Sammy Hagar appeared on Sirius/XM’s Trunk Nation to talk about his friend and former bandmate Eddie Van Halen but said he’s still coming to terms with his death.
“To talk about someone like Eddie Van Halen, the greatness of him and to try to explain it to people or try to tell old stories, it’s still not time. I don’t feel comfortable with it yet,” Hagar told host Eddie Trunk. “What is understood need not be discussed. That was a famous thing that we used to say in Van Halen. You just put your hand in the air and go, “Hey, what is understood need not be discussed sometimes. We don’t have to talk about this.’ Hard to talk about, ya know? I still haven’t talked about it. It’s a tough one, ya know? I don’t know. I just can’t believe that I’ll never play with that guy again. I just thought it was inevitable.”
Hagar felt it was inevitable especially since he and Eddie had made peace earlier in the year.
“Once we patched everything up at the first of the year. Eddie and I were definitely talking a lot. Texting like teenagers. Really a love fest, really good stuff,” said Hagar. “[He] was like, ‘Hey man, as soon as I’m feeling better let’s make some noise. You and I wrote some great songs together, let’s do it again.’ I thought, ‘Man, this is great! It’s gonna happen!”
According to Hagar, Eddie had looked to 2021 as the year when the two would work together again. It would have been the first time since the Van Halen/Sammy Hagar 2004 reunion tour.
“He was talkin’ about next year,” said Hagar. “I’m goin’ ‘I’m 73 years old dude, I don’t know if I can sing a Van Halen set next year!’ [laughs]. I said, ‘Let’s just be friends and work it from there.’ It was that kinda deal.”
Hagar also talked about the recent revelation by Wolfgang Van Halen that Eddie was looking forward to a reunion tour that would have included original bassist Michael Anthony along with singers David Lee Roth, Hagar and Gary Cherone. Hagar said he had already put in his suggestion as to how he would have wanted it to play out.
“I said [to Van Halen manage Irving Azoff], ‘I’ll come out and do two songs, I leave the stage, Dave comes out and does two songs. He leaves the stage, I come and out and do two. Two, two, two like that,” said Hagar. “Not like one guy has to open the show and the other guy comes for the second hour and you gotta flip flop and all this kinda crazy stuff that Roth insists upon. ‘Cuz it should be either chronological. He comes out first and does the whole thing, then I come out and do the whole thing then Gary Cherone comes out for the encore! [laughs].”
“That would have been so bad ass,” he continued. “You don’t think that each one of us would have frickin’ sucked it up and given 135 thousand percent tryin’ to blow the other guy off the stage song after song? It would have been the greatest thing ever. I’m totally fired up about that but it ain’t gonna happen. Like Wolfie said on your show there’s not gonna be a Van Halen without Eddie. There’s no such thing. That, I’ll tell folks right now, ‘Don’t look at me.’ If there’s some kind of a tribute show, one off for the fans for charity and all that yeah, yeah, absolutely. With some great guest guitar players, I would be part of that but no farther than that, man. Without Eddie there is no Van Halen. That’s all there is to it.”
Hagar said that since Eddie’s passing he’s reached out to Alex Van Halen on three different occasions but hasn’t heard back.
“I feel very bad for Alex,” said Hagar. “I would imagine he’s in deep thought right now and my love goes out to him. I tell ya right now man that’s got to be the hardest thing ever.”
Hagar also shared his thoughts on Wolfgang Van Halen’s recent series of interviews and how he’s handled the critics.
“I love Wolfie, he’s the best. What a great kid man,” said Hagar. “He’s jumped right into the big time [with the recent interviews]. I think he’s handled it really well and for those people out there that want him to sound like his dad and follow in his dad’s footsteps; what if Eddie would have followed his dad’s footsteps? He would have been a jazz player with a clarinet in his band so you don’t follow your father’s footsteps. I’m a firm believer in – you don’t that. Wolfie shouldn’t do that, he’s a talented little guy. He’s got a long career ahead of him with music.”
Trunk asked Hagar about the possibility of any unreleased Sammy-era music that may be in Eddie’s 5150 vaults.
“There’s four songs that I remember that I actually had the lyrics and sang. They just didn’t make the album,” said Hagar. “There’s only about four from my era but I’m sure Eddie’s got a ton of music and stuff where he and Al would be out there [at 5150 studios] just jammin’ and doin’ stuff. Eddie was always in that studio.”
“[But] things that didn’t make the record for the first time – in my opinion -they wouldn’t make the record the second time either [laughs],” said Hagar. “It’s not like there would ever be any bad Van Halen music but it’s just the songs probably just weren’t up to par and we all felt that way so what made the record was the good stuff.”
You can listen to the entire interview below: