Hagar, Anthony Say Eddie Van Halen Tribute Concert ‘Will Happen’

Former Van Halen members Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony have confirmed that a concert honoring Eddie Van Halen “will happen.”

“It’s gotta happen. Of course it’s gonna happen,” Hagar declared during an interview with New York radio station Q104.3. “No one’s really connected all the dots with everyone involved, but I have been told, and I have read interviews with various people involved – with Wolfie [Eddie’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen] and Valerie [Bertinelli, Eddie’s ex-wife] and Eddie’s wife [Janie] that he was married to at the time – they all said as soon as this is over, we’re gonna get everybody together and do a tribute or whatever; just a ‘thank you,’ a goodbye, a send-off. And that’s an absolute must.”

Though Hagar understandably stopped short of saying when such a concert may happen, he declared he’ll be ready whenever it takes place. “I don’t care if it takes 10 years. That will happen.”

“We’ve got to celebrate the music,” added Anthony. “So much good music.”

Hagar had previously expressed interest in honoring Eddie, but said that it wasn’t his place to start such conversations. “There’s no talk of reunion or a tribute with me, that’s for damn sure,” Hagar told ABC News back in November. “When they want to do something, when they think it’s time, if they get together and said, ‘Hey, would you come out and sing some songs?,’ you’re damn [right] I would. … But [for me] to talk about that? Hell, no.”

Hagar replaced original Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth in 1985. He’d record four studio albums with the band – 5150, OU812, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and Balance – before departing the group in 1996. Meanwhile, Anthony served as the band’s bassist from 1974 until 2006, when he was replaced by Wolfgang.

In the years since, Hagar and Anthony have teamed up in the projects Chickenfoot and the Circle. Still, Van Halen was never far from either of their minds. The Kitchen Sink tour, which would have seen all the current and former members of Van Halen reunite, was reportedly in discussion as recently as 2019.

“Working with Eddie, Mike and Alex again would have been a dream come true,” Hagar admitted to Q104.3 regarding the Kitchen Sink tour. “It would have been the greatest thing in the world.”

Sadly, Eddie was too sick to see the idea to fruition. The iconic guitarist died in October 2020 following a battle with cancer.

In recent months, Hagar has professed his support to Wolfgang, who has released his long awaited solo material in the months since his father’s passing. The Red Rocker even expressed a desire to share the stage with Wolfgang in the future, once bands are able to go one tour once more.

Watch Q104.3’s full interview with Hagar and Anthony below.

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Sammy Hagar: An Eddie Van Halen Tribute Show Is an Absolute Must

After the death of a musician as iconic as Eddie Van Halen, it can be tricky to come up with ways to appropriately honor their legacy. Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony did say, however, that they would participate in a tribute concert if one is held to celebrate the late guitar hero.

“It’s gotta happen. Of course it’s gonna happen,” Hagar told New York’s Q104.3. “No one’s really connected all the dots with everyone involved, but I have been told, and I have read interviews with various people involved — with Wolfie [Van Halen] and Valerie [Bertinelli] and Eddie’s wife that he was married to at the time — they all said as soon as this is over, we’re gonna get everybody together and do a tribute or whatever.”

“Just a ‘thank you,’ a goodbye, a send-off. And that’s an absolute must. I don’t care if it takes 10 years — that will happen,” he continued. “And if we’re available to do it, we’ll do it.”

“We’ve got to celebrate the music — so much good music,” Anthony added.

Watch the full interview below.

While a tribute concert may be in order and would be a respectful way to pay homage to EVH, don’t expect Van Halen to ever go on tour again. Wolfgang Van Halen has shot down rumors that he will carry on in the band in his father’s place on more than one occasion, declaring that there is no Van Halen without Eddie Van Halen.

Sammy Hagar + Michael Anthony Interview with Q104.3

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Michael Anthony and Alex Van Halen Spoke After Eddie’s Death

In the aftermath of Eddie Van Halen‘s death in October, Michael Anthony called up Eddie’s brother Alex to express his condolences.

Speaking to Guy Favazza of KSHE in St. Louis, the former Van Halen bassist said, “I spoke briefly with Alex right after Eddie passed, but I wanted them to have their privacy. … Alex has been pretty much grieving, or however you wanna put it, pretty much been to himself. So I’m just kind of letting that happen, and I’m sure at one point we’ll talk again here or even get together.”

Anthony added that he hasn’t spoken to Eddie’s son Wolfgang, who replaced him in the group in 2007, although he has “texted with Wolfie a couple of times, and everything is all good, obviously.”

