Eddie Van Halen Shot Down Van Hagar Name

Keavin Wiggins | 04-15-2021

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Van Halen OU812 album cover art

Sammy Hagar has explained that it was Eddie Van Halen that shot down the suggestion that the band change their name to Van Hagar after Sammy took over lead vocals when David Lee Roth left the band in the mid 1980s.

The topic of the suggested name change resurfaced in a recent interview with bassist Michael Anthony and Sammy was asked about it during a chat with Los Angeles radio station KLOS host Marci Wiser.

Sammy said, "Our managers and lawyers, and the president of the record company, and the band was all in a room when we asked for permission for me to join the band. It was official.

"Everybody came and said 'We wanna have a meeting.' We were in the studio and we played 'Why Can't This Be Love' and Mo Austin (Warner label boss) went, 'Oh, I smell money.' He thought it was just the greatest.

"Then he said 'Did you guys ever think about maybe changing the name to, like, Van Hagar or something?' And I know what they were thinking: 'If this doesn't work, at least you can go back with Van Halen again, but if you're Van Halen and it don't work, now you've ruined Van Halen.'

"Eddie Van Halen - no one else -said, 'F*** that. This is Van Halen with a new singer...' and everybody said, 'Okay. Word. Gospel.' I was a hundred percent on board with it. It was Van Halen with a new singer.

"I would have been embarrassed to be Van Hagar. I would have said, 'Let's just change it back to Mammoth (Van Halen's original name) or something; go back to the beginning."

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