Van Halen: The Disastrous Sammy Hagar, David Lee Roth Tour

David Lee Roth & Sammy Hagar

David Lee Roth & Sammy Hagar’s Disastrous Joint 2002 Tour

Back in the fall of 2002 both former singers of Van Halen at the time would partner up for a co-headlining tour. While it seemed like a great idea, it was a disaster from the start. Check out the full story below!

hat’s going on my fellow rock n’ rollers now one of the biggest debates between the fans of van halen is which era of the band is better the van hagar or david lee roth era. Well fans were shocked in the summer of 2002 when the two former singers of Van Halen would join forces for a co-headlining tour called Song for song the heavy weight champs of rock n’ roll tour. Now By this point in time both singers were on the outs with Eddie and Alex Van Halen so the tour would make sense. Roth would leave the band in 1985 following the massive success of their 1984 album, while Sammy Hagar would join the group shortly after and leave the group in 1996. Following Hagar’s departure. Roth would come back temporarily to record a few songs for a best of collection but a full scale reunion wouldn’t happen as the band would bring in Gary Cherone in 1998 to record the highly panned Van Halen 3 album and tour with the group. Now Hagar would reflected on the co-headlining tour in his 2011 autobiography Red My Uncensored Life in Rock  Saying I was open to all sorts of crazy ideas. Hagar would reveal it was himself and new manager Irving Azoff who came up with the idea for the  joint tour as he put it  just to piss off van halen and get the fans worked up.


 Now it wasn’t the first time Hagar proposed the idea to David Lee Roth who rejected an offer in 1997.  At the press conference announcing the tour Roth would say the time was wrong, but now the time is  right, it’s completely unpredictable. Now even the press conference to announce the tour showed just how different both frontmen were. Taking place at the Sky Bar in Los Angeles Hagar came dressed in red pants and a cabo wabo branded t-shirt while Roth wore all black and was joined by several playboy playmates as well as a dwarf who was dressed like andy warhol.  Now despite their physical differences and demeanor, Roth highlighted their similarities saying “Sam and I are like fraternity brothers who have went through the same shitty hazing.  There’s a rivalry between us  so the audience gets the absolute best out of both of us. You have to think of it as two title fights with no undercard. This is a co-headining tour here. We’ll flip a coin and the winner will headline the opening night and then we’ll flip flop he’d say.” Now the pair would also appear on Howard Stern’s radio show in May of 2002 to promote the tour and that is where the first coin flip took place. Roth would win the first toss and would close the opening date in Ohi.o Now when it came time to the setlist Roth leaned more heavily towards van Halen songs and one solo song Yankee Rose while Hagar would provide a broader range of songs including a good mixture of his Van Halen years and solo tracks. Hagar would also bring up his good friend former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony on stage to join him for a few dates. And When the tour hit Boston, former Van Halen singer Gary Cheron also came on the stage to sing a few songs. 


Now one of the most highly anticipated events during  the tour sadly never happened. It was expected at some point that Hagar would join Roth each other on stage and to do a duet together but sadly nothing ever materialized. Now In his book Hagar would recall “Right at the start he rejected my suggestion that we sing a few songs together and make it a friendly thing and he envisioned something more along the lines of WWF Smackdown he’d conclude.’ 


Now towards the end of the tour both singers finally grew tired of each other and started to trade insults in the media. Hagar would tell the new york post page six section a month before the tour ended “He’s not a man of his word referring to Dave. Dave came to me because no one wanted to book him by himself cause he’s such a flake and he has got such a bad reputation. But  I just can’t work with him anymore.”Hagar would go on to say “his voice is not too good. I just saw a guy who is half the singer and half performer he used to be who  spray paints  his hair on or before he goes on stage and still acts like he’s in van halen in1982. It’s a joke to me it’s like liberace to me he’d conclude . It even got to the point where both singers couldn’t even be in the same room together and  Hagar even accused Roth of cancelling one of the shows scheduled in early september in long island claiming that Roth would only play Madison Square Garden and he wanted to headline even though Hagar was scheduled to close the show. Hagar recalled in his book:


“The sam and dave tour was a huge financial success, but a personal disaster.” Now the final two dates of the tour scheduled for buffalo and syracuse would be cancelled because Hagar would fall ill. But Also around this time both singers would appear at the MTV video music awards in a pretty tense co-presentation where they gave an award for best rock video.  I’ll tell you who their here to see Sam they are here to see the front bumper of American popular culture as it’s happening. I didn’t quite understand that , but i think what dave really means. It’s really good to see him after 55 shows.It’s really good to see you where you been all summer.  I’ve been on the celebrity death match tour. So. Let’s go. Best rock video. This is the best rock video in fact in our day. What is your favourite linkin park song sam? I don’t know any linkin park songs. What do we do where is the teleprompter? Ok Nominees for the best rock. Now Take a look  Now at the end of the tour Hagar would talk with Guitar World where he would claim he would never ever again tour with David Lee Roth saying boy i hate to ever say i’m sorry i did something, so I can’t say I’m sorry i did it. i certainly wouldn’t do it again. Let’s put it like that  he’d say. Now Hagar would rejoin van halen briefly in 2004 to record three songs for a greatest hits package and do an 80 date summer  tour that ended in disaster and by 2007 Roth would return to Van Halen with Eddie’s son wolfgang playing  bass meaning that former bassist Michael Anthony was no longer in the group. And the band would finally release their first new album with singer David Lee Roth in 28 years with  2012’s A different kind of truth And The last time Van Halen hit the road was in 2015 for a 40+ date tour

. But Guitarist Eddie Van Halen has been quietly battling cancer for the past several years it’s been reported and Roth has made it clear that Van Halen is likely done due to Eddie’s health issues.  so that does it for today’s video guys. Thanks for watching. Did you guys go see the 2002 summer tour. Let me know what your thoughts were if you went to the tour.. If you have suggestions for future videos let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to hit the like button and subscribe. Take care.