Last week, Anthony said that he and Eddie hadn’t spoken for many years “and unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to. And, you know, it kind of bothers me, because we had some issues that were never resolved. But, I mean, what can you do? We were on track [for] a reunion, which I’m really sad that it never happened. But, you know, life and the show goes on.”

That reunion was intended to bring Anthony and former Van Halen singers Sammy Hagar and Gary Cherone back into the Van Halen fold. Van Halen’s manager Irving Azoff contacted Anthony in the fall of 2018 about it, and it was leaked by David Lee Roth a few months later, but the decline of Eddie’s health meant that it never got beyond a few phone calls.

Anthony had been estranged from Van Halen since the 2004 tour, which he was only allowed to participate in after taking a pay cut and signing away his rights to the band.

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Van Halen’s EVH Announces New Guitar Collection to Honor Him

Pandemic aside, one of the absolute worst parts of 2020 was when Eddie Van Halen died. To honor his legacy, his company EVH is set to release a new collection of guitars.

The new collection features several new 5150 Series standard and deluxe guitars, new Wolfgang Special models and Wolfgang WG standards. They come in a wide variety of finishes and prices, and were all designed by the guitar hero himself.

See a few photos of the new instruments below.

evhgear.com
evhgear.com

Select models are available now, with the rest coming in February and April. Check out the entire collection, which also includes his signature Striped Series 5150 models, here.

“The industry saw record guitar-playing interest in 2020 but also sadly said goodbye to one of the most innovative and influential players of its time,” EVH said, via NME.

“Eddie Van Halen’s singularly inventive style inspired an entire generation of players. He innovated not only in how he played but what he played and what he played through by creating some of the greatest guitars and amps the world has seen and heard.”

Last year was one of the biggest years in sales for guitar companies like Fender, which, according to Guitar World, sold more guitars in 2020 than any other year in its history.

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Michael Anthony Hadn’t Reconciled With Eddie Van Halen

Though it was revealed shortly after Eddie Van Halen‘s death that longtime frontman Sammy Hagar had reconnected with the guitarist before his passing, the same can’t be said for bassist Michael Anthony.

Speaking with Talkin’ Rock With Meltdown, Anthony revealed, “We actually hadn’t spoken, and unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to. And, you know, it kind of bothers me, because we had some issues that were never resolved. But, I mean, what can you do?”

The bassist revealed that he was aware of the reunion discussions for a tour, but never had a chance to speak with the guitarist. “We were on track [for] a reunion, which I’m really sad that it never happened. But, you know, life and the show goes on,” said Anthony.

Anthony joined the group in 1974 and remained the band’s bassist through their most prolific years before exiting in 2006. Wolfgang Van Halen took over on bass as the group also reunited with David Lee Roth. Meanwhile Anthony reconnected with Hagar in several different projects including Chickenfoot and The Circle.

At one point, there was a brief period in 2007 where Anthony was removed from the artwork for several albums on the band’s website. But as was recently revealed, the move had not been made by or had the approval of the band.

“That was some dumbass on the website that did that dumb photoshop shit,” Wolfgang Van Halen clarified in a Jan. 5 response to a question on Twitter. “Not a band decision. We were never cool with that. It was ridiculous. Which is why when we found out about it, it was undone immediately.”

During an appearance on the Howard Stern Show shortly after Van Halen’s death, Wolfgang Van Halen revealed that a “kitchen sink” tour had been discussed that would have brought back Anthony along with Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth and there had even been talk of bringing back the band’s third vocalist Gary Cherone.

Eddie Van Halen passed away on Oct. 6 at the age of 65 after a battle with throat cancer.

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Michael Anthony ‘Never Resolved’ Issues With Eddie Van Halen

Former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony expressed regret that he and Eddie Van Halen never got to work out their problems before the guitarist’s death in October 2020.

On a new episode of the Talkin’ Rock With Meltdown podcast, Anthony revealed that he and the guitarist “actually hadn’t spoken [for many years], and unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to. And, you know, it kind of bothers me, because we had some issues that were never resolved. But, I mean, what can you do? We were on track [for] a reunion, which I’m really sad that it never happened. But, you know, life and the show goes on.”

In the fall of 2018, Anthony received a call from Irving Azoff, Van Halen’s manager, about the prospect of coming back to Van Halen for a tour. The bassist soon turned all matters over to his manager, because “I wanted to do it the correct way, especially after the way things went for me in 2004,” when he took a pay cut and signed away his rights to the band’s name before going out on the road with them. That was also their last trek with Sammy Hagar; when Van Halen went out on the road again, it was with original lead singer David Lee Roth and Eddie’s son Wolfgang on bass.

