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Sammy Hagar Downplays Van Halen Reunion Talk: ‘I Just Want to Be Friends’

Ethan Miller / Larry Marano, Getty Images
Ethan Miller / Larry Marano, Getty Images

For all the talk that’s going around about the possibility of Sammy Hagar re-joining Van Halen, the singer wants it to be known that — at least right now — he’s just trying to break the ice between himself and Eddie Van Halen. Then, as he says in a new interview, the question of whether or not they can work together again would be answered.

Hagar told Rolling Stone that, if the band were to come calling, “I’d say, ‘F— yeah, let’s get some coffee. If I did it myself I’d be way too vulnerable. I’d be in a room with the guys like, ‘No, no. You don’t understand. That’s not what I’m talking about. I just want to be friends. And once we’re friends, we can do anything. Until that is proven, I can’t be in a band with you guys, or whatever.'”

He made sure to point out that the next move has to be made by them. “I know the way those guys think,” he added. “‘Oh, he wants something! He wants back in the band. He must be broke.’ I’m sorry, but unless they’ve changed drastically, which when I’ve talked to people that do know them it sounds like they haven’t changed at all, it would be misinterpreted. I also don’t want to provoke that. That’s not what I’m looking for in my life now.”

Two months ago, Hagar sent a birthday greeting to Eddie Van Halen on Twitter, to which the guitarist responded his thanks. It was the first time they had communicated since the end of Van Halen’s ill-fated 2004 tour. Hagar said that the recent deaths of David Bowie and Glenn Frey caused him to write the tweet.

“I realized that I didn’t want to take any enemies to my grave,” he continued. “If I K.O. tomorrow, I don’t want to have an enemy. I don’t know how the afterlife works, but I’d just as soon not go there with any enemies. … Bowie was my hero. It was one after the other, even a young guy like Scott Weiland. He inducted me in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You just go, ‘Aw, man!'”

But should the friendship between Hagar and Van Halen be rekindled to the point where he is invited back into the band, there is one condition upon which Hagar will insist: the return of bassist Michael Anthony. “There’s no scenario I’d do it without Mikey,” he said. “Absolutely not. I would do a solo album with Ed. We can call it the Sam and Ed Show or the Ed and Sam Show. But there’s no such thing as a Van Halen reunion without Mikey. I think they just proved that.”

See Van Halen and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the ’90s

Next: Top 10 Van Hagar Songs

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