Sammy Hagar: Van Halen Tour Would Have Been Double-Frontman Show
The singer said he was ready to put aside all differences with David Lee Roth to make sure audiences enjoyed a full taste of the band’s history and energy.
Discussions had been underway until Eddie Van Halen’s cancer battle had become too serious, making him unable to take part in a large-scale road trip. Various statements in the aftermath of the guitarist’s death confirmed that the shows would also have included original bassist Michael Anthony, with Eddie’s son Wolfgang having said he was happy to step back to make it happen.
In a new Variety interview, Hagar recalled his struggle to reconnect with Eddie before his passing, after years of bad blood between them. “I heard he was in bad shape and I wanted to reach out; I finally said, ‘I’m just calling him,’” he said. “I was calling his brother, I was calling his manager, I was calling his friends, and I’d say, ‘Hey, tell Ed, give him my phone number. Tell him if he ever wants to talk to me, I really, really want to talk it out, help him and see what I can do,’… but they never got it done.”
Comedian George Lopez finally put the former bandmates back in touch. “[H]e said, ‘Sammy, Eddie’s in bad shape, he loves you brother, you need to reach out.’ I said, ‘Give me his fucking number and I’ll make sure I call him.’” When they finally made contact, he added, “it was like, boom, we were good. It was a beautiful thing.”
Hagar went on to say that brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen, along with manager Irving Azoff, “were looking at doing the reunion tour with everybody, which is the way it had to be.” He continued: “You know, you go see just me, I’ll sing some of the Dave songs, but I wouldn’t ever sing enough… and then [Roth] can’t sing my songs, so they never heard [all] the Van Halen hits.” Asserting that just wasn’t “fair,” he added: “You know, there’s always a bitch. Every time we do a reunion, whichever one it was, it was a bitch. But yeah, that would have been wonderful.”
The attitude behind the tour, he said, would have been: “Let’s go give the fans the biggest band in the world, you know what I mean? You don’t get bigger than Van Halen, and the fans deserve to see it all, hear every song.”
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