The rift between Sammy Hagar and his bandmates has become the stuff of legend, up to and include their fractured induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — which saw only Hagar and Michael Anthony appear.
But is it all made up? Just a charade to create headlines?
“No, we’re not that clever,” Hagar tells Vegas Rocks TV, with a rueful laugh, in a newly posted video. “I could get along with (founding drummer) Alex (Van Halen). I got along with (guitar-playing founding member) Eddie (Van Halen), at one time, amazingly. Obviously, (original bassist) Mikey (Anthony) and I are the dearest friends on the planet. But, Ed, he turned on me, man.”
Hagar took over for original frontman David Lee Roth in 1985, and remained through a period of chart dominance for Van Halen into 1996. Along the way, the group scored its first ever No. 1 album, and strung together a number of radio hits.
But when it fell apart, it did so dramatically. Other a very brief reunion in the 2000s, Hagar has been on the outs with the Van Halen brothers. He’s since formed Chickenfoot with Anthony, while Van Halen has reunited with Roth — and replaced Anthony with Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang.
Bad feelings — very real ones — clearly still linger.
“I don’t even want to go into it,” Hagar adds, other than to say: “It was a horrible, horrible ending to a beautiful, beautiful story. I’m still disappointed that they have not reached out to be friends, especially Alex — because Alex and I didn’t have a problem. Of course, he sides with his brother, and I understand that, but I can not like somebody and still like a friend of theirs, and vice versa. But it doesn’t really matter to me.”
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