Anthony was going to be a part of what became nicknamed the Kitchen Sink tour, where former members Anthony, Hagar and Gary Cherone would all take part in some capacity. But before any of that could be worked out, plans had to be permanently shelved when Eddie’s health declined.

Anthony was quick to show his love and respect to Van Halen upon his death, sharing photos of the two performing live together on social media, and posting a video tribute with current Circle bandmate Hagar.

In the interview, Anthony also recalled the first time he ever saw Eddie Van Halen perform. “We were just out of high school, and in the city where I lived, they were having a carnival on the field for the school. And on the weekends, they would have a few local bands play. And it was just the three guys — Eddie, [original bassist] Mark Stone and Alex [Van Halen]. And Eddie was doing the singing also. That’s the first time I ever saw him play. And I remember I was impressed because they played — they must’ve played the whole Who Live at Leeds or whatever, or any of the classic Cream stuff they played, Eddie played the lead stuff note for note. And back then, when you’re a kid like that, that’s very impressive to see somebody playing like that.”

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Valerie Bertinelli Still Catches Herself Texting Eddie Van Halen

Valerie Bertinelli got emotional while recounting her life since Eddie Van Halen’s death in an interview with the Today show.

“It’s been rough. Very bittersweet,” the rocker’s ex-wife admitted when asked how she’s handled the last few months.

Bertinelli has been a regular guest on the popular morning show for several years, a fact she confessed may have contributed to her emotions. “I don’t know why I’m tearing up,” the actress explained to hosts Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie and Carson Daly. “You know when you hear voices and you see people that you feel the connection with and — you guys always make me tear up.”

“It’s hard,” the actress continued, detailing moments when she forgets Eddie is gone. “I’ve gone to text him a few dozen times. I was like, ‘Oh, I can’t text him right now.’”

The couple were married for 26 years before divorcing in 2007. Together they raised their son, Wolfgang, who has since gone on to a successful music career in his own right.

During a later segment on Today, Bertinelli described spending the recent holidays with her son as “quite magical,” especially given the circumstances. “I wasn’t able to spend his birthday with him because we went into shutdown in March. It was the first birthday in 29 years I didn’t get to see him, so we really made an effort to keep ourselves healthy and safe and masked, and we were able to spend the holidays together. It’s a very much-needed time for us.”

Back in November, Wolfgang gave his own interview to Today, discussing his father’s legacy, as well as “Distance,” the solo track he penned in his dad’s honor.

“Some days it’s just really hard to get out of bed,” the younger Van Halen admitted of life without Eddie. “It doesn’t seem like the pain is ever really going to go away. You just figure out how to carry it a bit better.” Still, Wolfgang insisted he’s “going to keep going, because I know that’s what [his father] would have wanted.”

Think You Know Van Halen?

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Rock Stars Celebrating Birthdays in January

Happy New Year. Everything is fresh, but we’ll all have a chance eventually to turn another year older. As January gets ready to kick off, here’s your chance to see if you share a birthday with one of your favorite rockers!

The month of January is responsible for providing some of our greatest rock and metal musicians, who have given us years of great music. Dave Grohl celebrates a birthday this month. So does Rob Zombie and Korn‘s Jonathan Davis!

We’ve also got some pretty significant birthdays of rockers who are no longer with us. Eddie Van Halen, Peter Steele, Malcolm Young and Jeff Hanneman all crafted significant musical legacies during their time on Earth and we’ll celebrate those birthdays, as well.

So scroll through the list of January Rock + Metal Rock Star Birthdays below!

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Watch Van Halen and Leslie West Play ‘Mississippi Queen’ Live

Eddie Van Halen and Leslie West had been friends for years by the time the Mountain guitarist made a mid-’90s guest appearance with Van Halen. But that didn’t take any joy away from the moment for either of them.

As the video below shows, there was very much a meeting of emotional minds was they played West’s signature track, “Mississippi Queen,” to a massive audience. The two had jammed together before – West fondly recalled a non-stop 90-minute session in a hotel in 1987 – but it was different to do it in concert.

Van Halen later praised West’s “incredible tone in Mountain.” But Eddie also had a big effect on the older guitarist’s career, inspiring him during a period when West was dealing with addiction issues back in 1977.

“I’d stopped playing, didn’t even want any guitars around,” West told Guitar World a decade later. “I went to see two shows. One was because Neal Schon said to me, ‘Leslie, you gotta check out this kid who’s opening for us; he plays guitar like an organ, like a Bach organ fugue.’ I was totally taken aback: It was Eddie Van Halen, and he impressed me the way [Eric] Clapton impressed me. And then the next night, I went to see Sammy Hagar. What a co-inky-dink, eh?”

