Hagar: Let Van Halen finish their own way
Former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar now hopes he’s never asked to rejoin the band – and he believes they should be allowed to finish their career in peace.
In the past he’s discussed being convinced he’d rejoin at some stage. But now he tells Rolling Stone: “People ask me all the time, ‘What if Eddie asked you to be back in that?’ I just hope he doesn’t do that. I’m so past it.
“I’m happy and proud of what we did. I wouldn’t want to tarnish it again like that 2004 tour. Let them finish it off in their own way, and whatever happens, it’s all good.”
But he admits he’d like to settle his differences with Eddie and Alex Van Halen. “I would love to be friends with those guys. Michael Anthony is one of my dearest friends, and I don’t see why Ed and Al shouldn’t be that, someday, in our lives. But until then, it’s all fine.”
His new album, Sammy Hagar And Friends, features a host of guests – but one name he’s sorry not to have enlisted is Metallica’s James Hetfield, who was invited to appear on lead single Knockdown Dragout, available below.
“I sent it to him and told him Kid Rock was on there,” Hagar explains, “And he got back to me and said, ‘I’m flattered you would want my sailor-assed voice on your record. But it isn’t my style.’ I said, ‘It’s okay; I still love you, James.’”
In fact, Hagar has great respect for Hetfield’s frontman abilities. “He’s really powerful and he doesn’t bullshit. He’s not up there doing cheap shit to become a good frontman, like I do. I’ll use a stupid line like, ‘Are we having any fun yet?’ just to get a reaction.
“I know how to say something right before you end a song, so the band ends it and you get a big giant cheer because of something I said, and it sounds like they loved the song. I know all them little old veteran tricks. James doesn’t even use that shit and he’s still got charisma up the ass. He’s really strong, man.”
Hagar admits he made more money than he could ever spend when he sold his tequila business, and that means he’s free to do what he likes with his musical career. But it doesn’t stop him feeling harshly treated in a number of ways. One example is how his supergroup Chickenfoot – featuring Joe Satriani, THe Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith and fellow ex-Van Halen man Michael Anthony – can’t catch bookings for major festivals. Another is the way he believes Motley Crue singer Vince Neil adapted hi Cabo Wabo tequila concept and has never credited him.
But he admits: “My wife always tells me to shut up when I start bitching about somebody not mentioning me in one of those liquor articles. She goes, ‘Shut up. You fucking did it. You were first. You’ve got more money than you could ever spend. What is your problem?’
“I don’t know. I just want respect.”