HOLLYWOOD – Van Halen fans have argued for decades over the better front man — David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar.
Now the two longtime foes will appear back to back on the same stage.
Deposed Van Halen front men Roth, 46, and Hagar, 54, announced yesterday they're touring together, starting May 29 in Cleveland and will play New York later in the summer, although a date is not yet finalized.
"Sam and I are like fraternity brothers that have been through the same sh - - - y hazing," said Roth at a press conference at L.A.'s Skybar, surrounded by three young blond girls in cat suits.
But after two decades of slagging each other in the press, Sam and Dave ain't exactly talkin' 'bout love.
(In 1991, Roth told this reporter, "Yeah, I liked Sammy Hagar — back in junior high school!")
"It's not like Dave and I are old buddies or anything," said Hagar. "This is a pretty competitive tour, in my book."
"There's a rivalry between us," Roth added. "So the audience gets the absolute best out of both of us."
The amphitheater-sized tour, dubbed "Sans Halen" by the rock press, has no official name because "Sam & Dave" would infringe on the rights of the '60s act of the same name.
The show will have each man performing for 90 minutes — Roth exclusively Van Halen covers and Hagar material spanning his 30-year career.
Hagar said they'd flip a coin to see who opens the first show, then switch off after that.
"We're gonna flip a blonde in the next city, and I'm gonna call tails," Roth said.
Roth said he imagines a duet or two is "inevitable," although he can't name the tune.
The idea was Hagar's. When he got fired from Van Halen seven years ago, he tried to contact Roth, who shot him down.
"The timing was wrong," Roth explained yesterday. "And now the timing is right. We have a whole busload of people out there who've been waiting way too long for something really good to happen with this music."
After the conference, Roth told The Post a reunion with Van Halen was "almost an inevitability."
He said he hears that Eddie Van Halen, suffering from cancer, "is not doing too well."
"All joking aside, I wish the best for him."