The divide between former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar and the band has been well documented, but the singer is optimistic that the final chapter in the story between himself and Van Halen has not been written yet.
Speaking with Rolling Stone, Hagar remains hopeful that past barriers will eventually be broken down and that one day Van Halen will return to the concert stage, hopefully with himself having some involvement.
“Until Ed or Alex Van Halen die, they’re not finished,” he explained. “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.”
He continued, “If they want to get it together, they just have to call Dave or have to call Sammy. They can go out with Wolfie as a trio, but that’s not the legacy of Van Halen. I think they know that. I’m not predicting what’s going to happen, but I would tell you if there’s concerts next year, Van Halen will probably be on tour next year.”
Hagar reveals that there had been some discussion of Michael Anthony returning to the band in 2019, but it never came to fruition as rumors circulated about Eddie Van Halen’s health. However, the guitarist was spotted in public on several occasions not long after, easing some of the concern.
“I don’t know exactly what happened to him, but I think he had back surgery,” speculates Hagar. “Eddie had a lot of health issues, but I heard he got it together. I pray for the guy and I love the guy.”
The singer has reportedly not spoken to the Van Halen brothers in person since the end of their 2004 tour and eventual split. However, Hagar and Eddie Van Halen exchanged pleasantries on Twitter with Sammy reaching out on Eddie’s birthday back in 2016. Not long after, Hagar revealed that mortality had played a role in the decision to break the silence. “It just makes when you stop and think that, you know, with my relationship with Eddie Van Halen and stuff that’s always been in the toilet, it makes you say, ‘I don’t want to be buried with any regrets or bad vibes like that,'” explained Hagar at the time. “It makes you want to be just friends with everybody and say, ‘Hey, look, forget it.’ Even if you don’t want to be in a band together, just let’s be friends. No more enemies for me. You don’t want to go to your grave with enemies. So that’s what it’s done for me.”
Hagar reveals that his dream scenario involves himself and Michael Anthony returning to Van Halen with David Lee Roth also involved and splitting the set between Sammy and Dave-sung songs. In addition, he’d love to see Wolfgang Van Halen have a chance to share his new music as direct support, while Hagar’s son Andrew could open the sets.
As for the potential of playing with Van Halen again, Hagar says, “I foresee it happening,” but quickly qualifies, “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.”
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