Sammy Hagar shuts down talk of a shared Van Halen tribute tour with David Lee Roth, says he's not invited to the whole thing: "No f***ing way"

Sammy Hagar performs during a visit to SiriusXM Studios on November 14, 2023 in Los Angeles, California
(Image credit: Kayla Oaddams/Getty Images)

When Sammy Hagar extended an open invitation for David Lee Roth to join him, Michael Anthony, Joe Satriani and Jason Boham for the forthcoming Best Of All World's tour celebrating the music of Van Halen in the US next year, few would have expected a response. Even less an acceptance. But Diamond Dave has confirmed he wants in. But it's now been revealed that Hagar has some firm conditions. 

As Van Halen's original vocalist, Roth is one of the missing pieces alongside drummer Alex Van Halen and his nephew Wolfgang, but he's communicated through the Van Halen News Desk site to respond with the brief but clear statement for Hagar via the site: "I'm ready to go. Let's do this."

Great news – it just wouldn't be the same to hear Hagar singing the classic first-era songs, but is it really that simple? Unfortunately, it isn't. In a stinging reply to Roth while replying to fans asking for his thoughts on Roth's comments in the Instagram post shown above, Hagar didn't hold back.

 "He can come out and sing a song on a show or two, if he can remember the words," Hagar said in one reply. 

Then he followed up with another reply elsewhere in the comments below his video: "He's not invited on the tour NOOO F;()$(.g way. [The invitation] was to sing a song with us somewhere like a lot of singers guitarists etc are going to do on this tour. I know better than to have him on tour again. Been there done that."  

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Hagar previously toured with Roth as solo artists for the 2002 Heavyweight Champs Of Rock N' Roll tour, but even beyond his first-hand experience with Roth he has reason to be wary. As Eddie Van Halen's son and former Van Han bassist has eluded to before, David Lee Roth was possibly the sticking point in a Van Halen tribute not happening sooner, as well as Wolfgang's recent heavy hint that the last Van Halen studio album, 2012's  A Different Kind Of Truth, isn't on streaming platforms anymore because the singer is dissatisfied with it.

The business end of this is unlikely to be a simple agreement even if Hagar did relent – Roth may have stipulations for performing that the other parties won't or cannot agree to. As the driving force behind it, it's likely Hagar won't bend over backwards to accommodate Roth. But then again, just as the weak first single Tattoo proved a red herring for the high quality elsewhere on A Different Kind Of Truth, this might actually work out ok in the spirit of celebrating Eddie Van Halen. We hope so. 

In an appearance with the touring lineup on Howard's Stern show, Hagar opened the door for Roth's (limited) involvement, as well as Alex Van Halen's (the drummer is even less likely to appear), at least in principle. 

David Lee Roth attends the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on September 12, 2021 in New York City

(Image credit: Udo Salters/Patrick McMullan / Getty Images)

We have it on very good authority that Roth never got a call from Hagar

Van Halen News Desk

“We’re gonna invite every musician in every town,” Hagar stated. “First of all, whenever you play, if there’s a guitar player in town, no matter what city it is, they come out to see Joe [Satriani], just like they used to do for Eddie [Van Halen]. So, if we’ve got other guitar players, we’ll get them involved. If Alex Van Halen wants to jump up, if David Lee Roth wants to come out and join us, come on, motherfucker. You are welcome! This is about Van Halen."

The Van Halen News Desk stated that, "We have it on very good authority that Roth never got a call from Hagar. No one from Hagar's camp contacted anyone in Roth's camp to ask if he was interested in going on tour."

In fairness, Hagar did state 'we're gonna', suggesting its was an intention for the future, and no full-tour appearance was mentioned. And Roth didn't say anything in his brief statement about a full tour either. But you know us music media / Van Halen fans, we can't resist getting all excited about the prospects. 

Did Roth believe he was calling Hagar's bluff? Is this all one big brouhaha that will come to nothing? After all, we know Hagar's opinion of the original Van Halen vocalist isn't the highest, to say the least. For his part, Roth doesn't tend to respond to any of Hagar's comments about him. Ultimately it's the fans who lose out if some members won't come together to celebrate Eddie Van Halen's legacy.  

The Best Of All Worlds Tour (or not as it may turn out) is currently due to begin in West Beach, Florida and run for 28 dates to the end of August.

In the meantime, Roth has been back on the musical radar sharing another song from his as-yet-unreleased 2007 solo album featuring John 5; the somewhat Doors-esque Wash And Fold surfaced on Roth's official channels yesterday (21 November).

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.