Sammy Hagar on Making Peace with Alex Van Halen, His Van Halen Tribute Ideas
Sammy Hagar didn’t hold anything back in a new interview with Rolling Stone where he touched on a variety of Van Halen-related topics.
The whole interview is well worth a read, but he made a point to mention how he wants to reconnect with drummer Alex Van Halen. He said he’s left him messages over the year but never heard anything back. Despite recent reported activity about him being involved in some sort of tribute tour honoring Eddie Van Halen, Hagar said, “Alex is not active…He’s not making plans. I think he’s still licking his wounds from his brother’s death, and God bless him, man. I don’t know how he could deal with it. I’m having a hard enough time myself.”
He added, “I think when Alex comes out of his shell, he’ll probably do it. And like I said, I’m thinking about reaching out to Alex…It’s been a couple of years now that I gave up on him.”
When asked what he would say to Alex if he got him on the phone today, Hagar said, “I’m going to say what he always said to me. I’m going to say, ‘Alex. We ain’t getting no younger.’ Every time he came to me for a reunion or to get back in the studio after taking a break he’d say, ‘Sam, we ain’t getting no younger.’ So, I would tell him that. Then we’d have a big laugh and catch up. I wouldn’t start with business things since they wouldn’t be first on my agenda. I’d want to see how he’s really doing. Hopefully he’s doing well, and then we’d be able to reconnect instantly, like we did for the  reunion.”
If and when an actual tribute to EVH happens, Hagar is definitely open to one. He said Van Halen manager Irving Azoff reached out about a potential residency in Las Vegas. The lineup with include Hagar, bassist Michael Anthony, Alex Van Halen an “a superstar guitar player.” So far, tribute plans have come to a halt. However, Hagar has some ideas on how he’d want an EVH tribute to go.
“The only way to do it is to put both eras together and do it for a cause, for a purpose, not for a money grab, not like the whole tour, where we’re going to make 10 million bucks apiece. None of that s—,” said Hagar. “It could be a residency, it could be two or three nights. I wouldn’t do more than that unless the rehearsals blew my mind and I’m going, ‘This is the most fun I had since the original Van Halen.’ That would cause me to be more open. I mean, if we do it and it’s wonderful and successful and the fans love it, I’d go, ‘OK, let’s go and do 10 cities.’ But I couldn’t just go out as Van Halen. There’s no friggin’ way.”
Hagar mentioned he didn’t feel comfortable calling anything “Van Halen” without Eddie, but The Red Rocker later added, “I’ll make a statement. If there was ever a situation where there was a Van Halen tribute in some kind of way with Alex, Mike, myself, Dave, if he would cooperate, and Wolfie playing Eddie’s parts, now that would be worthy of calling ‘Van Halen,’ for a moment. Wolfie would be crazy to drop his life and his creativity and his career to be his dad’s mimic. But for a moment, it could be great.”