Former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and lead singer Sammy Hagar addressed the news of Eddie Van Halen's passing Wednesday afternoon after rehearsing with their band The Circle for Hagar's upcoming birthday concert.
Both Anthony and Hagar shared tributes to their longtime bandmate via social media on Tuesday, but after rehearsing a setlist that includes several Van Halen songs, the pair was motivated to speak more candidly on camera about their feelings for a fanbase in mourning.
"For being such an occasion that we wanted to promote here, it made it very bittersweet," Anthony said of Hagar's annual birthday concert, which has gone virtual this year.
"I just want to say that I'm just kind of devastated...I'll tell you, a Van Halen song never felt so hard to sing and play in my life," Hagar added.
"It was hard," Anthony agreed. "It's very surreal right now. It hasn't sunk in yet."
The conversation then struck a note of gratitude.
"What I felt playing — especially a song like 'Right Now' that's so timeless — I felt, 'Wow, thank God for this.' You know what I mean?" Hagar continued. "It's like we'll never play with Eddie again, but thank God for this. We have the music."
"We love you, Eddie," said Anthony.
The video then cuts to footage of Hagar addressing Eddie's passing during rehearsal earlier that afternoon and asking for a moment of silence before the band started the intro for "Right Now."
Watch it via the player above.
Hagar revealed earlier in the week that after more than 15 years of not speaking to one another, he and Eddie reconciled earlier this year and began communicating again, mostly via text message.
The Red Rocker wrote in a note to The Howard Stern Show that he and Eddie kept their conversations a secret so as not to stir up reunion rumors, understanding that Eddie's health was not likely to improve.
Hagar celebrates his October 13 birthday every year with a concert at his Cabo Wabo Cantina in Mexico, but the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer modified the festivities this year to be virtual with the band performing live on the shores of Catalina Island, California.
The only way to enjoy the concert live this year is from a boat off the shore of the island on Oct. 8 or via pay-per-view through concert streaming platform nugs.tv on Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. PT / 9 p.m. ET.
Get tickets here.
Photo: Getty Images