Van Halen

Van Halen Artistfacts

  • 1974-
    David Lee RothVocals1974-1985
    Eddie Van HalenGuitar, vocals1974-2020
    Alex Van HalenDrums1974-
    Michael AnthonyBass, vocals1974-2007
    Sammy HagarVocals1985-1996 2003-2005
    Gary CheroneVocals1996-1999
    Wolfgang Van HalenBass2007-
  • Years of jumping around on stage took a toll on Eddie. He had hip-replacement surgery in 1999. He also had cancer in his throat and tongue, which caused him to lose part of his tongue. That cancer claimed his life on October 6, 2020 - he was 65.
  • On their 1979 tour, David Lee Roth gave each of the crew members five backstage passes, which they were supposed to give to beautiful women. If Roth shacked up with one of the babes, he gave the roadie that got her in $100 the next day.
  • Eddie and Alex were born and raised in Holland. Their family moved to Pasadena, California in 1967, when Eddie was 10 and Alex was 12.
  • Eddie took piano lessons throughout his youth. He credits his understanding of classical music for his ability to write songs.
  • Eddie and Alex' father, Jan Van Halen, was a professional clarinet player.
  • Their original name was Mammoth, but they changed it after finding out another band had it first. It was Roth's idea to use the name Van Halen - Eddie and Alex didn't like it.
  • Roth was in a band called Redball Jet when he met Eddie and Alex. Michael Anthony met Alex at Pasadena City College.
  • Eddie had serious stage fright, and the only way he could perform early on was by having some drinks beforehand, which was something his dad suggested. He quickly became a very high-functioning alcoholic, but his drinking had a profound effect on his health, his personal relationships, and the band. He credited his wife Janie Liszewski, whom he met in 2006, with getting him sober, which he finally did around 2009. For most of 2008, Eddie sat around the house watching television and weaning himself off of alcohol.
  • In 1977, Gene Simmons saw them in concert and set up their first recording session. He flew them to New York and bought them new clothes, but the resulting demo still didn't get them a record deal. The record companies were reluctant to sign them because disco was in and rock was out.
  • On most of the songs, the music was written by Eddie and the lyrics by Roth or Hagar. The band shares songwriting credit, however, meaning that royalties are split equally regardless of who contributes.
  • Roth was hyperactive as a child and became a very high-energy adult. His demand for attention helped the band in the sense that it kept Eddie from having to do interviews or stage moves - Roth did all the talking and was happy to have his picture taken whenever possible.

    "David was always a ham – he loved the camera and the camera loved him, and he knew it was important to get good photographs for the different magazines," photographer Mark Weiss told Songfacts. "The other guys I would have to knock on the door and say, 'Hey, how about a picture?'"
  • Eddie married actress Valerie Bertinelli on April 11, 1981, when he was 25 and she was 21. They met the year before when she brought her brother, who was a huge Van Halen fan, backstage at a show in Shreveport, Louisiana.

    In 1991 they had a son named Wolfgang, who inherited many of his dad's musical talents. Eddie and Valerie separated in 2001 and divorced in 2007.
  • Eddie was constantly working on his guitars. He would take them apart and piece them together until he got them just right.
  • They had a provision in their contract demanding M&Ms backstage with the brown ones removed. This was a way of seeing if the promoters read the contract. If they saw brown M&Ms, they knew there would be problems with the show.
  • In 2004, David Lee Roth turned his back on music and trained to be a paramedic. The same year, the band reunited with Hagar. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Tom - Trowbridge, England
  • Eddie started out as a drummer. Alex had a guitar, but while Eddie was out on his paper route (that he had to pay for his drums), Alex would play his drums. Eddie said, "Fine, play my drums, I'll play your guitar!" >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Pat - Babylon, NY
  • Michael Anthony makes hot sauce. He has one called Mad Anthony's Hot Sauce.
  • When Van Halen first appeared, there was a rumor that the group were actually members of KISS without their makeup and attire. If you take a close look at early pics of them, David Lee Roth resembled Paul Stanley, Eddie Van Halen resembled Ace Frehley, and Michael Anthony resembled Gene Simmons. This rumor may had been fueled by Gene Simmons' discovery of the group, and the fact that Van Halen had appeared right around the time KISS had taken a break from the recording studio in 1977. The rumor was soon quelled when the individual members of KISS released their "solo" albums in 1978 around the same time Van Halen II was released, and people began to really notice the height differential between Alex Van Halen and Peter Criss. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Randy - Colerain Twp., OH
  • Anthony's real last name is Sobolewski.
  • Van Halen reunited in 2007 with David Lee Roth joining Eddie and Alex, along with Eddie's son Wolfgang on bass. Sammy Hagar and Mike Anthony weren't invited to join them on tour, but they were the band's sole representatives at Van Halen's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction that year. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Van Halen's 2008 tour rider contained a demand for a study room for bassist Wolfgang Van Halen, who was 16 then, and for his tutor. David Lee Roth insisted that his dressing room have no floor covering so he could practice martial arts in it.
  • In the early days, Eddie played his solos with his back to the audience so that other guitar players could not steal his moves, and also because of his stage freight.
  • Eddie Van Halen played the guitar solo on Michael Jackson's "Beat It." He didn't ask for royalties - Eddie did it as a favor for Jackson's producer, Quincy Jones.
  • David Lee Roth aimed a lot of zingers at his detractors, which were often other musicians. One of these was directed at Sammy Hagar back in 1982 when they exchanged words in the press. "Sammy definitely has a social problem," Dave said in Creem. "I think it's based on lack of education."
  • Eddie Van Halen influenced expanded the range of rock guitar in ways that had a profound influence. Ty Tabor of King's X explained it this way: "In the '70s, you had guys that played from the heart, but weren't necessarily technically awesome. And then you had technical players who were from the other side of the brain, and just left me totally cold. Well, the '80s brought the first group of guitarists I remember that put those two together. Eddie Van Halen is a good example of it - he was technically amazing, and yet he played from the heart."
  • When David Lee Roth left Van Halen in 1985 to embark on a solo career, Eddie offered the lead singer position to former Montrose lead vocalist Sammy Hagar after being introduced to him via their mutual Ferrari mechanic.
  • Eddie Van Halen approached several other vocalists to replace David Lee Roth before lining up Sammy Hagar. They included Journey's Steve Perry, Scandal's Patty Smyth, and even Hall & Oates' Daryl Hall.

