David Lee Roth vs Sammy Hagar: Who was the better lyricist?

They both penned lyrics mostly aimed at horny adolescent guys. Sammy occasionally went a little deeper and more serious with his lyrics, but even those tended to be vapid. I find Dave's lyrics to be more clever, even when coming from his crotch. Overall, I think Sammy's lyrics are more forgettable and disposable—but he was a hell of a singer and fine guitar player; Dave couldn't touch him there.

Kurt L

Silver Supporting Member
They’re both horrible lyricists who overcame that deficiency to become very successful. More power to them, but Robert Hunter they ain’t.

And I doubt they ever aspired to that. Both of them are fun - a gift that many more serious lyricists lack.


Dave for me. Sammy has been more hit or miss throughout his career. he has plenty of really good songs with good lyrics but also has more than a little really bad ones.

Dave set the tone for VH which makes things a bit unfair for comparison. of course Dave and VH took more than a little from Sammy's first band Montrose. that first Montrose album compares pretty well against the first VH album in terms of lyrics.


Gold Supporting Member
Dave by a country mile. He leaves room for your imagination. He’s not trying to be deep, change the world, or make any sort of “statements” with his lyrics. He really knows how to turn a phrase:

“I was in love but Cupid missed me”
“Yeah we’re all fast breakers comin’ out of the gates, takin’ chances we’re the crash and burn”
“Non-stop talker, what a rocker, blue-eyed murder in a size 5 dress”

I mean, who actually comes up with stuff like this? Dave!


i was never into the sophomoric misogyny of Van Halen and felt it dragged the whole thing down. Same with Frank Zappa. I don't know why they hate women, but I can only assume it is due to their own sexual inadequacy. When Sammy finally came in and changed all that, I realized misogyny isn't so bad after all.

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