Watch Sammy Hagar and Joe Elliott Talk About Being Fired
After the Def Leppard frontman explained why his group didn’t dismiss drummer Rick Allen after he suffered a severed arm in a car crash, Hagar touched on his experience of being let go by two bands which aren’t named – but which are almost certainly Van Halen and Montrose.
In the episode, which airs on Apr. 19 via AXS TV, Elliott said: “When Rick lost his arm, they way we’d become even then… we were so tight that we were like, ‘You don’t kick your brother out your family if he has an accident. And so, if he can’t do this, it’s up to him to tell us.’ And that gave him the confidence to give it a go.”
“It’s so cool,” Hagar responded. “It’s so unheard of in rock. I mean, I’ve been thrown out of so many bands… you go all the way with these people to the top, sell gazillions [of] records, so all this stuff. Then all of a sudden they throw you out… for some ego trip or something.” “Especially those two bands,” Elliott interjected. Two of my favorites.” Hagar continued: “I’ve been thrown out of two. But it’s okay – I’m happy.”
You can watch the clip below:
Hagar left Van Halen in 1996, although it’s long been in dispute whether he was fired or quit. Before that, he’d been kicked out of Montrose in 1975. Band leader Ronnie Montrose – who died in 2012 – was quoted in a 2017 book laughing about the split. “We have a longstanding joke now, because I did fire him from the Montrose band for some of the same reasons that I left the Edgar Winter Group. He was onto his own thing and had many more things that he wanted to do as a band leader than he could do in our format. Same thing that I did with Edgar. One of the running jokes is that it took Van Halen a lot longer than it took me to fire him!”