Comments: 65

  • Av8rdav from Northern CaliforniaDavid Lee Roth obtained his Private Pilot certificate with Rotorcraft-Helicopter rating in December 2006.
  • Big Al Hutson from Riverside NjI was around back in 82”- 84”I did some example tricks for Ed & Al after they knocked on my door by mistake. They were looking for the guy next Rick Hall because he ran the sound systems got the old Philadelphia Spectrum home of Flyers hockey and concerts etc. they couldn’t help hearing me play in the other half double house. I was 19 visiting my mothers. Playing the Marshall full stack I left there to annoy everyone at the elementary/high school. Funny eddies amps went to volume 11! My 100watt stack was always 8+ and just freakin rude. They heard my hot for teacher & while she watches never free, just bleeding/screaming through walls! They knocked on mothers door again an hour later and said was that you? I said was what me playing for the entire school letting out they all loved it. My old em was on the third floor there. To the passers by it was coming in from above no idea where but the older kids/guys know it was me back then. Those riffs made to the big time. I knew it from the first notes & the words I was always screaming just to hear over that Marshall amp. That amp is still in riverside nj but not mine sold it after 8 years bought a new 75w Marshall and still own that 30+ years. Once you hear your own voice or particular playing style instantly you recall everything from the moments it’s concieved! I gave thousands of short concerts for just to annoy the schools faculty!! “Playing anything strings since 1969”
    Gotta love what you do or don’t do it at all!
    I made thousands of recordings in riverside and lumberton, nj. Still have most of the old stuff I didn’t just give away every recording freely! I’ve got a boatload of newer stuff. I practice & do mostly stuck on working out how joe satriani does his guitar work. I only bought j satriani cds in last 7 or eight years now! If joes doing it , I’ve got to figure them out note for best notes I visualize what my brain is hearing by ear than get the sheet music for posterity sake. Sorry man I’m stuck on Joe satches super alien in flight performances!
    I be seen joe 14 times in philly pa. He has made me want to quit playing at times thinking what the hell is joe playing right there? I’m never gonna but somehow I relate to the just play the best licks n make up the difference by completion to end of notes available make new ones to fit the arrangement as needed.
    Big sound isn’t always correct but when it fits own it yourself!
  • Al from United StatesHave heard that the very first part actually is the the sounds of Eddie Van Halen’s Lamborghini....only first few seconds then drums
  • Rick Montanez from SylmarIf you see Deep Purple back in the early 70's live you'll see some guy by the name of Ritchie Blackmore do a little tapping that I'm sure Van Halen seen and the parents of Stevie Vai witness. You can't compare guitar players of different eras to say Vai or Van Halen is better than Hendrix shows that they don't know history and the contributions made by a Hendrix that allows a Vai or Van Halen to play the way they do! Influence is a better word and far more accurate.
  • Sherry from Middleboro, MaThis David vs. Sammy thing has been a constant battle within myself for many years. 1978-1984 we had DLR. Very entertaining, not much of a voice and seemed to be more into the SDR&R thing, which is cool. Problem with that is, I don't think David took his role to Van Halen seriously. If he only had a brain? Maybe. Someone made a comment on this that "Diamond Dave is a vocal clown"...that sums it up! I don't dislike David...I think it was more of a change of the times for me. In 1978 was when VH joined the rock & roll world if you will. I was 7 yrs old. I remember as I got older, say age 10, I remember sitting on the bus and the older kids had a big boom box cranking VH's first album. I did enjoy it and knew I was into the rock music instead of rap, although later on I learned to appreciate rap. In any case, 1984 album came out in 1983. I was in 7th grade. EVERYONE loved that album. Other than Panama and Drop Dead Legs, I could have cared less. JUMP? Forget it! Even though it was the top hit off the 1984 album, I didn't care for it. I preferred their Diver Down album over 1984...actually I enjoyed all their older stuff. The following year was when David left and here comes Sammy Hagar...remembering in an interview w/Eddie VH, Sammy was asked to join the band. Sammy had some decent success on his own and Montrose. 5150 comes out. The first single released was Why Can't This Be Love", keeping in mind no video was produced. I remember hearing it for the first time and hated that song!!! To me it wasn't "rock" enough, I think the keyboard threw me off. I heard it over and over, and each time I did, I started to appreciate Sammys rock voice & I liked it more and more. To this day, its one of my favorite songs, along with a handful of other songs from 5150 like Best of Both Worlds, Good Enough & Summer Nights. As a debut album and with time and music changing, I knew something better was going to come along. In 1988, it was their year...OU812! "A.F.U. (Naturally Wired)" reflects on the energy and the intensity of the band, the album, that summer....amazing!!To this day, OU812 IS my favorite album of all time. It rocked, it romanced, it was fun, it was was everything I wanted in a rock band and album I can't express it any other way. Sammys voice was at his best in his career in my opinion. You could tell he was proud of his work and loved what he was doing. Yes, he partied along with the rest of the boys but never in any kind of scandelous trouble and most of all, they were respected the next day and not known for being dumbasses or clowns. October 1988, I saw VH in Providence, RI. It was incredible...the most memorable part of the concert was when Sammy sat at the edge of the stage with his acustic guitar and just jamming and chilling to Finished What Ya Started. Just totally rocked out the Providence Civic Center! I was proud to be a Sammy fan....and still am. He worked hard to where he is today, has a beautiful family and digs ther rock and roll life even in his mid 60's. He is just a good guy with morals and just very positive and respectful. David, well...did he ever figure out how many letters there are in the english alphabet?
  • Ron from Richland, OrOn June, 6 2006 (6,6,06) David Lee Roth played a bluegrass version of Van Halen's "Jump" to close that nights' Tonight Show with Jay Leno. It was to promote Roth's new album; Strummin' With The Devil: Bluegrass Tribute to Van Halen, collaborating with Blue Highway and Iron Horse.
  • Vince from Long Island, NyDid you know when Dimebag Darell died, Eddie Van Halen went to his funeral and put his black and yellow frankenstein from Van Halen 2 in Dimebag's coffin.
  • Vince from Long Island, NySteve Vai is better than EVH in my opinion.He was with Frank Zappa in the 1970's.Which means he may have been two-hand tapping before EVH.
  • Jim from Anycity, FlDavid Lee Roth's vocals with VH, will never be topped. It blended with the band as an instrument would......Never out of Place, just part of the overall sound. Original Van Halen. What could be better!!!
  • Big Daddy from Detroit, MiVan Halen was great with Dave OR Sammy. Different eras, same great music. Sammy is a better singer and gives you a bit more at the live shows than Dave did, but Dave had more hits with VH than Sammy did. My question to TRUE VH fans is: How can you lose with EITHER of them singing with the band??? Lots of great stuff...pre and post 1984.

    Gary Cherone may be a good singer, but he was not a good fit for VH. Can anyone understand more than 5 words he sings on that entire album? If you listen to his vocal patterns, it becomes clear that album was really meant for Sammy to sing on. Cherone was a dimestore replacement, at best.

    Van Halen never performed with Robert Plant. That is a mislabeled track on Limewire. Ignore it.

    Eddie has been the problem, not the singers. It pains me to say that because I love the guy, but face it - he's been a clueless jerk for awhile now. I can anyone not get along with Sammy? I hope the recent rehab brings him back to earth. When David Lee Roth of all people says "Eddie is in his own little world..." that is a MAJOR red flag, if you ask me. Read the interview Howard Stern did with Eddie and you'll get a taste of what I'm talking about. EVH is waaaaay out there. I wonder seriously if he even remembered any of his dumb comments the next day.

    Intersting note regarding the VH performance at Farm Aid: When the band finishes Led Zep's "Rock and Roll", Sammy begins to unfurl a sign that was thrown up on stage. When Eddie asks him what it says, Sammy forgets that the mic is still live and blurts out, "it says you have a small dick!" Willie Nelson was not amused, and never invited VH back to play another Farm Aid concert.

    Michael Anthony has done nothing wrong except put up with too much of Eddie's crap over the years. What a shame he won't be included should VH w/Dave ever reunite. Cutting him loose was a lowball, classless act. I give Mike full props for the kind words he said about Ed at the R-n-R Hall of Fame ceremony. Now THAT was class - and Eddie sure didn't deserve it.

