Sammy Hagar has chimed in on the highly rumored Van Halen tribute tour honoring the late Eddie Van Halen.
As previously reported, former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted said in an interview with The Palm Beach Post published on April 14 that he was contacted by Alex Van Halen for a “possible Van Halen tour.” Newsted also said Joe Satriani was selected by Alex to play guitar.
Hagar told Michigan newspaper The News Herald, “What’s that about, Jason Newsted playing bass for Van Halen? Great guy. Great musician. But in Van Halen? No, not when [Michael Anthony’s] still here and alive to do it.”
The Red Rocker added, “I’m so happy with everything I’m doing now, I don’t think I’d go back there. Maybe if Alex was interested, it might be something to talk about, with him and Mikey and a superstar guitar player. But it’s really not Van Halen without Eddie, so…I just don’t know.”
Anthony chimed in about the tribute tour back in May saying, “The only thing that was kind of a surprise to me was the Jason Newsted thing when he came out and said that Alex [Van Halen] had talked to him last year or something like that, which is kind of interesting, because I actually had been talking on a conference call with [Van Halen manager] Irving Azoff, Alex and Dave [Lee Roth] last year, so I don’t know what the Jason thing was all about.”
Anthony would add, “I spoke to Joe about it, and it was more, you know, just something kicking around…I hope something happens in the future here. I think Joe was mentioning in some of the interviews that it’s more a celebration of the band and of the music than calling it ‘Van Halen.’ Obviously, Eddie being probably the most integral part of the whole band, you can’t really call it Van Halen after that.”|
In July, Wolfgang Van Halen told Rolling Stone about the tribute tour, “What I can say is that there was an attempt at doing something. But, you know, I don’t like to speak negatively about people, but there are some people that make it very difficult to do anything when it comes to Van Halen. After being in Van Halen for a long time, I really have strived to have an environment where there is no walking on eggshells and there is no personality that you have to deal with. It’s just guys having fun making music and just having a good time. But, you know, from my time in Van Halen, there was always some stuff that gets in the way from just making music and having a good time. And, I think, that’s what happened.”
Wolfgang, acknowledging his elusive answer, would add, “I would love to just sit here and say everything and say the truth. There are plenty of interviews my dad did, where he straight up just said everything. And people hated him for it and thought he was lying. So I could just say s—, but people have already decided how they feel about things, facts or not. So I can say the facts. But that may not align with how certain people feel. I know how Van Halen fans get. They are very motivated by which specific people they like in the band. And it’s just not worth it. Just, we made an attempt, and some people can be hard to work with, and made it not happen.”
Wolfgang would go on to clarify that the tribute to his father was actually just supposed to be a one-off performance, not a tour as has been previously reported. However, even trying to organize a one-off performance led to various issues, and apparently, none of this tribute business was supposed to come out.
“People love to pin every decision Van Halen has ever made on Dad. But [Alex Van Halen’s] the brain,” said Wolfgang. “Al has been the guy forever. He’s the dude. When it comes to Van Halen, Dad just wanted to play guitar. But, you know, Al’s mentality, and it’s the mentality that Van Halen took for the entirety of its band, is that there’s nothing worth talking about unless it’s happening…And just because one person [former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted] decided to talk about it when they weren’t supposed to, it f—ed everything up.”
When pushed on whether the biggest issue with getting a tribute show together was David Lee Roth, Wolfgang responded with, “I would say, ‘Do your research on the history of Van Halen, and come to your conclusions.'”