Even though Sammy Hagar hasn’t been in Van Halen since their 2004 tour in support of The Best Of Both Worlds greatest hits package, the obligatory “Van Halen” questions came up in two recent interviews of his. Both interviews were conducted last month during the Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp, which was held inside the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. One interview was with Eddie Trunk and the other with Vegas Rocks! Both Van Halen excerpts are transcribed below, along with videos.
As Sammy Hagar worked on plans to celebrate his four decades in rock, the former Montrose and Van Halen singer says he lit on the idea of presenting a set that moved through each of his hitmaking eras — with special guests to match.
From Montrose, he could bring in Denny Carmassi and Bill Church — who recently joined him to record new music. The same goes for his solo, Waboritas and Chickenfoot eras. The problem, of course, comes with his continued estrangement from Eddie Van Halen, with whom he famously worked from 1985-1996.
Hagar insists he’ll still play hits like “Right Now,” even if it means doing so with no one other than fellow Van Halen alum Michael Anthony — who has since joined Hagar in Chickenfoot.
“You can’t go out and not play those songs, just because a couple of guys aren’t in the band,” Hagar tells Eddie Trunk at the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp.
Hagar participated in a reunion with Van Halen between 2003-05, but has been estranged ever since. Nevertheless, he says he’d love to reunite with Eddie Van Halen for these shows. “I would invite Ed, any day,” Hagar says. “I want to make that plain and clear. I would invite those guys to play anytime. I would be in that band still, if we could get along. We don’t get along. It’s plain and simple. A lot of people don’t get along.”
When it come to that point in his proposed show, Hagar says he will likely also invite Carmassi along. “Denny could play the hell out of Van Halen,” Hagar adds. “Then you’ve got Mikey on bass, and you’ve got me singing. Then, you’re pretty close. As close as they are now…”
When Vegas Rocks! asked what he would say to Eddie Van Halen if he ran into him today, Hagar replied, “Well, right now I’d say, ‘Wow. Great. I’ve seen some pictures of you recently. You look like you’re healthy and doing great. I’m really proud of you and I’d like to see you continue doing that. Here’s my phone number. Call me up if you wanna hang and just have some fun and goof off.’”
“And whatever that led to, I wouldn’t say, ‘Hey, let’s get together and do it again,’ because you would have to do that slow, because I would never do it again under the last circumstances. But I would do it again under different circumstances. So it’d be like that. And then I would also say, ‘And also here’s Mikey’s phone numbers with mine.’ [laughs]”