  • Tim from Woodbury, NjAs i read these comments about VH,Sammy and Dave,well opions vary who was better. I personally like Sammy better, and i thought Dave sucked,to me it sounded like he was singing a poem or tried to show off too much.
    Sammy on the other hand i thought brought out the band, They seem to have better music and Sammy's voice seem to fit in with the music.
    I have been to many VH concerts, one with dave and 3 with Sammy,In my eyes and ears i think VH was at the best with Sammy.
    As for as the Their music today,(VH) well yes it has changed,Sammy went off to start his own band, Dave went off to start a band, and both of them (sammy,Dave) both played in Atlantic City, NJ.
    Dave doesnt sound at all like he used tobut i feel Sammy does.
    Who cares who sung with VH back in the older days, they were a group that rocked, and im sure they would still have rocked but the band really had a hard time staying afloat until recent, maybe they are back together as a band again but i have not heard of any tour dates set for Camden NJ or Philadelphia PA.
    Let me ask, most of the songs the radio stations play of VH, who do you hear the most of? Sammy or Dave? I hear more of Sammy, then Dave. but maybe it depends on where you live and whatever rock station is in your area.
    All round i think Sammy was the better person for the band but as i said opinions vary.
  • Samantha from Missouri, MoAWWWW!!No fair i wanna finish high scool at Pasadena i still got 4 years left!!
  • Kurt from Heber City, UtVan Halen is by far one of the greatest bands of the 80's Yes they come on earlier than that bt they really kicked it in gear in the 80's. I can't belive that anyone would ever compare Eddie to Jimi Hendrix. How can anyone compare them. they are from two totally different eras of Rock-n-Roll and if you want to put it right they are both the best, however they are the best from their era's. Now if they both played and lived in the same decades then you could only agree that Eddie is the better of the two!!
    _Kurt B. - Heber City, Utah
  • Tom from Philly, Njhearing "running with the devil" as a kid left a huge impression... that sound was like no other guitar orientated band....

    tom lesko
    seance 1982
  • Matt from Cherry Hill, NjYou know, Van Halen is a great band... probably one of the best i've ever heard. The only problem i've ever had with this band is Sammy Hagar. I love Van Halen, not Van Hagar. And this isn't confirmed but a rumor is going around that Eddie, Alex, Wolfgang (Eddie's Son), and Dave are joining up for a final hooray and might tour in the summer of 2007. Kind of weird Metallica is going back on tour this summer too... could this be the return of the rock gods, and good music as we know it?
  • Chris from Virginia Beach, VaI can not agree with Carrie about the synths. They started that on earlier albums and was really highly utilized on the Diver Down album (although it was used before that time). I feel that the new Van Halen is not very good either (Roth, Eddie, Alex and Wolfgang). They really gave Mike down the road on this one, and if you read his comments they were really did not want include him on the last album (the newer songs).
  • Mike from Orleans, InI live about 30 minutes south of DLR's birthplace. I cool having a legend like him being born in the same are as i was
  • Blah from Edmonton, CanadaJust to make this clear, Eddie did not create the whole tapping thing. Iv seen Jeff Beck, Ace Frehley and a few other guitarists do it before him.
  • Blah from Edmonton, CanadaPeople Van Halen's good, but the second you say he can't compare to Jimi hendrix clearly show you people are ameatures to music
  • Alex from Fayetteville, NcThe Van Halen "Stairway to Heaven" is Jimmy Page..... You should be able to recognize this is not Van Halen.... And for the comment on Jimi Hendrix, listen to "Electric Ladyland", before you make that decision. Most people only hear "Are You Experienced?", other than ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER and VOODOO CHILD (SLIGHT RETURN). The album rocks, Jimi rocks, and this album is 10x better than "Van Halen".
  • Michael from Kearny, NjIn answer to Alex from Setauket, NY's question, the live recording of "Rock and Roll" is actually Eddie and Sammy Hagar performing at Willie Nelson's Farm Aid back in 1985 or 86. As for "Stairway to Heaven", to my knowledge, Robert Plant and VH have never collaberated, so if it is Plant singing, it is not VH performing...
  • Eric from Atlanta, GaIt is interestng that the vast majority of these comments completely ignore Van Halen 3 (the one with "that Gary guy from Extreme"). While most people long for the hard rock days of Roth, or comment about the pop-ish sensibilities and song-smithing of Hagar, I personally found the more organic songwriting aproach of Van Halen 3 really shed some light on the kind of songwriter Eddie Van Halen truely is. Yes, the songs have a very loose feel to them - from what I understand, tis is because eddie kept recorders all over his home, and whenever he felt inspired he would turn on the recorder and play (i.e. "How Many Say I"). The result are songs that have some real passion behind them ("A Year to the Day" is a great example of this). Just my take on that, and I'm sure I'll get flamed by someone for it.

