Former Van Halen singers David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar will unite for a co-headlining tour, beginning with a May 29th show at the Blossom Center in Cleveland. At a press conference to announce the outing yesterday at the Skybar in Hollywood, Hagar and Roth were flanked on stage by Playboy's Dahm triplets, clad in florescent yellow spandex cat suits, as well as a midget dressed in white.
"We have two headlining acts, two complete headlining shows here," explained Hagar. "We're playing the same amount of time. The stage belongs to Dave for that hour and a half, and then that stage will belong to me for the next hour and a half. We're not going to co-mingle unless it just becomes that. We don't know each other well enough for that," he joked. "I don't trust him."
"Between the two of us, what you have is quintessential Americana," said Roth. "You couldn't pick a more appropriate time for that. Between the two of us we've sold probably between eighty million and a hundred million records, before bootlegs. And whether you own it or not you've heard Sammy's or my voice tearing out of a pick-up truck in front of you at the drive through at the local Burger King for how many fucking summers? The time is appropriate now because we have a whole busload of people out there who have been waiting way too long for something really good to happen with this music, and we're going to serve it this summer."
Hagar said he will play music from his Seventies band Montrose through his stint in Van Halen (1985 to 1996) to his recent solo material, backed by the band he's had since leaving Van Halen. Roth plans to play material almost exclusively from his tenure in Van Halen (1974 to 1985) with a group of new recruits.
Roth dismissed questions about the whereabouts of Gary Cherone, Van Halen's singer for the largely ignored Van Halen III (1998), by sniping, "He's doing the Vagina Monologues."
In an interview after the press conference, Hagar said his union with Roth was a gradual process, with feelers put out through mutual friends, a phone conversation and a face-to-face meeting before the two reached an agreement. "I just thought it was a kind of a trick," Hagar said about his initial reaction to the proposal. "Dave was trying to get back with Van Halen so much, and I thought he was trying to use me as some leverage to get his foot back in the door, because I know what Dave really wanted in life was to be back with Van Halen and have things be like they used to be. That wasn't my goal at all, ever. Once I was out of that band, I was like, 'Hey, I've had enough of this. If these guys are going to be like that, I'm done with it.'"
"I have no relationship with Ed [guitarist Eddie Van Halen] and Al [drummer Alex Van Halen] whatsoever," he continued. "I figure they owe me a phone call and I'll still say that. If they ever want to be friends again I'll be happy to be friends with them, but they have to prove their friendship now because they betrayed me. I stick to my story -- no matter what they tell you, what they said about me quitting, I did not quit that band. I was stabbed in the back. Major. When somebody does that to you, they're no longer your friend. I got fucked by those guys and so if they ever want to be friends again, they have to call me."
The coupling of Hagar and Roth for the tour is surprising in part because of the shots the two have taken at each other in the press over the years, an issue that was addressed when the two singers met. "The one thing that Dave said, a quote that came out of his mouth in the first meeting, he said, 'Let's just start from here. Everything that happened before this, let's erase it.' I said 'Right the fuck on!' So it's been kind of like that. There could be some rivalry out there, I'm sure. There's going to be nights where he ain't singing good, or I ain't singing good and the other guy is, you know, and we're going to be pissed off at each other. And it's going to be like, 'I had a sore throat he knew it, and he went off.' It'll be that kind of insecure, nutty stuff."
Asked to speculate how the news of his pairing with Roth would be received in the Van Halen camp, Hagar offered his prediction. "Them fuckers smoked a carton of cigarettes and drank a case of beer, I guarantee it, before one word was said. They looked at each other and Ed went, 'Fuck, Al, what are we going to do?' And Al went, 'I don't know Ed, lemme think about it.'"
Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth tour dates:
5/29: Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Blossom Music Center
5/31: Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre
6/1: Tinley Park, IL, Tweeter Center
6/2: Noblesville, IN, Verizon Wireless Music Center
6/4: Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
6/6: Bonner Springs, KN, Sandstone Amphitheater
6/7: Maryland Heights, MO, UMB Bank Pavilion
6/8: East Troy, WI, Alpine Valley
6/10: Peoria, IL, Peoria Civic Center
6/11: Columbus, OH, Polaris Amphitheater
6/14: San Antonio, TX, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
6/15: Dallas, Smirnoff Music Center
6/16: Houston, C.W. Mitchell Pavilion
6/18: Albuquerque, NM, Journal Pavilion
6/19: Denver, Fiddler's Green
6/21: Phoenix, Cricket Pavilion
6/22: Devore, CA, Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavilion
6/24: Hollywood, Universal Amphitheater
6/25: Fresno, CA, Selland Arena
6/27: Mountain View, CA, Shoreline Amphitheater
6/29: George, WA, The Gorge