Sammy Hagar would have gladly participated in Eddie Van Halen’s planned “kitchen sink” farewell tour featuring all three Van Halen singers. However, he admits it would’ve been tough to share the stage with David Lee Roth.
In a new interview with SiriuxXM’s Eddie Trunk, Hagar said that the proposed tour would have been a “dream come true”, but expressed some misgivings about sharing the spotlight with founding Van Halen frontman Roth, whom Hagar replaced in 1985. The band’s third singer was Gary Cherone, who replaced Hagar and sang on 1998’s Van Halen III.
The Hagar versus Roth eras of the band have always created contention among fans, but Hagar himself finds Roth “not user friendly.” Despite some choice words, Hagar was otherwise positive about the idea of featuring all three singers.
“It was totally on my radar,” Hagar said in the interview (via Blabbermouth). “No one had confirmed any of it, but it was obviously what was gonna happen. I wouldn’t look forward to having to share the stage with Dave, only because he’s not user friendly. I love the guy, I love the music, all that, but he’s just not user friendly. He’s always gonna pull something to try to make you look bad and make him look good and all that kind of stuff. But it would have been a blast. Are you kidding me? It [would have been] a dream come true.”
Perhaps Hagar has bad memories of the ill-fated co-headlining tour he shared with Roth in 2002, the comically titled “Song for Song, the Heavyweight Champs of Rock ‘N’ Roll Tour”, where each singer performed a separate set (neither billed as Van Halen). If given the chance, Hagar would’ve structured the “kitchen-sink” setlists in a way that there was no headliner.
“I actually presented it to Irving Azoff, their manager and my old manager. I said, ‘Irving, I’ll come out and do two songs. I leave the stage. Dave comes out and does two songs. He leaves the stage, I come out and do two.’ Two, two, two, two — like that,” Hagar explained. “Not like one guy has to open the show for the first hour, and then the other guy comes for the second hour, and you’ve gotta flip-flop and all this kind of crazy stuff that Roth would always insist upon.”
He added, “It seems like the only way to do it properly [would have been] two and two, two and two, two and two, and that would have been so badass, because, you don’t think that each one of us would have freakin’ sucked it up and given it a hundred and thirty-five thousand percent trying to blow the other guy off the stage song after song? It would have been the greatest thing ever.”
Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen told Houston radio station 94.5 The Buzz that he’d floated the idea of massive reunion tour to his father over the years. Rumors swirled last year about a classic-lineup Van Halen reunion, at the least.
“And then we started joking around with the idea of the kitchen-sink tour — everything but the kitchen sink — and just get everybody,” Wolfgang said. “Get Hagar, get Cherone, get Roth, [Michael] Anthony, and we’d all get up on stage and just have a party. And we even spoke to Irving Azoff, the band’s manager, and he got really excited about it, and hit up Anthony. I think that’s how the rumors got out.”
Bassist Michael Anthony confirmed that he’d been contacted, but that the plans were canceled after Eddie Van Halen’s health took a downward turn. The guitar legend passed away on October 6th after a lengthy battle with cancer.