Sammy Hagar Won’t Start Van Halen Reunion Talk
Sammy Hagar said he’d accept an invitation to perform at an official Eddie Van Halen tribute show if it was arranged but that it wasn’t his place to start any such conversation.
The singer settled his differences with the guitarist before his death last month, although both agreed to keep it a secret in case it started reunion rumors. After Van Halen’s death from cancer at age 65, speculation began to circulate that Hagar was going to join forces with surviving band members Alex and Wolfgang Van Halen – a suggestion Wolfgang firmly shot down.
“There's no talk of reunion or a tribute with me, that's for damn sure,” Hagar told ABC News in a recent interview. “When they want to do something, when they think it's time, if they get together and said, 'Hey, would you come out and sing some songs?,’ you're damn [right] I would. ... But [for me] to talk about that? Hell, no.”
The singer confirmed he’d continue to perform Van Halen songs with his band the Circle, which includes former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony. Calling Eddie “one of the greatest,” he added, "It was such an honor to play with him. And now that we'll never do it again, when we play those songs, I will play 'em with all my heart. But I'm not going to try to become a Van Halen tribute band.”
Hagar recalled the experience of dedicating some songs to his late friend at his birthday party, which took place two days after Van Halen's death. “It was heartbreaking at rehearsal," he said. "But for the show itself, it actually gave us a boost."
In the days following his death, manager Irving Azoff revealed that the long-rumored reunion tour with Anthony was under discussion for 2019, until the extent of the guitarist’s illness became clear. “We had lots of stops and starts, but there was every intention of doing a summer stadium tour,” Azoff noted. “And as the cancer moved around, he was physically unable to do it.”