    David Lee Roth era Van Halen - Party rock band (Let's get smashed and laid)
    Sammy Hagar era Van Halen - Commercial sucess (Couldn't listen to a radio without hearing "Dreams" or "When It's Love")
    Gary Cherone era Van Halen - Eddie Van Halen unbridled ("Wow, is this the same dude who wrote 'In a Simple Rhyme'?")

    Eric - Atlanta, Ga.
  • Alex from Setauket, NyA friend of mine gave me s cd that he burnt and it claims to have 2 track one of which is supposedly van halen doing a cover of Led Zeppelin's song "Rock n Roll" in a live concert in 86, the other is supposedly van halen with Robert Plant doing a cover of Zeppelin's stairway to heaven, I cannot tell if this is VH or not, has anyone heard of these and know if they are real or not?
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScAs a singer, Roth is my favorite too. I'm just not as familiar with VH as I could be, so I couldn't comment on Eddy.
  • Sarah from Nova Scotia, CanadaBack to the no girls like rock 19, a girl, and here doing research for my all rock radio show. My co-host is also a girl... see! more girls are starting to see the light!
  • Phil from Niagara Falls, CanadaDavid, you lucky bastard, you go to Van Halen's scool! i wish i did...:(
  • Mellissa from Wasaga Beach, CanadaI dont believe that all girls only listen to mainstream, poppy stuff, because ive never really liked anything like that. I grew up listening to AC/DC, Van Halen, Led Zep, The Doors, Loverboy, Styx and INXS helping my dad with his mechanics. I dont understand why everyone makes such a big deal about girls who listen to classic rock, because we listen to it for the same reason as guys do. It freakin rocks.
  • Mike from Fords, NjK ... Sammy's out of VH ... again.

    Bring back Dave for one more CD and tour ... then retire, gracefully ... if you wish.

    Give the fans ... at least the majority, what THEY want for a change.

    If VH announced the aforementioned, they'd sell out in all respects like never before ... and regardless of whether it lived up to 'classic' standards or not ... it would offer closure, in a sense ... before it's too late.

  • Phil from Niagara Falls, CanadaMy dad has their first record and it is my favourite from his record collection.
  • Hassan from Mission Viejo, Caim only 14 to, but man i love David Lee Roth's vocals and lyrics, its just to bad that he like lost his voice. hagar would be the vocalist to go with in that....well actually they could go on with David Lee Roth just like AC/DC is doing with Brian Johnson...but they never replaced my opinion, Eddie Van Halen is the best guitarist in the world, he looks Jimi Hendrix look like whit in the live without a net guitar solo
  • James from Windsor, CaI credit Van Halen to my being slightly hard of hearing. Turn it up even more now!
  • Steve from Oroville, CaI am only 14 but i got my first VH CD when i was 7. Everything pre-hagar is great. EVH inspired me to play guitar. I have influenced all of my friends to listen to classic rock, and i got them hooked.
  • Stephanie from Melbourne, Australia hey..look i just wanted to add my self to the hopefully growing list of gals that dig van halen. I'm 13 and love Van Halen. They are my favourite band eva!! I also love Deep Purple, GnR, Led Z., Ac/dc, Alice Cooper, Motley Crue, and stuff like that. I personaly dont mind who sings in van halen as long as they dont screech, are male and performe well. So long as van halen keeps on keeping on, Steph
  • Billy Storey from Boston , MaDave Lee Roth All The Way. Kicks Hagar's ass.
  • Randy from Fords, NjWhoah, I wasn't stereotyping. If /anything/, I was lamenting at the lack of female interest. That's what I've seen, sadly, but seeing a few here who prove me wrong is an point I'd gladly be debunked on. 10 miles north, huh? You single? (Woo, sorry, had to ask).
  • Ben from Rotherham, EnglandBy the way, I'm not a girl but I am a 15 year old English VH fan and that's weird!
  • Ben from Rotherham, EnglandMy comment to Tom: Van Halen are not the American version of Queen. Yes, they are similar in many ways, but I think the American version of Queen is Boston same as the Irish version is Thin Lizzy
  • Dave Hendry from Liverpool, Englandvan halen rule either with roth or hagar. Hagar gets my vote all the way though,but diamond dave was killer on the mic 2. Everything post 5150 rules but the first album is a rock landmark yet to be supassed keep on rockin and eddie your playin inspires me to keep on rockin
  • Alex from Farmington, Nmby the way, has anyone ever heard spanish fly? That is one of the coolest things ive ever heard.
  • Alex from Farmington, Nmeddie didnt sell out or whatever when sammy came into the band-i think that sammy just allowed eddie more freedom to do what he wanted-and vh3 isnt all that bad, some of the stuff is really cool and really original
  • Parry from Cranford, NjHey Randy, go 10 miles north and you'll find a 16 yr. old girl who loves Van Halen more than life
  • David from Pasadena, CaVan Halen is awesome. I go to Pasadena High School, where Eddie and Alex used to go! I walk down the same halls they once walked down. They probably wrote Hot for Teacher in memory of a PHS teacher. Awesome
  • Kelly from Ridgefield, CtTo all the people saying that no girls like this music (Jessi, Randy, etc)- I'm a 13 year old girl and I love Van Halen, as well as other good old bands like GnR, Led Zep, AC/DC, Deep Purple, etc, etc. I know that for a large part girls tend to listen to more popular, current music... but don't stereotype us.
  • Chris from Kansas City, MoFirst of all, everyone here needs a quick grammar refresher so your comments actually make sense. Punctuation and capitalization, can't say enough.

