2020 is a year that has offered quite a lot of perspective and has come with some valuable life lessons. Even before the pandemic began, Sammy Hagar realized the importance of putting differences aside and reached out to Eddie Van Halen to bury the hatchet. Fortunate that he did, the Red Rocker said he likely wouldn’t be able to “come to grips” with the guitarist’s death if he hadn’t.
“I think that the word is pretty much out that Eddie and I buried the hatchet earlier on this year,” Hagar told Rock 105.5’s Angi Taylor.
“We didn’t go around talking about it. He asked me not to talk about it, and I did not talk about it. But now, looking back, if we wouldn’t have come to terms with that feud we were having after the reunion tour, I wouldn’t have been able to come to grips with it,” the singer went on.
While dealing with Van Halen’s passing remains difficult, there’s a sense of peace that comes with making amends. Without it, “It would have been way too much for me, ’cause I’m still grieving my ass off,” said Hagar. “But the grieving is starting to make… It feels like, hey, we had a great thing. This music will live on forever — beyond me. I’ll sing it for the rest of my life. When I’m gone, hopefully some young bands come up and play that music. And you can always play it in your homes,” the Red Rocker warmly continued.
Of course there are many highly memorable moments between Hagar and Van Halen, but one of the singer’s favorite memories happened during that moment they reconnected.
Hagar recollected, “When I called him, after years of not speaking, back in February, I think, or January, whatever it was — before COVID — he said, ‘What took you so long?’ [Laughs] It put the biggest smile on my face. I said, ‘Oh my God. Don’t ask me.’ That was just very touching to me: ‘Hey, I’ve been waitin’.'”
Eddie Van Halen died on Oct. 6 at age 65 after a lengthy and brave battle with cancer. Just days after his passing, Hagar and former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony moved forward with Hagar’s birthday celebration show, which had been in the works for months prior. It was highly emotional for the two to play Van Halen songs so soon after Eddie’s death, which they reflected on in a post-show recap video.
Rockers We’ve Lost in 2020