Sammy Hagar Reveals Eddie Van Halen’s ‘Mystery Lick’ on ‘I Never Said Goodbye’
When Sammy Hagar entered the studio to record what he thought would be the contract-fulfilling closing chapter of his solo career with 1987's I Never Said Goodbye LP, he brought along his new Van Halen bandmate Eddie Van Halen to play bass and co-produce — and he also played a brief burst of uncredited guitar that's remained a source of speculation for nearly 30 years.
Although Hagar joked to Guitar Player that he only asked Van Halen to handle bass duties because "otherwise, he’d have been hounding me to play guitar," Van Halen countered, "I told him that before the record’s done, I’ll have played at least one note on the guitar. And I did!"
Hagar confirmed Van Halen's version of events, although the duo declined to reveal which track he played on. Calling it a "mystery lick," Hagar added, "Towards the end of the album he said, ‘Why don’t you try playing something like this?’ And I said, ‘Why don’t you just do it? There’s your lick on my record!’"
Now that a few decades have passed, Hagar's apparently ready to spill the beans. In a Facebook post commemorating the album's 28th anniversary, he writes, "I played all the guitar on this record. Eddie did one small part in 'Eagles Fly' in the middle instrumental section — he did his finger tapping chimes."
"Overall I love this record, songs like 'Give to Live' and 'Eagles Fly' have gone on to be classics for me -- they were even incorporated into the Van Halen live show during my acoustic performances," he adds. "Damn, I miss this record, I'm gonna go put it on right now."
You can check out "Eagles Fly" above, ready to play just before the part of the song that seems likely to feature Van Halen's guitar cameo. Have a listen and see if you think the "mystery lick" has been solved.
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