Sammy Hagar: ‘Van Halen will probably be on tour next year’
Sammy Hagar ain’t talkin’ ’bout love, but he might be talkin’ about a reunion.
The one-time frontman of Van Halen, who hasn’t played with the legendary rockers since 2004, was quizzed this week by Rolling Stone about the band’s possible future following original singer David Lee Roth’s pronouncement that the group is “finished.”
“Van Halen will probably be on tour next year,” Hagar said.
Reports surfaced in 2019 that co-founder and lead guitarist Eddie Van Halen had been battling throat cancer for a number of years, but Hagar says his former bandmate is doing better.
“Eddie had a lot of health issues, but I heard he got it together,” says Hagar. “I pray for the guy and I love the guy.”
Hagar joined the band in 1986 with 5150 after Roth departed for a solo career that never took off. He continued with the group throughout the rest of the ’80s and into the ’90s completing three other studio albums as part of Van Halen — OU812, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, and Balance. He departed in 1996 after Eddie recruited Roth for a track on the band’s first Greatest Hits package before reuniting with group in 2004 for a reunion tour.
Roth returned to the band in 2007, but original bassist Michael Anthony was replaced by Eddie’s son Wolfgang.
Last year in a Talkin’ Rock With Meltdown podcast with Detroit’s WRIF, Roth said he was focused on his upcoming Las Vegas residency. “Van Halen isn’t gonna be coming back in the fashion that you know. And that being said, Eddie’s (Van Halen) got his own story to tell. (It’s) not mine to tell it.”
In 2018, Anthony revealed that he had spoken to Van Halen’s manager about a reunion trek that never took place. “They were gonna try to plan a thing for this summer [of 2019],” he said. “The next thing I knew, the plug got pulled on it.”
Still, Hagar thinks the band still has more to prove as a live act when touring can resume.
“Until Ed or Alex Van Halen die, they’re not finished,” he says. “Those are two great musicians that can friggin’ do as good as most people at half-mast. As a drummer and as a guitarist and creative person, Eddie, I can’t see them ever being finished. I wish they were more active, but I think Van Halen will never be finished.”
If and when the band resumes, Hagar thinks Van Halen should honour both his era with the band and Roth’s.
“My dream tour is the Sam and Dave tour with Ed, Al and Mike,” Hagar tells RS. “Let Wolfie put his band together and open. I have a son, Andrew Hagar, who makes great music. Let Andrew open, let Wolfie play with his band in the middle and then have the Sam and Dave tour where we do an hour each. An hour with Dave songs and an hour with me.”
He continues, “I foresee it happening. I’m not trying to plant a seed like I know something is happening. I know nothing. I just know what I know in my heart and my head, which is that it has to happen. Whether it’s Sam and Dave or not, I don’t know that either. But I know that Eddie and I are not done. If enough water goes under the bridge before we die, it’ll happen. It has to. God is going to slap us both around if he has to.”