How George Lopez Helped Sammy Hagar and Eddie Van Halen Reconnect

Sammy Hagar has given more details of his reconciliation with Eddie Van Halen, revealing that comedian George Lopez played a pivotal role in getting the former bandmates talking again.

“I reached out to Eddie because… George Lopez, the comedian, who I’ve known for a long time and who also is dear friends with Eddie, calls me up and says, ‘Sammy, I need you to call Eddie. I played golf with him. He’s not doing good,’” the Red Rocker recalled during a conversation with St. Louis radio station KSHE 95.

Lopez went on to inform Hagar that Eddie loved him, but was “disappointed” that he hadn’t reached out.

“’I reached out to all these people. I reached out to Alex [Van Halen]. I didn’t have Eddie’s contact number,” a defensive Hagar insisted. “So George says, ‘Here’s his number. Call him.’”

When Eddie picked up the phone, it was quickly like old times again, the guitarist even jokingly asking Hagar, ‘What took you so long?’”

“It was just one big love fest from then on,” the Red Rocker remarked. “That was back in the beginning of the year, before COVID. So, yeah, we’ve been texting and talking about Wolfie [Eddie’s son, Wolfgang] and his new record, and about us and the things we did and how great the stuff is.”

Hagar previously said hearing of Van Halen’s death “was like getting hit by a freaking Mack truck,” but the singer took some solace in knowing he made peace with the guitarist before his death.

“It was a tough one. But if I wouldn’t have contacted Ed and we buried the hatchet like that and became friends again, I’m not sure how I could have taken it,” Hagar acknowledged. “It would have been devastating.”

Listen to Hagar’s full interview below.

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Hagar: Van Halen’s Death Would Be ‘Too Much’ If We Never Made Up

2020 is a year that has offered quite a lot of perspective and has come with some valuable life lessons. Even before the pandemic began, Sammy Hagar realized the importance of putting differences aside and reached out to Eddie Van Halen to bury the hatchet. Fortunate that he did, the Red Rocker said he likely wouldn’t be able to “come to grips” with the guitarist’s death if he hadn’t.

“I think that the word is pretty much out that Eddie and I buried the hatchet earlier on this year,” Hagar told Rock 105.5’s Angi Taylor.

“We didn’t go around talking about it. He asked me not to talk about it, and I did not talk about it. But now, looking back, if we wouldn’t have come to terms with that feud we were having after the reunion tour, I wouldn’t have been able to come to grips with it,” the singer went on.

While dealing with Van Halen’s passing remains difficult, there’s a sense of peace that comes with making amends. Without it, “It would have been way too much for me, ’cause I’m still grieving my ass off,” said Hagar. “But the grieving is starting to make… It feels like, hey, we had a great thing. This music will live on forever — beyond me. I’ll sing it for the rest of my life. When I’m gone, hopefully some young bands come up and play that music. And you can always play it in your homes,” the Red Rocker warmly continued.

Of course there are many highly memorable moments between Hagar and Van Halen, but one of the singer’s favorite memories happened during that moment they reconnected.

Hagar recollected, “When I called him, after years of not speaking, back in February, I think, or January, whatever it was — before COVID — he said, ‘What took you so long?’ [Laughs] It put the biggest smile on my face. I said, ‘Oh my God. Don’t ask me.’ That was just very touching to me: ‘Hey, I’ve been waitin’.'”

Eddie Van Halen died on Oct. 6 at age 65 after a lengthy and brave battle with cancer. Just days after his passing, Hagar and former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony moved forward with Hagar’s birthday celebration show, which had been in the works for months prior. It was highly emotional for the two to play Van Halen songs so soon after Eddie’s death, which they reflected on in a post-show recap video.

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Sammy Hagar Reveals More Details of Eddie Van Halen Reunion Call

Sammy Hagar says that Eddie Van Halen had practically been expecting his ex-Van Halen bandmate to reach out to him in the last few months of the guitarist’s life.

Speaking to Angi Taylor on Chicago’s 95.5 FM (embedded below), Hagar said, “When I called him, after years of not speaking, back in February, I think, or January, whatever it was — before COVID — he said, ‘What took you so long?’ [Laughs] It put the biggest smile on my face. I said, ‘Oh my God. Don’t ask me.’ That was just very touching to me: ‘Hey, I’ve been waitin’.'”

Hagar repeated what he wrote to Howard Stern about how they agreed to keep the news of their reconciliation out of the press. The singer added that burying the hatchet is helping him deal with Van Halen’s death, and is reminding him more of the music they made together than the bad times.