    Here's the deal with Van Halen...
    They kicked everyone's ass in 1978. Nobody had heard that kind of sound before. They were hungry, extremely new to the big business of making music, and used that hunger to blow the world away.
    HOWEVER... Things must change. They always do.
    Dave was a substandard singer, a decent performer, and a cancer on the band, ultimately.
    Sam came in and took the band to levels that Dave would never have taken them. Sam is a better singer, and better performer, and a more focused musician. Does anyone really believe Dave could have sung "Dreams"?
    Put it this way: Dave is now a paramedic, Sam is now back with the band, selling out 15,000 seat arenas. Enough said. You need CPR? Call Dave. You want an amazing rock vocal? Call Sam.
    People talk about Ed "selling out" with his playing and writing, or losing whatever it was he had in 1978. Musicians EVOLVE, kids, it's what they do.
    When Sam came along the writing got better, the material became more complex, they stretched out technically, and became better musicians and a better Van Halen. 5150 was VH's first #1 album, by the way.
    And by the way, making music is a BUSINESS, for all you critics saying Van Hagar "sold out," or became a "money making machine," or "went pop."
    Pop is short for popular. As in, lots of people like it. If you want to eat, you've got to sell records, simple as that.
    My advice: Appreciate the past, enjoy the past, don't live there.
    Lastly, Al is one of the greatest pure rock drummers in history, no question. Mike is one of the most underrated rock bassists in history (not to mention his vocal contributions). Ed revolutionized and popularized (there's that word again) rock guitar in ways no one has ever or will ever accomplish.
  • Randy from Fords, NjOne of the few, nowadays. I myself am a 17-year-old guy, and the rock fans I run into lately - if at all - are pretty much all male. Girls lately tend to stick to the poppy stuff, R&B, country, or punk. Haven't met a one who knows who Deep Purple is or who has ever listened to Van Halen.

