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Wednesday, 17 April, 2002, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
Van Halen singers team up
Hagar left the band in 1996
Sammy Hagar left the band in 1996
Two former members of legendary US rock band Van Halen are to go on tour together.

Original singer David Lee Roth and his replacement Sammy Hagar will play various arenas in the US in May.

The two performers sold a combined 70 million records worldwide with the band.

He really, really thinks he's the greatest thing that ever walked on this planet

Sammy Hagar on David Lee Roth

Roth co-founded Van Halen in 1974 with the Dutch-born Van Halen brothers, Eddie and drummer Alex, and bass player Michael Anthony.

Neither Van Halen brother is involved in the tour. Guitarist Eddie Van Halen was diagnosed with cancer in 2000, but has reportedly beaten the disease.

Roth said he did not know what the Van Halen brothers would think of the tour, and did not care. Roth and Hagar said they had not communicated with the Van Halens for several years.

Roth said he was looking forward to the tour.

"Between the two of us," Roth declared, "What you have is quintessential Americana. You couldn't pick a more appropriate time for that."

Hagar admitted there was a friendly competition between them.

Eddie Van Halen has reportedly beaten cancer
Eddie Van Halen has reportedly beaten cancer
"He (Roth) is like an egomaniac, in a positive sense, that he really, really thinks he's the greatest thing that ever walked on this planet," he said.

Van Halen had huge international hits, including Jump, but Roth left in 1985 to pursue a solo career, which failed to take off.

Hagar joined the band and more success followed, but that came to a messy end in 1996. He insisted he was sacked by the band, but they said he had quit.


Roth then stunned the music world by recording a few songs with his former bandmates and appearing with them at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1996.

But the reunion did not last long, and the band recruited its third singer, Gary Cherone.

His 1998 debut with the band, Van Halen III, flopped and Cherone later left.

Van Halen have not recorded an album since.

The tour, entitled Song for Song: The Heavyweight Champs of Rock And Roll, starts on 29 May in Cleveland, Ohio.

See also:

17 Jul 01 | Music
Van Halen tells of cancer fight
30 Apr 01 | Music
Van Halen reveals he has cancer
31 May 00 | Entertainment
Van Halen cancer reports denied
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