“Butt now, looking back, if we wouldn’t have come to terms with that feud we were having after the [2004] reunion tour,” Hagar said, “I wouldn’t have been able to come to grips with it. It would have been way too much for me, ’cause I’m still grieving my ass off… But the grieving is starting to make… It feels like, hey, we had a great thing. This music will live on forever — beyond me. I’ll sing it for the rest of my life. When I’m gone, hopefully some young bands come up and play that music. And you can always play it in your homes.”

In his note to Stern, Hagar wrote that he and Van Halen “had been texting, and it’s been a love fest since we started communicating earlier this year. We both agreed not to tell anyone, because of all the rumors it would stir up about a reunion, etc., and we both knew that wasn’t gonna happen. But he also didn’t want anyone to know about his health.”

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Eddie Van Halen’s Death Hit Hagar and Anthony ‘Like a Mack Truck’

This year’s edition of Sammy Hagar‘s annual birthday bash was already going to be a strange one. Now he and Michael Anthony will also be mourning Eddie Van Halen‘s death.

Hagar typically celebrates his Oct. 13 birthday with a series of guest star-packed shows at his Cabo Wabo cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Because the COVID-19 pandemic makes that impossible this year, he’ll instead film an audience-free concert on Catalina Island, Calif., tomorrow that will be broadcast via pay-per-view on Oct. 17.

The only way fans will be able to attend in person is by docking their boats a safe distance from the shore.

Hagar and his bandmates in the Circle – which includes former fellow Van Halen member Anthony, drummer Jason Bonham and guitarist Vic Johnson – got together to rehearse for the show today. Even though they’ve released a number of remotely recorded live performances over the past few months, this was the first time the group performed together on the same stage in about eight months.

It should have been a happy occasion, but news about Van Halen’s death at age 65 earlier this week, after what his son Wolfgang describes as a “long and arduous” battle with cancer, has thrown the duo for a loop.

In a new video posted on Facebook, Hagar noted that hearing about the guitarist’s death “was like getting hit by a freaking Mack truck. It kind of took the wind out of the sails for this sail-in performance.” Anthony agreed, calling the day “bittersweet … it’s very surreal now, it hasn’t sunk in yet.”

You can watch the video below.

The singer, who revealed yesterday that he and Eddie had made peace after years of public sniping, declared his state of mind as “kind of devastated” after his band’s rehearsal. “Thank God we get to do it again tomorrow,” he said. “A Van Halen song never felt so hard to sing or play in my life.”

Still, they’re already finding comfort in performing the music they made together with Van Halen, such as “Right Now,” which briefly appears in the rehearsal video after a moment of silence in honor of the late guitarist. “I felt, Wow, thank God for this,” said Hagar. “It’s, like, we’ll never play with Eddie again, but thank God for this. I’ll sing [these songs] as long as I live.”

“We have the music, if nothing else,” Anthony added. “We love you, Eddie.”

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Hagar + Anthony Reflect on Emotional Show After Van Halen Death

The news of Eddie Van Halen‘s death came this week, just as Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony were preparing to play Hagar’s annual Birthday Bash show. Due to the pandemic, the show was moved to Catalina Island in California and Hagar and Anthony reflected on the emotional first rehearsal show playing after Eddie’s death.

The video opens with Hagar speaking about how great it was just to play again with The Circle after being off for seven or eight months, but the conversation then turns to the death of Van Halen.

“For Mike and I it was just like getting hit by a freaking mack truck. It kind of took the wind out of the sails,” says Hagar, adding, “I’m kind of devastated and thank God I’m glad we get to do it again tomorrow. A Van Halen song never felt so hard to sing in my life.”

Anthony adds, “It was hard. It was very surreal to play ‘Right Now.’ It hasn’t sunk in yet.”

Hagar says, “What I felt playing a song like ‘Right Now’ that is especially so timeless is, ‘Wow, thank God for this.’ We’ll never play with Eddie, but thank God for this.”

Anthony concludes, “We have the music and it will live on forever if nothing else.”

Both musicians salute their late bandmate, with Anthony offering a “Love ya, Eddie” to the camera.

From there, we see a bit of the concert they had just performed. Before starting to play “Right Now,” Hagar asked for a moment of silence and a visibly emotional Anthony cleared his eyes and paced a bit before joining the band on the song. Watch the video in full below.

Sammy Hagar + Michael Anthony Discuss Their First Show After Eddie Van Halen’s Death

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How Sammy Hagar Made Peace With Eddie Van Halen Before His Death

Sammy Hagar has revealed that he and Eddie Van Halen made peace and became friends again before the guitar hero’s death.

