Sammy Hagar has long been talking about a Van Halen reunion, but now the band’s former lead singer admits time is running out. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Hagar confirmed he has not spoken to Eddie Van Halen in 13 years. While a Twitter birthday exchange between the two musicians made headlines a few years ago (Sammy is sure Eddie’s social media person replied to his tweet to the Van Halen guitarist), there has been no communication between the estranged bandmates since the final show of the band’s 2004 reunion tour.
Now, Hagar makes it clear that while he has no plans to reach out to anyone from Van Halen at this point, he does think fans deserve an ultimate reunion tour that would include the vocalists from both eras of the band.
“I haven’t talked to anyone, and I’m not reaching out,” Hagar told Rolling Stone.
“I’m gonna tell you exactly what my dream would be, though. It would be Sam, Dave, Mike, Al, and Eddie. If [Eddie’s son] Wolfie’s band opened, that’s fine.”
While Sammy Hagar’s dream reunion lineup would be Van Halen’s original foursome (David Lee Roth, Michael Anthony, and Eddie and Alex Van Halen) plus himself, a lot of work would have to be done to make it happen. But Hagar told Rolling Stone exactly how it could play out, and it almost sounds like a battle of the bands.
“I’d say, ‘Dave, you go out and play two songs, then walk off the stage. I walk out, I’ll do two songs. I’ll walk off, you do two songs,’” Hagar explained.
“Can you imagine the competition of that? Dave goes out and does ‘Jump,’ and ‘Ain’t Talkin ‘Bout Love.’ I go out there and blow out something like ‘Good Enough.’ You gotta hit it hard, and you better be good.”
Hagar suggested doing a supersized show as a charity event for food banks, but he added that nothing would change between the feuding musicians on a personal level.
“I would love to give the fans the greatest Van Halen show they could possibly have today,” Sammy said. “And then say, ‘OK, I still don’t like you guys.’”
Just ahead of his 70th birthday, Sammy Hagar believes his idea is a very real possibility because “there’s so much money involved that somebody will make it happen.” The former Van Halen frontman admitted manager Irving Azoff has made “the impossible” happen with bands before, but he cautioned that the aging rockers could be running out of time.
“I really think it’s kind of inevitable,” Hagar said of a Van Halen reunion.
“And if it doesn’t happen, it’s getting kind of late now. If it doesn’t happen by next year… But at 75, I don’t want to do a Van Halen reunion.”
Sammy Hagar is not the only ex-Van Halen bandmate who thinks the fans deserve a proper goodbye before old age makes it impossible. In an interview with Ohio’s News-Herald, Van Halen’s original bassist Michael Anthony said the band owes it to their loyal fans to give them “some kind of proper closure.”
“You obviously see all of these other bands doing it these days,” Anthony said. “Everybody in the band is still relatively healthy and alive. So there’s one thing right there.”
Of course, while the rotating lead singer idea sounds like a dream come true for diehard Van Halen fans, Anthony vividly recalls Hagar and Roth’s co-headlining 2002 trek, which did not end well.
“Yeah, that tour started kind of harmoniously, but didn’t finish up that way,” he said of the duo’s ill-fated Best of Both Worlds tour. “I went out and guested with Sammy on a handful of those shows and things got maybe a little strained.”
Indeed, after the bizarre Best of Both Worlds tour by the rival Van Halen lead singers, Sammy Hagar told Guitar World that David Lee Roth was not an easy guy to work with.
“It could have been a heck of a lot better,” Hagar said of his shows with Roth.
“Dave’s an unreasonable guy. He’s a not a cool guy, he’s not a fun guy. Boy, I hate to ever say I’m sorry I did something, so I can’t say I’m sorry I did it. But I certainly wouldn’t do it again, let’s put it like that.”
Now it sounds like Sammy Hagar has changed his tune, but getting Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth on board for a real reunion could be a harder sell.
In the past, Roth has flat-out refused to perform any songs from the Van Hagar years, which stretched from 1985 to 1996. And Diamond Dave has made it clear he doesn’t need any help with his duties as Van Halen’s vocalist, despite Hagar’s nearly 10-year tenure as the band’s frontman.
“Well, there’s a credibility issue there,” Roth said of Hagar at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards. “Good, bad or in the middle, you know Roth means it; the other guy doesn’t. And that’s why it sold half as well — literally… Never did better than half. And why would you bring that into the proceedings? This hamburger don’t need no helper.”
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]