…but singer Hagar says he’s not interested while he lays into Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth in upcoming book

Sammy Hagar

Seeing red: Hagar hacks at Halen

Sammy Hagar says it would be easy for him to become a billionaire – but he’s just not interested. And while he’s happy with the life he has now, he takes time in his biography to lay into former bandmate Eddie Van Halen and singer David Lee Roth.

Speaking in Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock, Hagar tells how he saw guitarist Eddie for the first time in years when Van Halen reunited for a 2003 tour.

He explains: “This was one of the sweetest guys I’d ever met. He had turned into the weirdest person I’d ever seen – crude, rude and unkempt.

“He looked like he hadn’t bathed in a week and he certainly hadn’t changed his clothes in at least that long. He wasn’t wearing a shirt. He had a giant overcoat and army pants, tattered and ripped, held up with a piece of rope. I’d never seen him so skinny. He was missing a number of teeth and the ones he had left were black. His boots were so worn out he had gaffer tape wrapped round them – and his big toe still stuck out.”

Hagar is equally scathing about Roth, the main he replaced in Van Halen and who eventually replaced him. In the book he says: “I hated Dave. The guy rubbed me wrong. I’m sure I rub all kinds of people wrong so it’s not like I’m putting him down. He was a great frontman, great attitude and had an image from hell, but I just couldn’t stand the guy.

“He was the opposite of what I believe I am. First of all, he’s not a great singer and he acts like he’s the coolest, hottest guy in the world. To me, he looks gay.”

Despite his comments he insists he enjoyed his time with Van Halen, explaining: “I was eating in the greatest restaurants, drinking the finest wine, flying on private jets, walking on stage to sold-out audiences going crazy. The only thing missing was… I don’t think anything was missing.”

Hagar has always been good with money, buying his first house, which he calls “an architectural wonder”, for $60,000 and now able to sell it for millions if he wanted. He recently sold his Cabo Wabo tequila business for $80m and his Cabo Wabo Cantina franchises still do well. He also owns a fire sprinkler business and formed a travel agency after his experiences with moving round the world. Chickenfoot bandmate Michael Anthony has explained how Van Halen were earning “next to nothing” from their success until Hagar arrived and helped them re-negiotiate their deals.

The singer observes: “If I wanted to be a billionaire I probably could. It’s probably not that hard. But I’m not interested.”

Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock goes on sale in March.

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