After parting ways with vocalist David Lee Roth, the remaining members of Van Halen contacted many potential replacements. In July 1985, given Eddie Van Halen’s appreciation of Montrose and at his mechanic’s suggestion, the band auditioned and quickly hired Sammy Hagar to fill the opening. With Hagar at the front, Van Halen produced four multi-platinum, #1 Billboard charting albums: 5150, OU812, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, and Balance. During Hagar’s stint as Van Halen’s vocalist, the band was often informally referred to by fans as “Van Hagar” as a way to distinguish the band from the previous David Lee Roth era. Internal disputes eventually led to Hagar’s departure from the band in June 1996. Hagar disagreed with a decision to record two new tracks for the soundtrack to the film Twister, after the band had agreed to take time off following their 1995 world tour. Hagar was also opposed to the issuance of a greatest hits record at that point in the band’s career. These two items were pushed by Van Halen’s new manager Ray Danniels, Alex Van Halen’s brother-in-law, brought in after the death of their longtime manager Ed Leffler. Hagar wanted instead to record a new studio album, but only after Eddie, Alex, and Hagar’s pregnant wife had all dealt with their respective medical issues. Although there are several versions of how the split occurred, Hagar has stated that the final straw came when he was with his wife in Hawaii, where they had arranged for a natural delivery of the baby, and Eddie wanted him back in the studio in California. Hagar claimed to have flown to Los Angeles with his wife only to discover that she could not fly back to Hawaii. In the ensuing argument, he claims that he was fired. Eddie, on the other hand, says that Hagar quit. The end came when Eddie started to work with former lead singer David Lee Roth instead of Hagar, and two new songs were made with Roth for the greatest hits album Best Of – Volume I.
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This gallery uses material from the Wikipedia articles Van Halen and Sammy Hagar, which are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0. Featured photo by PRPhotos.com