According to a note Hagar sent to The Howard Stern Show, the long-feuding former Van Halen bandmates began talking again earlier this year.

“Eddie and I had been texting, and it’s been a love fest since we started communicating earlier this year,” Hagar wrote. “We both agreed not to tell anyone, because of all the rumors it would stir up about a reunion, etc., and we both knew that wasn’t gonna happen. But he also didn’t want anyone to know about his health.”

Hagar replaced David Lee Roth as Van Halen’s singer in 1985, recording four straight No. 1 albums with the band before departing acrimoniously in 1996. After a brief, and by all accounts disastrous, reunion tour in 2004, Hagar left for good.

In the ensuing years, Hagar has alternated between attempts at reconciliation and sharp critiques of Eddie and his drummer brother Alex. After Eddie stated in 2015 that he had to reteach Michael Anthony his bass lines before each tour, Hagar unleashed a strong and profane rebuttal: “Michael Anthony is a bad motherfucker. Fuck you, Eddie Van Halen for saying that about Mikey. You’re a liar.”

A year later, Hagar wished Van Halen a happy birthday on Twitter and got a friendly reply. He later explained that the recent deaths of David Bowie and Glenn Frey gave him new perspective. “It just makes you stop and think that with my relationship with Eddie Van Halen and stuff that’s always been in the toilet, it makes you say, ‘I don’t want to be buried with any regrets or bad vibes like that,'” said Hagar. “It makes you want to be just friends with everybody and say, ‘Hey look, forget it.'”

Van Halen’s son Wolfgang confirmed yesterday that his father had died at age 65 after a “long and arduous” battle with cancer. Rumors of the guitarist’s ill health had steadily increased in recent years. When asked why the band’s reportedly planned, but never announced, summer 2019 tour didn’t take place, Roth said that Eddie was “probably not going to answer the bell this time.”

Hagar said he lost touch with Van Halen again late this summer. “He stopped responding to me a month ago, and I figured it wasn’t good,” he noted. “I reached out one more time last week, and when he didn’t respond, I figured it was a matter of time. But it came way too soon.”

Soon after the news of Van Halen’s death, Hagar posted a picture of the two together, declaring himself “heartbroken and speechless.” In a comment made later to that same post, he thanked fans for their support and promised to eventually share the full story of his reconciliation with Van Halen.

“All the love pouring out from the fans and the news today is all too overwhelming,” he said. “You can’t imagine the thoughts burning through my brain, my heart, my soul right now. I just want to say, ‘It’s all good between Eddie and I.’ I’ll explain another time when this has digested.”

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Sammy Hagar Reconnected With Eddie Van Halen Before Death

In recent years, Sammy Hagar has made a concerted effort to reconnect with his onetime bandmate Eddie Van Halen, and it was revealed on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show Wednesday (Oct. 7) that the two musicians had privately been in contact prior to Eddie’s death this week.

Stern revealed the news, sharing a letter Hagar had written and sent to him about their renewed friendship. “Eddie and I had been texting, and it’s been a love fest since we started communicating earlier this year,” said Hagar. “We both agreed not to tell anyone, because of all the rumors it would stir up about a reunion, et cetera, and we both knew that wasn’t gonna happen. But he also didn’t want anyone to know about his health.”

The former Van Halen vocalist added, “He stopped responding to me a month ago, and I figured it wasn’t good. I reached out one more time last week, and when he didn’t respond, I figured it was a matter of time. But it came way too soon.”

Hagar initially started trying to bridge the divide back in 2016, sending the guitarist a Happy Birthday message on his birthday. He later explained that as he was getting older, he didn’t want to have any regrets. He explained in 2016 after seeing a series of rock star deaths, “It makes you want to be just friends with everybody and say, ‘Hey, look, forget it.’ Even if you don’t want to be in a band together, just let’s be friends. No more enemies for me. You don’t want to go to your grave with enemies. So that’s what it’s done for me. It woke me up and said, ‘No more enemies.’ And before I die, I won’t have any, if I have my way.”

Earlier this year, Sammy Hagar reached out to Eddie’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, praising him for how he’s handled the approach to expectations as his solo album nears. The two shared a cordial exchange on social media with Wolf thanking Sammy for his kind words and telling him he couldn’t wait for Hagar to hear the album in full.

Upon news of Van Halen’s death, Hagar posted a photo tribute online with the caption, “Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family.”

