Just to set the record straight for Dennis Hunt ("Sammy Hagar--On Cruise Control," Aug. 30): Hagar's screeching voice, banal songs (compare "I Can't Drive 55" to "Top Jimmy" or "Unchained") and thoroughly irritating stage presence make some Van Halen fans wish for the return of David Lee Roth.
Van Halen needs a lead singer with personality: Eddie Van Halen is an incredibly talented guitar player who's never quite figured out what to do with himself on stage. It's unfortunate that he chose Hagar, who is obnoxious rather than entertaining.
"5150" lacks Roth's intelligence and wit that kept the early Van Halen albums from being just more pedestrian head-banging. "5150" sold more copies because it's more "mainstream"--i.e., boring. I'll be listening to "1984," "Fair Warning," and "Diver Down" on CD long after my "5150" LP has warped into oblivion.
(The scariest thing about all this is that I agree with Bob Hilburn on Hagar's lack of talent. I've never agreed with anything Hilburn says--it's my worst nightmare come true!)
NOEL A. DAVI