    As for Roth or Hagar, I personally like Roth. But hell, most bands are better in their early years. I'd like Hagar if Eddie still played like he used to instead of conforming to the newer age.
  • Joseph from El Paso, Txhey, Jessi from Castro Valley, CA. My friend is 17 and yes my friend is a she and she really likes Van Halen. Shes the one that got me intersted in Van Halen. And yes I'm a guy.
  • Sam from Philadelphia, Paeddie van halen is not that good of a guitarist. he was extremely sloppy and just becuase he played fast people liked him. speed isnt everything people. a real musician would understand me. hes good, but hes just not top 75 material
  • Jessi from Castro Valley, Cahey humans,
    I'm sadly so far the only female girl that is in love with Van Halen. everyone thinks im weird cause i hum cathedral (my favorite solo). do any of you know a girl, 14-16 who like the band?
  • Edward from Oklahoma City, United Statesi really hope that edward van halen is currently teaching his son wolfgang how to play guitar,.i expect in about 5-10 years from now,..wolfgang van halen will either have a solo career or partner up and form a band,..i mean,.come on,.if you were the son of eddie van halen,.would you not want to learn how to play the guitar like your dad??..i rest my case. hey, it would be cool if wolfgang van halen and kama hagar formed a band,..that would be awesome!!
  • Jules from London, United Statesnick from columbus has brought up an important point about not mentioning the rythym section of the band enough and the credit they deserve i touched upon it on one post on the led zep area where this guy was really bugging me dissing evh too much basically saying he was a product of the gruesome hair metal genre and so deserved no credit as a guitar player - well i think i put him right. anyway i digress eddie once described the bass n drums as the glue that holds the song(and band) together and this analogy is quite appropriate look at led zep, the who for two - alex is one of those musicians who will unfortubately always be living in the shadow of his brother but you know listening to people remixing stuff in g'n'r its always vocals and guitar but where do they cut 'jump' off yeah right after the opening riff with the drum roll and this says to me that a lot of people are still missing an integral part of this band - and when you look at the length of time eddie and alex have played together as bro's you can see why everything clicks so well between them - as for mike again much underated but some of his bass lines on fair warning for one as good as any ive heard out of entwistle and the like - i suppose at the end of the day its the fact that eddie displays some sort of god given genius-like quality in his guitar(and keyboard) work that really is bound to overshadow the rest of the band - but having said that eddie is not a ritchie blackmore where he is going to forfeit the band altogether cos of his ego and when the band hold together they can (and do) outplay everyone out there. you know what we need people a film biography bout van halen... think i'll go grab my pen
  • Mireaux from Oklahoma City, Oksomething else i wanted to mention,.in the facts column, a proposed name for van halen was rat salade, which to me sounds kind glam rock-ish. also, growing up, alex originally started out playing the axe, and eddie took up the playing the drums. it was only after ed saw that alex was better than him, playing the beach song "wipeout" on the drums, that ed agreed for alex to take the drums. something else i wanted to add to my initial posting,.those individuals (notice i didnt say fans-im reluctant to call them that) who feel that roth is better, and hagar sucks because they prefer roth's style,.well,.when roth rejoined in 1996 and recorded "me wise magic" and "cant get this stuff no more",.did either of those tracks sound anything like diamond dave did,.say off of women and children first?,.umm,.NOO!. these people are retards, they think that by simply putting roth back into the band is going to bring back the sound vh had before hagar joined. thats crazy! people change, and so do musicians and they way they write and compose music. vh is a band known for spontaneous change, its implemented in the various styles of songs they record,.its evident in the suspensions eddie hammers out on his axe,.even eddie has switched many axes,.their style changes,.i think that even if hagar never joined vh-at some point the sound of vh was going to evolve-hagar was simply in the band when the sound changed. i mean, sure-hagar sounds different on the mic,.but then again,.roth sounded different in 1996 compared to 1977. personally, i wouldnt care if what rock leader singer fronted vh right now,.im dying for some new vh music. vh has never really made bad choices in selecting lead singers,.its just many fans, for reasons that remain understandable tend to get sentimental attachment on vh's style-that understandable-they do kick ass!, but vh totally reinvented rock, finger tapping became a rock staple, and just as they have brought new ideas to rock music,.vh themself also change. i would be happy to see any rocker front vh, i prefer hagar's vocals-but roth is good too,.i even like cherone. sometimes i fathom how kick ass it would be to have vince neil of motley crue front vh,.yeah, that would rock! ed & al, if youre reading this post,please, make an attempt to make a new vh album (best of both worlds-doesnt count-thats a compilation of earlier work), a fan in much need of new van halen music,.rock on eddie, mike, alex, sammy, gary, and dave!! :)
