Sammy Hagar says that he has lost hope there will ever be another VAN HALEN reunion, explaining that Eddie and Alex Van Halen do not want to reconnect with him as friends.
Best known for replacing David Lee Roth in VAN HALEN and helping steer the band towards a more polished pop direction in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Hagar celebrated his seventieth birthday on October 13, an occasion he marked by rocking out with a variety of his musical friends at the latest installment of his annual birthday bash concert series at his Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
During an appearance on SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation”, Hagar revealed that he didn’t hear from the Van Halen brothers on his birthday, which he interpreted as them having no interest in rekindling their friendship.
“People say, ‘What’s going on with VAN HALEN?’ Okay, absolutely nothing,” he said (hear audio below). “I have no idea. I haven’t heard from the guys.
“To me, they made a real strong statement by not wishing me a happy birthday for my seventieth,” Hagar continued. “Especially amongst the fact that so many people have died. I mean, a week before that Tom Petty died. Tom Petty‘s birthday was the next Thursday after mine, and he was still a young man, as far as I’m concerned.
“With all them people dying, if somebody turns seventy, that’s a monumental thing,” Sammy said. “It’s, like, you would think if they ever wanted to be friends, it would be so easy. And even if they didn’t wanna be friends, it’s just something that would be the right thing to do.”
According to Hagar, “the other clincher” that confirmed to him the Van Halen brothers weren’t interested in a reunion was the fact that former VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony never heard from Eddie and Alex after he lost his two-week-old grandson to heart disease in April. “Even Dave [Lee Roth] sent ‘I’m sorry’ to Mike. And, you know, Dave‘s not the friendliest guy in the world [laughs], but at least he had the class to do that,” Sammy said.
Hagar, who went out of his way last year to push the subject of a VAN HALEN reunion tour featuring Anthony along with sets by both him and Roth, said that he is putting the idea to rest.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with those two brothers, man,” Sammy said. “For them not to do anything for [Michael‘s grandson], and then again on my birthday… I didn’t expect it, but then I kind of thought, ‘Yeah…’ I really didn’t think about it. But people keep bringing it up: ‘Oh, you must have heard from the brothers. Did Eddie wish you…?’ No.
“All that says to me is that it’s over, man,” he added. “Those guys do not want to be friends, and if they don’t wanna be friends, then we certainly ain’t gonna do a reunion. ‘Cause that would mean I would just do a reunion for some money or something? I mean, I would love to do it for the fans — I really would — but other than that… nah. I’m over it, man. If they don’t wanna be friends… We’ve gotta be friends before we can do any kind of business together. So, I don’t know… To me, it’s kind of put the nails in the coffin. It’s kind of, ‘Hmm, well, that’s done. Put foreclosure on that.'”
Hagar and Roth actually toured together in 2002, when neither one of them was in VAN HALEN, although Hagar told The Pulse Of Radio at the time that they weren’t exactly pals.
Hagar, who exchanged tweets with Eddie Van Halen in January 2016, hasn’t made music with Eddie or Alex since his final tour with VAN HALEN back in 2004.
In 2007, the Van Halen brothers, Wolfgang Van Halen and Roth announced they would be hitting the road for a reunion tour. Anthony later told Music Radar that he “found out about that tour like everybody else did — in the press.”
Anthony has played primarily with Hagar in the thirteen years since he last performed with VAN HALEN, in groups like CHICKENFOOT and THE CIRCLE.