The Van Halen song that divided the band

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It’s easy to understand why David Lee Roth eventually grew boring to the Van Halen members.

Along with the fact that he was a notoriously enormous presence to deal with even on a normal day, his insistence on adhering to a predetermined formula for their songs was beginning to constrain Eddie’s inventiveness.

Sammy Hagar was a logical choice for them to switch to, although the following few years weren’t quite stable either.

While Hagar initially joined the band, the vocal range of his voice was greater than Roth’s, which gave Eddie more room to work with while composing various melodic phrases.

Despite the fact that For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and 5150 are now considered masterpieces in their discography, the musicians were at odds when recording the album Balance.

Van Halen was starting at a low point because it was released at the height of alternative rock; few of the singles made the charts, and Hagar had to significantly alter the lyrics to the song “Don’t Tell Me What Love Can Do” because they too strongly alluded to Kurt Cobain’s passing.

While Eddie insisted on having those replaced, the one lyric that Hagar chose to preserve was arguably more obvious.

Hagar penned “Amsterdam,” a lively, uplifting rock song, about the marvels of the nation as seen through the eyes of an American, frequently centered around him getting as high on grass as he can.

While the subject matter of the song may not have been the most timeless, it became much more troublesome when he shared it with the other members of the band because Eddie and Alex Van Halen were originally from the Netherlands before going to America.

Sammy Hagar complained to Guitar World about the lyrics, saying: “Eddie put his foot down on ‘Don’t Tell Me,’ but they stayed.

“I always hated the words ‘Wham, Bam Amsterdam’ from ‘Balance’ because they were all about smoking pot-they were just stupid. Lyrics should plant some sort of seed for thought, or at least be a little more metamorphic.”

The band continued through their subsequent tour after gritting their teeth to finish the record before opting to take a vacation from one another.

When their company persuaded them to create a song for the 1990 action movie Twister, Hagar’s lack of enthusiasm for the project was evident the moment he went into the recording session, and Eddie chastised him for some of the lyrics.

Hagar felt that the band had at least one more solid record left in them and was annoyed by their label’s insistence on producing a greatest hits collection as they prepared to enter the studio once more to record a new album.

Eddie was no longer seeking concessions after years of utilizing the singer’s strengths.

The band changed vocalists a second time during the course of the following few months due to the conflict between Hagar and Eddie, bringing in Gary Cherone for their infamous album Van Halen III.

Eddie’s son Wolfgang supported the band’s work during the “Van Hagar” era even if Sammy Hagar’s tenure with the group ended at the wrong moment.

The amount of turmoil that went into making this one Van Halen song resulted in one of Eddie’s worst moments in his life, even if he may have been correct to stand by his convictions at the time.

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