‘Ed, he turned on me, man’: Sammy Hagar opens up about the split with Van Halen

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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