  • Mireaux from Oklahoma City, Okim really sick hearing the roth vs. hagar-who is better issues. im a pretty hard core van halen fan and i like them both equally. gary cherone is even awesome. anyone who says van halen got softer musically when hagar took the mic dismisses the fact that rock music pretty much evolved when you compare the first 5 years of the 1980's (80-84); to the last 5 years (85-89).i mean, the rock videos being played on mtv in 1982 sounded much different then the rock videos played around 1987-88, etc,.not just VH, but every rock band, many new rock bands came into the scene as well, and helped influence the overall sound of rock and well. just as evh himself was influenced by hendrix & clapton, doesnt mean his sounds exactly like them, but the music of the 1960's sounds much different than the 1980's by far. any vh fan, any real vh fan, isnt going to not like one lead singer over another,.its ok to prefer one,.but to simply hate any vh lead singer doesnt make you a real fan-its just that simple. i feel that the sound of van halen changed with 5150 due to hagar allowing eddie more musical freedom to make music the way he wanted, ou812 sounds very much like 5150-both albums incorporate much synthesizers in them. eddie used much more guitar in f.u.c.k., and the dark premise of balance was due to tensions rising in the band over hagar making solo albums. i feel that if hagar was more commited to vh, he would have never been ejected in 1996. i dont think roth ever gave eddie as much freedom to compose his music the way he wanted, a sheer example was the title track in "1984", which the song was excessively cut down, after alex,mike,and dave indicated to ed that this wasnt a symphony-but a rock band. ed and al were raised as young kids in holland, and were both taught old world classical music-so for eddie especially, this style of music was always in his heart-its just we never heard it much until ed was able to break free of roth's restrictions which never really allowed ed to express himself until hagar joined.
  • Jules from London, United Statesi think james HAS hit the nail on the head. as for whether dave quit or got sacked ive always felt it was the former - you see dave quit the band in 1985 almost a year and a half after completing work on '1984' and the band had been quoted as saying that they had new material by that time for the next album - so i reckon that dave seeing the opportunity to further his solo work was probably asked by the brothers halen whether or not he was still with them - and (the date is no accident) by 1 pril 1985 dave just walked. however i do believe by 1996 that sammy was sacked by the band - i mean eddie's interviews around this time were very wierd whereas sammy always stuck to the same story. having said this i believe in both cases that eddie's coined phrase of LSD (lead singer disease) definitely holds true - they sacked sammy but the guy just refused for so long to really become part of the band consistently putting out solo efforts and i think chemistry-wise eddie gets on way better with sammy but he just wanted him to commit to the band properly. the other thing i wanted to point out is that sammy has always been given a hard ride by the 'classic' halen fans and i cant understand why - i mean what were vh supposed to do when dave walked out, just give up or maybe start all over again with a new name like the deep purple/rainbow etc etc spinoffs and what i want to know is do those people that quote themselves as true vh fans want the band to just make no music without dave in the band cos its just unrealistic and who would you have replaced dave with anyway? face it the band are the music that plays beneath - same with led zep - same with hendrix. yeah cool lyrics and great frontmen advertise the band get em known but without substance underneath the band will disappear very quickly - 'longetivity shows the band and the music are greater than their image' - van halen may never get the recognition their deserve from the powers that control the music business but in fifty years time you can bet your life some kid somewhere will be picking up a strat and playing music influenced by the man himself if he realises or not! cheers
  • James from St. Louis, MoWhat you really need to understand is David Lee Roth was a great frontman and lyricist, but he was awful in concert. He forgot words, sang horribly, and basically was a pompus ass. I saw them every tour, opening for Black Sabbath in 1979 unitl the 1984 tour. He could jump, tap dance, moon walk, do everything but sing! I still think their albums are great. David's attitude and fashion sense started the hair band craze and made him a celebrity beyond rock & roll. But once again he could not sing in concert. Eddie and the band got sick of him, or he quit, depends on who you ask. When Sammy came on board it gave the band a boost they all wanted, a kick ass live performance. Which once again, I saw them on every tour, even the latest, 2004. Eddie was drunk missed more notes than I have ever seen, it's sad. Anyway my point is, Dave is a great persona but he couldn't pull the voacls of on stage.
  • Liam from Campbell River, CanadaDavid Lee Roth was by far the best, Sammy Hagar is pretty good, but Gary Cherone was simply terrible
  • Big Mike from Merrillville, InSambo and Samantha hit the nail directly on the head!! Van Halen was a pioneering rock group with Roth at the helm. All the other incarnations of VH were just money-making machines. Period.
  • Spencer from Edmonton, CanadaWhy is there so much critisism for Sammy Hagar??? I mean, I love David Lee Roth and all, but Sammy is a great singer in his own right. I like both of them and it doesn't really matter who sings, as long as one of them does
  • Carrie from Somewhere, Wasammy hagar is a good singer, but he's totally not right for van halen and turned them sort of pop-ish. dont get me wrong, i love dreams and lots of other hagar songs, but theyre just not like the old van halen was, such as guitar parts have been replaced with synthesizers. also, he is really bad at lee roth's songs.
  • Jp from Kelowna, CanadaMy favorite band and i really favor Dave over Sammy. Sammy turned them soft.
  • Legacy User from Legacy Location Im gonna have to agree with sambo about dave

