Sammy Hagar recently chatted with Steve-O, disclosing the one David Lee Roth-era track that haunted him and why he wished he’d been the one to have recorded it.
Steve-O, like most people who’ve interviewed Sammy or any Van Halen member, was comparing the Hagar and Roth eras, disclosing how many records both frontmen sold with the band. So, when Steve expressed that the pair had sold 46 million, Sammy seemed quite surprised to hear that he and Dave had sold equally.
After wearing off the shock, the rocker discussed how VH sounded much more ‘commercial’ while he was with the act, as Hagar was always eager to work with whatever Eddie Van Halen came up with, even when it was some commercially-sounding keyboard chords. However, even when the early Van Halen catalog didn’t sound commercial, they still managed to sell, and Sammy believed it was due to one song.
He discussed how people have always seemed to be fascinated with ‘Jump,’ and even when people didn’t know about him or VH, they always knew that one piece, so whenever some fan who didn’t know much about VH met Sammy, they mistakenly believed that he was the one who sang it.
Getting mistaken for Roth surely was a bit of a bruise on Hagar’s ego, as the singer believed that song helped the early VH catalog sell even more than it would and appealed to the younger generations. ‘Jump,’ Sammy discussed, was a song that haunted him as he’d always wished to have been the one to sing it and left a footprint in that portion of VH’s catalog.
The former VH frontman’s words on the matter:
“It’s about equal now. That’s funny because when you said 46 [million albums], [I was like] ‘No, that’s what we sold.’ But it’s like the thing, we had was these number one albums we came at a point where we got so much more attention, the music was more commercial, not intentionally; I mean, Eddie was writing on f*cking rocking on keyboards, he loved to play keyboards, and I’d hear this sh*t, and I go, ‘F*ck, that’s awesome.’
‘When It’s Love’ and ‘Love Walks In’ and stuff like that, Eddie [would] go, ‘You like that?’ and I’m going ‘Yeah,’ because I guess Roth didn’t like keyboards. We really kind of spread out and started selling more records instantly. The reason their old catalog sold they had the f*cking ‘Jump,’ that was the biggest song Van Halen ever had.
People meet me [and go] ‘Oh, you’re the singer of Van Halen,’ and for somebody don’t know sh*t, and they think I sing f*cking ‘Jump,’ and I’m going, ‘Damn!’ That thing haunts me that was a big, big record so that really allowed them… That song still gets airplay today and still allows their old catalog to sell to a younger generation, and mine is still selling too but a younger generation will come along next on mine because it was two different decades.”
So, it’s apparent that although Hagar was content with the numbers of how much his-era with VH sold, he still couldn’t help but wish he’d been the one to sing ‘Jump,’ a timeless classic of VH’s catalog that most fans loved and credited the band’s success for.