After his attempts to reach out to the Van Halen brothers, Eddie and Alex, were largely ignored for years, Sammy Hagar says it was comedian George Lopez who spurred him on to finally patch things up with Eddie directly.
Hagar made repeated gestures over the years to try and reconnect with the Van Halens through social media and mutual contacts. He admitted in a recent radio interview with Matt Pinfield that he spoke briefly to Alex but always stopped short of trying to call Eddie directly for fear of intruding.
But Lopez — also a close friend of Eddie — eventually took the guitar hero's temperature on Hagar and reported back that Eddie was eager to speak to his former frontman. Lopez gave Hagar a direct number for Eddie and Hagar called it.
"I call him, and he’s going, ‘What took you so long?’ I’m going, ‘Well, I called Al. I called this guy. I called that [guy].’ And he goes, ‘Well, you didn’t call me.’ And I said, ‘Well, I’m calling you now.’ And we just burst out laughing.”
Hagar has long regretted his negative portrayal of Eddie in his memoir, and believed Eddie had hard feelings over the book. But when the two finally started speaking again, the reconciliation was instant.
The two kept in touch for several months before Eddie's health began to turn. The Red Rocker says it was obvious he was not doing well.
“All of a sudden, he wasn’t returning the texts and he wasn’t returning my calls and I wasn’t getting no response for about a month,” Hagar continued. “It was heartbreaking, ’cause I knew. And then one time I said, ‘Hey, dude. What the f---? You didn’t give me no love?’ And he goes, ‘Man, I’ve been in the hospital.’ And I’m, like, ‘Oh, f---.’ And then that was the last I heard [from] him.”
After years of battling cancer, Eddie passed away on October 6, 2020. due to complications from the disease.
Hagar and longtime Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony have both pledged to do whatever it takes to be part of a tribute to Eddie, which his family is expected to organize once the pandemic allows for concerts again.
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