Maria Milito

Maria Milito

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Sammy Hagar (Kind Of) Defends David Lee Roth Over Van Halen Tribute Hangup

Photo: Getty Images North America

Sammy Hagar would still love to team up with Alex Van Halen and Michael Anthony again to celebrate the music of Van Halen, but he confirmed in a new interview that discussions have stalled.

Anthony confirmed back in May that he had discussed a VH reunion with Alex, David Lee Roth and longtime manager Irving Azoff, but nothing was imminent.

Wolfgang Van Halen expressed even less optimism over the summer, suggesting that the surviving VH bandmembers were too "dysfunctional" to "work collectively for one purpose." He eventually said that the tribute will probably never happen.

In a new conversation with Eddie Trunk, Hagar acknowledged that he was indeed contacted by Azoff about doing something with his old bandmates.

"I said, 'I'll do anything with Al and Mike and play music with people, but it's not gonna be Van Halen,'" Hagar said of his feelings on a touring Van Halen project without Eddie. "And [Wolfie] doesn't wanna be the Van Halen copy band. I don't blame him ... if he wanted to play guitar with Al and Mikey and myself, I would love to do that. That would be just one time for the big time."

Fans have generally interpreted Wolfgang's latest statements on the matter to be placing the majority of the blame for the holdup on Roth. Hagar said, however, that there's plenty of blame to go around.

"It ain't just one guy," he explained. "Alex Van Halen and I don't talk. I reached out to Alex. I'm gonna tell you right now — I reached out to Alex again recently. Mikey had a sad thing happen in his family, and I reached out to Al, and he wouldn't return my call or my email. And so I said, 'You know what? F--k it. It's not on the top of my list, my agenda. I think Eddie deserves, definitely, a tribute... And the whole world would show up and the whole world would do it."

He continued: "I don't know why people put it on Roth. I don't talk to Dave. And if he did [the tribute], he'd wanna do it without me. I'm sure that's part of the dysfunction that Wolfie's talking about."

Hagar notes that, despite Roth's presumed demands — which amount to "typical Roth" — Diamond Dave ultimately isn't the one in charge of making the show happen.

"Alex has got a stick up his ass about something with me still, and he's gonna take it to his grave, I guess," Hagar said, noting that he rekindled his friendship with Eddie before his death in 2020. "I don't think I made peace with Al. And I don't think I'm going to unless he reaches back out to me. I've done it about five times now."

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