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Roth, Hagar, Anthony, Cherone React to Eddie Van Halen’s Death

The news of Eddie Van Halen‘s death has left his former Van Halen bandmates heartbroken and largely speechless.

Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar and Gary Cherone all took to social media to pay their respect to the guitar hero, who died today at age 65 after what his son Wolfgang described as a “long and arduous” battle with cancer.

You can see all their Twitter and Instagram tributes below. The band’s longtime drummer, Eddie’s brother Alex Van Halen, is not publicly active on social media.

Bassist Anthony, who joined Van Halen in 1974 and remained with the group until 2006, posted three photos of himself playing live alongside Eddie with the caption “No words. … Heartbroken. My love to the family” on his Instagram account. Hagar, who began a decade-long stint as the group’s second singer in 1985, shared similar sentiments on his Twitter account.

Van Halen’s original and current singer Roth, who paid a loving onstage tribute to Van Halen at what turned out to be the band’s second-to-last live show back in October 2015, shared a backstage photo and the words “What a long great trip it’s been.”

Singer Cherone, whose three-year stint with the band included the 1998 studio album Van Halen III, offered the most verbose tribute: “Whether you were blessed to have known him or not, he was a kind and gentle soul. … His impact on ALL our lives was immeasurable! His music, eternal! My deepest sympathies to the Van Halen family. … Love you, Ed.”

The most heartbreaking thoughts from a former bandmate came from Eddie’s son Wolfgang, who replaced Anthony as the band’s bassist before the band’s 2007 tour. “He was the best father I could ever ask for,” he wrote. “Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift. My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.”

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Sammy Hagar Announces First-Ever Birthday Bash PPV

Sammy Hagar has announced plans for his annual birthday bash celebration.

For more than two decades, the Red Rocker has hosted his yearly event at the Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. This year, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the site will be shifted to Catalina Island, Calif. and broadcast as part of a pay-per-view event.

“I have been trying to make the birthday bash available to anyone and everyone for over 20 years,” Hagar explained via press release. “The way I see this unbelievable gift under the dark cloud of COVID-19 is, we all had to roll up our sleeves, put on our thinking caps and this beautiful wonderful exotic island sitting right in front of our faces gave us the thumbs up.”

The celebration will feature Hagar, his band the Circle and an assortment of surprise guests. Performances will be filmed on Oct. 8, however organizers have made it clear that no in-person viewing will be allowed on land.

“The entire surrounding area will be social distanced and enforced by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department,” reads the official statement. “The only way it can be viewed in person is to be on a boat.”

Instead, the event will air via pay-per-view stream on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 6PM PT. The HD stream is priced at $24.99, with the 4K stream costing $49.99. Pre-sale tickets go on sale Oct. 6 at nugs.tv.

“It’s going to be hard to beat the parties we’ve thrown for nearly 30 years in Cabo, but I have a good feeling about this birthday bash,” Hagar declared. “Come join the party – for the first time we all get to be there. It’s coming via PPV from the beach to your house! Are we having any fun yet?”

The Red Rocker came under fire earlier this year after saying he’d “rather personally get sick and even personally die, if that’s what it takes” to get the music industry and the economy up and running again. The singer soon clarified that he’d be “safe and responsible” regarding a return to touring, adding that he was “cautiously optimistic that with the right improvements and safety measures in place, we might be able to play shows this year.”

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Watch Steve Vai, Sammy Hagar Jam to Joe Satriani Backing Tracks

Joe Satriani invited some friends to jam along to some of his songs with the lead parts removed, ahead of launching a new retrospective collection titled Stripped X Three.

You can watch Steve Vai, Sammy Hagar, Phil Collen, Bumblefoot and Lari Basilio jamming along to their favorite Satriani songs below.

Three of the guitarist’s albums – Shapeshifting, Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards and Is There Love in Space? – have been given the stripped-back treatment and will be delivered on a custom guitar-shaped memory stick. It’s tentatively scheduled to release in November and available for pre-order now.

“This collection represents three albums of backing tracks released years apart from each other spanning 16 years,” Satriani said in a statement. “At the heart of it is my love for composing unique and moving music for the electric guitar. With this compilation of backing tracks, you get to peak behind the curtain a bit and experience that journey as I built the songs in the studio. And, of course, you can play along!”

Last year, Satriani released a version of his classic record Surfing With the Alien with all his solos removed in a similar fashion. The limited-edition title was described as “a chance for seasoned fans and aspiring shredders to appreciate what makes this album a must hear for guitar players the world over.”

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