In a new interview with SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”, Sammy Hagar discussed Wolfgang Van Halen‘s recent revelation that his father, legendary VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen, had contemplated a “kitchen-sink tour” that would have included bassist Michael Anthony, as well as vocal turns from both Hagar and David Lee Roth. There was even talk about bringing back Gary Cherone, who sang with the band on one poorly received album, 1998’s “Van Halen III”.
Asked by Trunk if the proposed “kitchen-sink tour” had been on his radar, Hagar responded: “It was totally on my radar. No one had confirmed any of it, but it was obviously what was gonna happen. I wouldn’t look forward to having to share the stage with Dave, only because he’s not user friendly. I love the guy, I love the music, all that, but he’s just not user friendly. He’s always gonna pull something to try to make you look bad and make him look good and all that kind of stuff. But it would have been a blast. Are you kidding me? It [would have been] a dream come true.”
Referring to the time when he and Roth teamed up for the “Song For Song, The Undisputed Heavyweight Champs Of Rock And Roll!” co-headlining tour in 2002, Sammy continued: “I’ve been an advocate of doing a Sam-and-Dave tour from day one. You go all the way back to the first reunion, when Dave went out with me that time for that tour, that was the idea of it — to try to get the [Van Halen] brothers’ attention to do the reunion way back then, and do it again and again and again — I mean, give the fans what they want.
“This is the way I presented it to them two years ago,” Hagar explained. “I actually presented it to Irving Azoff, their manager and my old manager. I said, ‘Irving, I’ll come out and do two songs. I leave the stage. Dave comes out and does two songs. He leaves the stage, I come out and do two.’ Two, two, two, two — like that. Not like one guy has to open the show for the first hour, and then the other guy comes for the second hour, and you’ve gotta flip-flop and all this kind of crazy stuff that Roth would always insist upon. ‘Cause it should either be chronological — [Roth] comes out and does the whole thing, and then I come out and do the whole thing, and then Gary Cherone comes out for the encore. It seems like the only way to do it properly [would have been] two and two, two and two, two and two, and that would have been so badass, because, you don’t think that each one of us would have freakin’ sucked it up and given it a hundred and thirty-five thousand percent trying to blow the other guy off the stage song after song? It would have been the greatest thing ever.
“I get excited just talking about it,” Sammy added. “I’m totally fired up about that. But it ain’t gonna happen.”
Hagar replaced David Lee Roth in VAN HALEN in 1985 and recorded four studio albums with the band — “5150”, “OU812”, “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” and “Balance” — all of which topped the U.S. chart.
Early last year, rumors were rampant that the classic-era lineup of VAN HALEN would reunite for the first time since 1984. It has since been revealed that a health setback involving Eddie was responsible for the tour not materializing.
The rumors originally started with Roth, who hinted to Vulture that VAN HALEN would be playing stadiums with Anthony back in the lineup.
Last week, Wolfgang told the Houston, Texas radio station 94.5 The Buzz that it was his idea to bring all the VAN HALEN members together for a once-in-a-lifetime tour. “Over the years, I’d been talking to Dad and introducing the idea of, like, ‘Hey, hear me out. But this would be really cool. What if we had Mike come back and I could open?'” he said. “And over the next year or so, he started to warm up to the idea, and he was into it. And then we started joking around with the idea of the kitchen-sink tour — everything but the kitchen sink — and just get everybody. Get Hagar, get Cherone, get Roth, Anthony, and we’d all get up on stage and just have a party. And we even spoke to Irving Azoff, the band’s manager, and he got really excited about it, and hit up Anthony. I think that’s how the rumors got out. But by that time, Dad’s health was in such a decline that we were kind of waiting until we could over this hump to [where] we can get back to it, and we never got to that point, unfortunately.”
According to Wolfgang, the original plan was for him to personally contact Michael and ask him to come back to VAN HALEN. “Unfortunately, Irving hit [Michael] up before I had a chance to,” he said. “The plan was for me to [reach out to him].” Wolfgang went on to say that he was also the one who called Roth in 2007 to get him to return to VAN HALEN for a reunion tour.
VAN HALEN and Anthony had not been on good terms for more than a decade, with Anthony not invited to join the reunion with Roth that began in 2007. The subsequent two tours and studio album, “A Different Kind Of Truth”, featured Wolfgang on bass.
Anthony took a pay cut and signed away all of his rights to the band name and logo in order to participate in VAN HALEN‘s 2004 tour, which featured Hagar.
Eddie died on October 6 at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. The iconic VAN HALEN axeman died from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.