West hit the stage with both Van Halen and Hagar in August 1995 at the Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, N.Y., but that wasn’t the only time his music was part of the band’s shows: Van Halen also included a portion of “Mississippi Queen” in a jam section during a February 2008 concert with David Lee Roth.

Eddie Van Halen died in October, and West passed just two months later. Both were rightly hailed as guitar greats.

West discussed his lasting legacy in 1987, perhaps offering a hint as to what the guitarist shared with the world: “If you take a hundred players and put them in a room, 98 or 99 of ’em are gonna sound the same; the one who plays different, has some of his own, that’s the one you’re gonna remember.”

Watch Leslie West Guest with Van Halen in 1995

Watch Van Halen Play Part of ‘Mississippi Queen’ in 2008

Think You Know Van Halen?

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Peart, Van Halen + More Make NBC News’ 2020 ‘In Memoriam’ Segment

We’ve lost an immense amount of talent in 2020 and while sometimes rock and metal figures tend to get lost in all encompassing “In Memoriam” features, NBC News just aired their segment for the year which includes many of the notable figures from the rock and metal world, including all-time drum and guitar greats Neil Peart and Eddie Van Halen as well as rising metal star Riley Gale of Power Trip.

The segment included a number of musical queues including Fountains of Wayne‘s “Radiation Vibe” in the lead up to the reveal of Fountains of Wayne songwriter and musician Adam Schlesinger, who died on April 1 at the age of 52 from COVID-19 complications. Van Halen‘s “Jump” also soundtracked the segment leading up to the reveal of Eddie Van Halen’s death, which occurred on Oct. 6 at the age of 65.

Other rockers of note featured in the segment included Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green, Bad Company’s Brian Howe, Quiet Riot’s Frankie Banali, the aforementioned Neil Peart of Rush and Riley Gale of Power Trip and Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Jack Sherman.

The segment also singled out such music legends as Charlie Daniels, Little Richard, Bill Withers, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Nash, composer Ennio Morricone and Helen Reddy.

The loss of great talent and leaders was not limited to the music world. The acting community lost name talent in Sean Connery, Chadwick Boseman, Naya Rivera, Kelly Preston, Brian Dennehy, Fred Willard, Jerry Stiller, Kirk Douglas and Carl Reiner. Notable TV hosts and journalists to have passed in 2020 included Alex Trebek, Regis Philbin, Hugh Downs and Jim Lehrer.

The sports world lost legends in Kobe Bryant, Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, Curly Neal, Diego Maradona and Lou Brock, while notable political figures who died this year included Ruth Bader Ginsberg, John Lewis and Herman Cain.

You can watch the full NBC News “2020 In Memoriam” segment below and check out Loudwire’s more extensive gallery of Rockers We’ve Lost in 2020 at the bottom of this post.

NBC News “2020 In Memoriam” Segment

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October 2020 Recap: Eddie Van Halen’s Death Rocks the Music World

News of Van Halen founder and guitarist Eddie Van Halen‘s death saddened musicians and fans around the world in October 2020. While rumors of his continuing cancer battle had circulated for years, the official cause of death was credited to a stroke caused by lung cancer and pneumonia.

With the U.S. presidential election just around the corner, many musicians expressed their concerns about its possible outcome and even considered leaving the United States entirely if Donald Trump was reelected.

And while COVID-19 all but eliminated the possibility of live concerts, many artists continued to host virtual performances, including ex-Fleetwood Mac singer and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, who returned to the (virtual) stage for the first time since his life-threatening open-heart surgery the year before.

Meanwhile, Led Zeppelin seemed to have finally won their case against Spirit over the authorship of “Stairway to Heaven.” You can read more about the biggest stories of October 2020 below.

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Eddie Van Halen Dies

After years of rumors about Eddie Van Halen’s continuing cancer battle, the guitar great died on Oct. 6 at the age of 65. His bandmates and peers paid tribute in the days following the news. Onetime Van Halen singer Gary Cherone tweeted that Eddie was “a kind and gentle soul” whose impact on his bandmate’s lives was “immeasurable.” Sammy Hagar, who wasn’t on good terms with the guitarist in the decade preceding his death, even reconciled with his former bandmate earlier in the year and texted him frequently in the months before he died. Many other musicians – including original Van Halen singer David Lee Roth – also shared their thoughts on the guitarist and the influence he had on their music. Van Halen’s official cause of death was ruled as a stroke, which was most likely brought on by pneumonia and lung cancer. His son, Wolfgang, said that his father died after a “long and arduous battle with cancer.” Wolfgang would release his first solo single, “Distance,” as a tribute to his father the following month.

