Sammy Hagar Says Alex Van Halen Won’t Return His Calls or Emails – ‘I’ve Done it About Five Times Now’
As a recent guest on Sirius XM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk," Sammy Hagar chatted about the likelihood, or, rather, the unlikelihood, of a high profile Eddie Van Halen tribute show and the issues surrounding something an event like that. And as for his communication with the band's members, it's Eddie's brother and drummer Alex who won't return Hagar's phone calls or emails.
Since Eddie's passing in October of 2020, Trunk has been among the most outspoken supporters of a theorized tribute show, a notion that intensified after the immense success of the pair of star-studded Taylor Hawkins tribute events, which included Wolfgang Van Halen playing two Van Halen classics at each.
Word had once spread that a potential lineup for an Eddie Van Halen tribute would have joined bassist Jason Newsted, guitarist Joe Satriani with Alex and singer David Lee Roth. Other iterations have been floated, but it appears that plans for a tribute of any nature have simply dissolved.
"As far as I know, [there has been] nothing," Hagar said (transcription via Blabbermouth) regarding a status update on the potential memorial gig.
The singer recapped his sentiments, stating Van Halen manager Irving Azoff had previously contacted with an opportunity to perform with Alex, bassist Michael Anthony and a "superstar" player. Even if this materialized, in Hagar's eyes, it is not Van Halen.
"There is no Van Halen; I don't care what anyone says. Wolfie is Van Halen, okay? And he doesn't want to be the Van Halen copy band. I don't blame him; he's doing a great job on his own stuff, and it's very cool when he jams a little bit here and there. He's Van Halen, and if he wanted to play guitar with Al and Mikey and myself, I would love to do that. That would be just one time for the big time. Not like, 'Okay, let's go out and tour the world and make records.' No, no, no, no," he added, noting an event similar to the Taylor Hawkins tribute "would be fantastic."
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"It ain't just one guy," cautioned Hagar when asked if David Lee Roth is responsible for holding things up.
"Alex Van Halen and I don't talk. I reached out to Alex. I'm going to tell you right now — I reached out to Alex again recently. Mikey had a sad thing happen in his family, and I reached out to Al, and he wouldn't return my call or my e-mail. And so I said, 'You know what? Fuck it. It's not on the top of my list, my agenda. I think Eddie deserves, definitely, a tribute… And the whole world would show up and the whole world would do it," he said.
The "Red Rocker" presumed Roth's conditional demand is to perform without Hagar present and that Roth "doesn't play well with others."
"Like I said, if Alex came to me and wanted to do it, I'm in," he continued, "Absolutely — let's go [and] do it somehow. But Alex has got a stick up his ass about something with me still, and he's going to take it to his grave, I guess. [I made peace with Eddie before he died but] I don't think I made peace with Al. And I don't think I'm going to unless he reaches back out to me. I've done it about five times now."
Hagar also wanted to be clear that he is "not trying to start a feud between the two of us." He chalked up Alex's stubbornness to being a character trait of a Taurus (zodiac sign).
"He is tough to [break] down and to let go. Nope — he's holding on to something. And I just wish he wasn't like that. I love the guy," reaffirmed Hagar, "Like I've said a million times, Alex and I actually got along better than Ed and I at times. Through the hard times, Alex and I still got along. But I don't know what happened. Somebody poisoned him. Somebody told him something. Maybe he still doesn't like my book, which was the most honest thing I've ever done in my life. Some people just don't think that that should have been done."