Sammy Hagar Speaks Up on Truth Behind Failed Van Halen ’Reunion,’ Claims David Lee Roth Doesn’t Want Him in It

While talking to Eddie Trunk recently, Sammy Hagar reflected on the whole Van Halen “reunion” idea that was leaked by Jason Newsted earlier this year. The supposed tour or on-off event, which was supposed to include Joe Satriani, didn’t go through and Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang explained that there are some unsolved issues in the VH camp, alluding to David Lee Roth ultimately blocking it. But according to Sammy, things are a bit more complicated. He explains (transcript via Blabbermouth):

“As far as I know, [there has been] nothing. There was that talk everybody heard about Jason being the bass player and Joe Satriani playing guitar and Alex and all that. Then I got the call from the management, I got the call from Irving Azoff, [who] said, ‘Hey, you wanna do, you and Mike and Al with a superstar guitar player?’ I said, ‘I’ll do anything with Al and Mike and play music with people, but it’s not gonna be Van Halen. There is no Van Halen; I don’t care what anyone says. Wolfie is Van Halen, okay?”

Wolf Van Halen, Panama, Hot For Teacher, Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert, 27 September 2022

“And he doesn’t wanna 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. There is no Van Halen, but to play with Al and Mike and a great guitar player for some event — almost like the event that Dave Grohl put on for Taylor [Hawkins], something like that would be fantastic. But other than that, no.”

Van Halen - When It's Love (Music Video)

Discussing the issue further, Trunk asked Hagar about Wolfgang’s comments on the matter. He replied:

“It ain’t just one guy. Alex Van Halen and I don’t talk. I reached out to Alex. I’m gonna tell you right now — I reached out to Alex again recently. Mikey [Anthony] 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.

“I don’t know why people put it on Roth. I don’t talk to Dave. And if he did it, he’d wanna do it without me. I’m sure that’s part of the dysfunction that Wolfie’s talking about. I’ll make a statement that I don’t know is true or not, but what do you wanna bet that he goes, ‘I will only do it if Hagar’s not there.’

“And if that were the case, that’s typical Roth, and that’s part of the dysfunction. It’s not like he controls it; it’s just [that] he doesn’t play well with others. And like I said, if Alex came to me and wanted to do it, I’m in. 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 gonna 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.”

Photo: Matt Becker (SammyHagar), Toglenn (David Lee Roth Smashbox 2008)

David Slavkovic

David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.

David Slavkovic has 363 posts and counting. See all posts by David Slavkovic