‘I would be in that band if we could get along’: Sammy Hagar on lingering bad feelings with Van Halen

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As Sammy Hagar worked on plans to celebrate his four decades in rock, the former Montrose and Van Halen singer says he lit on the idea of presenting a set that moved through each of his hitmaking eras — with special guests to match.

From Montrose, he could bring in Denny Carmassi and Bill Church — who recently joined him to record new music. The same goes for his solo, Waboritas and Chickenfoot eras. The problem, of course, comes with his continued estrangement from Eddie Van Halen, with whom he famously worked from 1985-1996.

Hagar insists he’ll still play hits like “Right Now,” even if it means doing so with no one other than fellow Van Halen alum Michael Anthony — who has since joined Hagar in Chickenfoot.

“You can’t go out and not play those songs, just because a couple of guys aren’t in the band,” Hagar tells Eddie Trunk at the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp.

Hagar participated in a reunion with Van Halen between 2003-05, but has been estranged ever since. Nevertheless, he says he’d love to reunite with Eddie Van Halen for these shows. “I would invite Ed, any day,” Hagar says. “I want to make that plain and clear. I would invite those guys to play anytime. I would be in that band still, if we could get along. We don’t get along. It’s plain and simple. A lot of people don’t get along.”

When it come to that point in his proposed show, Hagar says he will likely also invite Carmassi along. “Denny could play the hell out of Van Halen,” Hagar adds. “Then you’ve got Mikey on bass, and you’ve got me singing. Then, you’re pretty close. As close as they are now — with the other half.”

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