Sammy Hagar, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (Van Halen, Chickenfoot, Montrose, and Hagar Schon Aaronson Shrieve) was born 13 October 1947. Van Halen, were originally called “Genesis” and included bass player Mark Stone, but changed their name to “Mammoth” when they discovered there was already a band with the name “Genesis”, with Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks and Steve Hackett. The band formed in Pasadena in 1972 and consisted of Eddie Van Halen on guitar and vocaLs, his brother, Alex on drums, and bassist Mark Stone. They had no P.A. system of their own, so they rented one from David Lee Roth. Eddie quickly became frustrated singing lead vocals, and decided to let Roth join the band. Michael Anthony replaced Mark Stone on bass. They changed the name of the band because David Lee Roth suggested that the last name of the two brothers “sounded cool.” The band originally began playing cover material, ranging from pop to disco, before settling on original material .
Van Halen released a total of six albums with David Lee Roth on Vocals, However the band had trouble working together as a cohesive unit and in 1982 Eddie Van Halen approached Simmons about possibly joining Kiss and replacing Ace Frehley. However Simmons & Alex persuaded Eddie to remain with Van Halen, and shortly afterwards the band released the album 1984; which yielded the band’s first Number 1 hit, “Jump“. Oher singles released from the album also sold well, particularly “Hot for Teacher”. The album peaked at Number 2 on the Billboard charts. Roth left the band and was replaced by former Montrose singer Sammy Hagar in July 1985, the band’s sound changed somewhat to adapt to the strengths of the new vocalist, as Eddie’s keyboard playing became a permanent fixture, heard in songs such as “Dreams”“Why Can’t this be Love“and “Love Walks In”. Even on the more rocking, guitar-driven songs, Eddie’s performances became looser, less aggressive, and some said more thoughtful, while others said more commercial.However, tensions within the band again arose over identity and artist direction, and Hagar, like Roth earlier, departed in June 1996. Hagar left behind him a portfolio of 4 studio albums with the band (5150, OU812, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, and Balance) as well as one live album (Live: Right Here, Right Now).
Following Hagar’s departure, the group briefly reunited with original singer David Lee Roth and released Best of Volume I, a greatest hits package, in October 1996. Two new songs were recorded for the album, with the single “Me Wise Magic” reaching #1 on the mainstream rock chart (“Can’t Get This Stuff No More” was the other new single). However, previous disagreements resurfaced and the reunion did not last, as Roth left in September 1996, after the MTV Video Music Awards.The band auditioned many prospective replacements for Hagar, finally settling on Gary Cherone, former front man for Extreme, a band also represented by Van Halen’s manager. Cherone predicted that the new line-up would last ‘ten years’.
The band also completed a world tour touting their new single “Without You” and did go back in the studio to start on a second record. However, Cherone soon had an amicable departure, and without a lead singer, Van Halen went on hiatus. However, In 2004, Van Halen returned with Hagar as their lead singer. A greatest hits package, The Best of Both Worlds, was released to coincide with the band’s reunion tour. The album included three new tracks recorded with Hagar (“Up For Breakfast”, “It’s About Time”, & “Learning to See”). Former vocalist David Lee Roth rejoined Van Halen for their summer tour With the new lineup from late 2007-mid 2008 across North America. Around this time Van Halen were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and VH1 ranked them 7th on their list of the top 100 hard rock artists of all time. Van Halen’s Latest album A Different kind of Truth was released in 2012, containing the tracks Tattoo, She’s The Woman, You and Your Blues, China Town, Blood and Fire, Bullethead, As Is, Honeybabysweetiedoll, The Trouble With Never, Outta Space, Stay Frosty, Big River and Beats Workin’.