Sammy Hagar Considers His Van Halen Career A ‘Double-Edged Sword’

Recalling his time with Van Halen between 1985 and 1996, the red rocker said:

“It’s kind of a double-edged sword. There were such good times in the beginning, like ‘5150’ ‘OU812.’ ‘For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge’ was a little bit of a struggle because I was going through a hard time with my ex-wife.”

Hagar then disclosed how his personal issues at the time affected the band’s recording process and how the Van Halen brothers reacted to that:

“She was having a nervous breakdown and didn’t want me to leave the house. I was like, ‘I got to go to work here.’ So it took us like a year to make that record, but we were getting along well. But of course, the brothers were putting a lot of pressure on me to show up, you know, as much as I could. And they were understanding.”

However, the next album, ‘Balance,’ changed his relationship with the band. He explained:

“But then come the next record, it’s like, you know, we started not getting along so good, and you could feel the end coming to me. So then you got the bittersweet stuff.”

Sammy described ‘Balance’ as a good record but also saw it as a darker musical shift for both him and Van Halen, as he noted:

“It’s just so dark for Van Halen or for Sammy. Let’s just say, Sammy, you know, I’m just not a dark person. I’m Mr. Sunshine. And boy, I was dragged [sic] into the darkness between my divorce and my ex-wife not doing so good, trying to help her out and trying to be in a band.”

He also added, revealing his disagreement with the Van Halen brothers during the recording process:

“And the brothers want to work every day of the year. They wanted to work 367 days a year, and I only wanted to work 360, you know what I mean? So we had a little problem there, but we got it done, and it’s a great record.”

Tensions between Eddie and Hagar grew during the ‘Balance’ recording and escalated when Van Halen worked on songs for the ‘Twister’ movie soundtrack in 1996. This ultimately led to a heated argument between Sammy and Eddie on Father’s Day, resulting in Hagar leaving the band. Still, Eddie claimed Hagar quit, while Hagar maintains he was fired.

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