Former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar had for years hoped that the two could reconcile. He reached out to the maestro several times through back channels before finally getting Eddie's personal phone number from a mutual friend and an assurance that Eddie wanted to talk.
While Eddie's son Wolfgang Van Halen confirmed last fall that his dad hoped for a 'Kitchen Sink' reunion tour with former members of Van Halen, Hagar says Eddie wasn't just hopeful for another tour; he wanted to be friends again.
Hagar opened up to Washington Post reporter Geoff Edgers about his reconciliation with Eddie. The Red Rocker was prepared for conflict during that first phone call in years, but Eddie wasn't in the mood to argue; he seemed happier than ever.
"[Eddie] said, 'No, no, no. I love you, man.' And I realized at that point that he had elevated his whole thing," Hagar said. "He had come to peace with everything. He knew he was sick, and it was so great to contact the guy when he was in that state of mind. If I’d have gotten him six months earlier or a year, it probably would have been, 'Oh yeah, well, you said this, you said that.' [But] he was totally above it all."
Eddie was battling numerous health issues at the time, including lung cancer, but Hagar noted that Eddie was certain he would beat the disease. He was eager to play music again.
"He said, 'Hey, let's make some noise,'" Hagar recalled. "He goes, 'I got a lot of work to do on myself this year. You ain't gonna believe it, I've been fighting this stuff for 15 years, and now I got this big thing on my neck and my throat right now, and I gotta get it all straightened out. And next year, you and I gotta make some noise. We made some great music together, and I want to do it again.' I was just like, 'Yes.' I said, 'Eddie, that ain't what I'm calling you about. I'm calling to see if you're okay.'"
Eddie died on October 6, 2020. Shortly afterwards, Hagar revealed that he and Eddie had been speaking. Despite the "heartbreaking" news, Hagar added that he'll always be thankful he and Eddie were able to have a friendship again.