Sammy Hagar: I Would Cancel My Own Show for an Eddie Van Halen Tribute

The singer also opens about his final conversations with the late Van Halen guitarist

Sammy Hagar Eddie Van Halen tribute
Sammy Hagar (publicity), Eddie Van Halen (photo by Philip Cosores)

    Sammy Hagar would cancel his own show if it meant clearing his schedule to perform at a potential Eddie Van Halen tribute concert. The singer also opened up about his final texts with the Van Halen guitarist during an appearance on Kyle Meredith With... on the Consequence Podcast Network.

    When asked by host Kyle Meredith about the possibility of an official tribute show in honor of the late Eddie Van Halen, Hagar explained, “That’s their business … that’s Wolfie, Alex Van Halen, their family members. Whoever wants to call me up and say, ‘Here’s the date,’ I will be there. I don’t care where I am.”

    He continued, “I’ll cancel a show — something Van Halen would never do. … I went out sick without being able to sing. Eddie went out with a crutch. Alex went out with a f–kin’ neck brace. We wouldn’t cancel shows. But I will cancel my show for a tribute to Eddie any day.”


    That said, Sammy insisted that “there’s not a lot of word of [a tribute show yet],” adding, “We gotta get back to work first. They gotta allow us to be in the same place, because that’s not gonna be a social-distance event. Let me tell you that!”

    The Red Rocker recently released a new album called Lockdown 2020 with his band Sammy Hagar & The Circle. The collection features cover songs the group recorded in quarantine during the pandemic.

    Elsewhere in the podcast, Hagar opened up about reconnecting with Eddie over text in the months before the guitarist’s passing, during which time they shared some music with each other. “I sent him one of [our new recordings]. I don’t remember which one. I sent it to him in a text. And he sent me some of Wolfie’s stuff. We were sharing music.”

    He added, “When Bill Withers died … I picked up my guitar and I played ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ … I put my phone on selfie and I sang a verse of it, and then I broke down. I had to stop. I’m a Bill Withers fan. That guy was the greatest singer. And I sent it to Eddie at that time, and he gave me love on it.”


    Hagar continued, “Eddie and I had our problems for so many years, and then reconnected right before COVID. … Our texts and conversations were plain and simple: ‘Hey man, how you doing?’ And he started opening up to me about how sick he was: ‘Dude, I just had this tumor on the side of my neck.’ I was just always checking on him to see how he was doing. And that was our relationship, it was pretty cool, like, ‘Hey, when can we get together. Hey Ed, tell me when you’re ready, and I’ll cook you a big ol’ spaghetti dinner.'”

    The singer also reiterated that there were plans for Van Halen to reunite. “There was talk of a reunion. Eddie was saying, ‘Hey man, let’s not talk of this to anyone.’ … But we were talking about, ‘Hey man, let’s go make some noise next year. C’mon, Ed, get well, we gotta go out and do it big-time, the whole gang.’ That was very hard to keep zipped, but it never happened.”

    Eddie’s son Wolfgang had previously revealed that there were plans of a “kitchen sink” tour that would have featured the return of bassist Michael Anthony, and all three Van Halen singers — Hagar, David Lee Roth, and Gary Cherone — taking turns singing their respective songs with the band each night.


    Sadly, Eddie Van Halen passed away on October 6th, 2020. His immediate cause of death was a stroke, but his longterm battle with lung cancer was a primary underlying cause.

    Check out Sammy Hagar’s full conversation with Kyle Meredith below.

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