.
    So when I caught the news that day that Roth was out and Dave was in I was pleased as I knew Hagar was a good live frontman which I believe he was esp on the F.U.C.K tour dude was on fire. It’s too bad that the Right Here Right now video release was butchered with shitty editing and camera work that well I watched it once and chucked it in a box. It’s to bad though he would have got some street cred from that tour.
    Now it sounds like I’m a Sam lover…ha,yeah kinda but for my money U can’t beat the 6 Dave Halen releases,no sense stating there merits as we all know em inside out.
    For the record Woman&Childern first is my all time uno número 1!!
    So yeah getting back to Hagar,dude has put out good solo stuff but his talent was brought up 10 fold by the Halen tribe and it shows on those Halen releases.
    It is too bad it ended how it did but when everything gets all tangled up with ego and what not ..hey shit happens…
    But we got ADKOT last yr and man I’m good with that!
    Stay Frosty my friends..



    1. Yes and Hagar has had solid releases in the meantime too. The Hagar and Friends CD is one I’m interested in getting. I love the Chickenfoot albums as you know.

      Just got the new DLR Greatest Hits this week. The reason I bought it was the DVD which has the Dave TV thing and most of the music videos.


    2. Dave Halen!! Thats great I never thought of that. Fair Warning is mine. Love the darkness of and the somewhat experimental energy of it. As for the Van Hagar ones OU812 stands out the most. I know FU has the rock but most of the stuff is too cheesy for me. Still its Dave Apples and Sammy Oranges. Its like the Fish-era Marillion as opposed to the H era. Both have their moments of greatness but the original era stands out as the most groundbreaking. 4 albums and none of them sounds a bit like the other.


      1. I’m pretty much with you on this. Fair Warning for DLR and OU812 for Sammy. Although I also love 1984 and 5150 isn’t bad.

        Good example with Fish and Marillion. I still follow Marillion today, but I admit that it’s the first 4 albums I play most frequently.


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