‘They didn’t return my call’: Sammy Hagar tour won’t include Van Halen reunion, or much Chickenfoot

Former Montrose and Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar is providing a glimpse of what’s in store as he gears up for a series of retrospective summer dates.

Warning: It won’t entail of lot of music from his current band, which also features Joe Satriani, Chad Smith and fellow Van Halen alum Michael Anthony.

“As far as Chickenfoot,” Hagar says in the attached video interview, “I won’t play as much as I will the other songs, because Chickenfoot, that’s my new band on the side. We kind of keep it special. As long as everybody is still alive and we can go out and do that, then we’ll preserve that. With the other bands, we can’t go out and everybody be together at the same time.”

Hagar confirms that he intends to present the show in chronological order, with a series of former and current bandmates as special guests to showcase each era — including Denny Carmassi and Bill Church on the Montrose section, Church again on the pre-Van Halen solo stuff and then Anthony on the Van Halen and Chickenfoot songs.

The multi-era concept arose quite organically, Hagar says. “Last year, I played up in Lake Tahoe, Joe Satriani was around; Denny Carmassi and Bill Church were around; Michael Anthony was around. And I said: ‘Hey, why don’t all of your guys come up to Tahoe, and let’s play.’ … It was so much fun.”

Fond memories were rekindled, and so was an idea: “Denny Carmassi, nobody plays ‘Rock Candy’ like him,” Hagar says. “I’ve played it with everybody but John Bonham, right? Nobody plays it like Denny. So, it’s just really feels good to go back and touch bases with all of your buddies. And when Mikey comes out for the Van Halen stuff, it just always makes it better.”

There won’t, of course, be an larger Van Halen reunion as part of these shows, after a very public falling out with founders Eddie and Alex Van Halen. “I invited the brothers up,” Hagar jokes, “but they didn’t return my call!”


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