Jo Hale / Eugene Gologursky / Astrid Stawiarz, Getty Images

Rockers Vow to Leave U.S. If Trump Wins Election

Some of the most famous musicians worried about the outcome of the contentious 2020 presidential election in the month leading up to it. Both Bruce Springsteen and Tommy Lee considered leaving the country if President Donald Trump won reelection. Springsteen, who released an album – Letter to You – the same month, told The Daily Telegraph that he would be “on the next plane [to Australia]” if Trump won. The Motley Crue drummer was prepared to make similar plans if that happened, opting instead to relocate to his birthplace in Greece. Although he wasn’t prepared to leave the country, Jon Bon Jovi promised to never return to Buffalo, after losing a bid with Trump on the Buffalo Bills in 2014. While Trump also lost the bid to purchase the football team, he did his best to make sure Bon Jovi couldn’t have it either by falsely claiming the rocker planned to relocate the team to Canada.

Lindsey Buckingham Announced First Concert Since Heart Surgery

The past few years have been rough for Lindsey Buckingham. In 2018, he was fired from Fleetwood Mac after a disagreement stemming from an awards ceremony; then he underwent surgery for a heart attack. The pandemic has prevented any live performances while he recovers, but the guitarist adapted by hosting a virtual concert. The performance, which streamed in November, featured covers of Fleetwood Mac classics. Former bandmate Stevie Nicks, who released a new single in October, said she wrote to Buckingham for the first time in years after his heart attack.

Dick Barnatt, Redferns, Getty Images

Led Zeppelin Seemingly End ’Stairway to Heaven’ Case

Led Zeppelin have been battling with Spirit over the authorship of the acoustic introduction to “Stairway to Heaven” for years now, but the U.S. Supreme Court put an end to that in October. The court refused to hear any arguments, so the previous lower-court ruling that no infringement was found still stands.

Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images

Keith Richards Expressed Support for Black Lives Matter

Richards added his voice to the Black Lives Matter movement. “It’s about bloody time,” he told Rolling Stone. Richards, who maintains homes in both the U.K. and the U.S., also said in the same interview that as a non-native he “can’t interfere.” The Rolling Stones were greatly influenced by blues artists at the start of their career, and Richards noted that black musicians like James Brown were “the reason he’s here.” Others also expressed their support for the movement since summer, when George Floyd died while in police custody in Minneapolis.

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Hagar Reveals George Lopez Reconnected Him With Eddie Van Halen

As fans now know, Sammy Hagar was able to reconnect with Eddie Van Halen before he died. But in a new interview with Variety, Hagar reveals that it wasn’t initially easy making that connection and the person who stepped up to facilitate it was actor/comedian and former talk show host George Lopez.

Hagar revealed that he had long regretted the divide with his former bandmate and was happy to have had the chance to reconnect with Eddie before his passing. “Poor Eddie, broke my heart, but thank God we connected before [he died],” Hagar says. “I heard he was in bad shape and I wanted to reach out; I finally said, ‘I’m just calling him.’”

The “Red Rocker” revealed however that he no longer had Van Halen’s number and initial attempts to make contact through intermediaries proved unsuccessful. “I was calling his brother, I was calling his manager, I was calling his friends, and I’d say, ‘Hey, tell Ed, give him my phone number. Tell him if he ever wants to talk to me, I really, really want to talk it out, help him and see what I can do,’” Hagar says. “I [told them], ‘I want to be his friend, I want to bury the hatchet,’ but they never got it done.”

Finally George Lopez was the one who helped him contact Van Halen. The singer stated, “George is a dear friend and he was Eddie’s friend and he said, ‘Sammy, Eddie’s in bad shape, he loves you brother, you need to reach out.’ I said, ‘Give me his fucking number and I’ll make sure I call him.’”

Hagar says of the initial conversation, “I said, ‘Why don’t you respond? I’ve been reaching out,’ and Ed said, ‘Why didn’t you call me? Don’t fucking call my brother, fucking call me!’ And I said, ‘I love you man,’ and it was like, boom, we were good. It was a beautiful thing.”

Hagar revealed earlier this year that he had been texting back and forth with Eddie for a good portion of the year and that both musicians had agreed to keep their renewed friendship private because of all the reunion rumors it would stir up which they knew wasn’t going to happen due to Van Halen’s health.

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