Dee Snider Takes Sides in Van Halen Feud: ‘Eddie’s Out of His Mind’
Dee Snider has never been shy about commenting on the state of rock and the things rockers do. Just a few months ago, for instance, he took aim at bands who soldier on with replacement members. Now he's wading into the ongoing feud between Van Halen and Sammy Hagar.
Snider, who recently released a new solo single in advance of a farewell tour with Twisted Sister and is the host of a new podcast named Snider Comments, appears to be solidly in the camp of Hagar and fellow erstwhile Van Halen member Michael Anthony. He even questions where Eddie Van Halen's head is these days in a series of razor-sharp comments he made during a conversation with Ultimate Classic Rock.
What’s your take on everything that’s going on with Van Halen at the present moment? I’m sure you probably saw the interview that Eddie did with Billboard.
I haven’t really spoken about it, but first of all, Yay, Sammy Hagar. You know, Sammy’s the real deal. He’s talented and he’s a bad-ass. You know, he was a boxer before he was a singer, so he’s fearless and he speaks his mind, and he has the success and the talent and the following to really back it up even more [than] the physical strength.
I know when he was touring with David [Lee Roth], he said something in the press about David’s hair and David was beside himself, but he couldn’t really do anything with Sammy. So, he literally had his crew construct a plywood wall backstage. They would put a wall up in the hallway to separate the sides that they were on. That’s what he did. He didn’t confront Sammy about what he said, he just had a wall built.
As far as Eddie goes, anybody who is really watching and paying attention, Eddie’s out of his mind. I don’t know, has anybody seen the thing where he just showed up and started jamming with some Mexican band at a restaurant and his boots were so destroyed that his toes were hanging out and his toenails? Have you seen those pictures?
I haven’t seen those ...
It’s homeless s---. I first got wind of this back in the ‘90s when my son came home, who was about 8, and he said, “Dad, do you know who Eddie Van Halen is?” And I’m like, “Uh, yeah.” He goes, “He was in my school today.” I was like, “What? He was at your school?” This is on Long Island. Long story short, when he had the tongue cancer, his cancer specialist – one of them – was at Stony Brook University on Long Island, so he was flying in for treatment, [and] as a favor, because the teacher of this doctor’s son was a Van Halen fan, he went to the school for a surprise visit to say hi to the teacher. But my son, he said that he looked like a homeless person. He looked like a bum, and I’ve heard that from so many people.
So you’re not dealing with a guy who has got it all together in the first place. With all of that being said, I don’t even know what to say about him, other than bravo to Sammy for speaking out on Michael’s behalf and not allowing that kind of trash-talk bulls---, because clearly it’s bulls---, to just lay out there for people to accept. Because Eddie Van Halen said it, like, it’s [gospel]? Like, somehow, Eddie knows?
I think Sammy’s statements, for me, were evidence. You know, “I was in the studio with him and never saw him teach him a bass part. The guy sings his ass off. He plays with me all of the time. He’s a great bass player. Eddie Van Halen’s an a--hole.” You know? All right, Sammy, point-counterpoint!
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