Sammy Hagar would have been “embarrassed” if Van Halen had adopted proposed Van Hagar name change

Rock musicians Sammy Hagar and Eddie Van Halen (1955 - 2020), both of the group Van Halen, performs onstage at the Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, Illinois, March 15, 1986.
(Image credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

Admit it – we’ve all referred to the Sammy Hagar-fronted version of Van Halen as Van Hagar at least once or twice. But the question remains: did the members of Van Halen ever consider actually changing their moniker after the singer replaced David Lee Roth in the mid ‘80s?

According to Hagar, the possibility was brought up prior to the release of his first album with the band, 1986’s 5150, but never gained traction, thanks to electric guitar great Eddie Van Halen.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.