  • Jules from London, United Stateswhy is it that the main talking point about van halen is who's the best lead vocal... i just dont get it - i have a strange relationship with their music as i really got hooked on them with '5150' album which includes some of the heaviest and most intricate electric guitar sounds you can get on a single album although i had actually grown up more with the '1984' album without really knowing who it was and when i went back and researched their incredible back catalogue i found some great, extremely varied guitar based music. i have found since that i really dont mind who heads up this incredible band be it dave, sammy, gary even donald duck cos its in the musical score that the magic really lies - i believe dave was one of the best frontmen in the world and has taught a lot of people since how to really 'do it' live, however i think sammy has brought a greater depth (lyrically) to the band and i reckon the reason they went for him was because he can really give it live as well... i never saw van roth live and i would have liked too but i have seen van hagar twice and they totally have it live, this is what the band do best - ive never seen a bad critique of their live performances and even now in their fifties theyre still shaming a lot of their contemporaries... to the detractors i say fine dont go and see them, dont buy their stuff but i think rather like hendrix, led zep, the verve youll wait until the band have totally split, retired or worse still dead and then youll realise youve missed one of the greatest live bands around and one of the greatest virtuoso musicians... carpe diem my friends...
  • Don from Pittsburgh, PaCan anyone tell me what has happened to Eddie Van Halen? In 1979, their debut "Van Halen" featured "Eruption" with unbelievable guitar playing. Eddie seemed to be setting a new standard with his fingertapping, he could shred wallpaper back in the day. Now a days he doesn't seem to play with any emotion.By the way, Diamond Dave is a vocal clown!! Peace.
  • Sambo from Melbourne, AustraliaVan Halen are a shadow of their former self. The real Van Halen died in 1985 when Dave left, there is no comparison.
  • Tom from Trowbridge, EnglandVan Halen are the American equivalent of Queen; part Hard Rock, part pop.
  • Ken from Commack, NyDavid Lee Roth appeared in a 2004 episode of "The Sopranos". He was playing cards w/ some of the cast regulars and others in a hotel room.
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