Sammy Hagar has been spitballing the prospect of reuniting with Alex van Halen and Michael Anthony, alongside “maybe a bunch of different guitar players” to lead a tribute to Eddie Van Halen, who died nearly two years ago, in the style of the blockbuster Taylor Hawkins double-header, saying "I think it’s necessary."
“Look at what Dave [Grohl] just did for Taylor [Hawkins],” the former Van Halen frontman told Rolling Stone (paywall) in an extensive interview covering his final days in the band, the prospects of a rapprochement with Alex Van Halen, his lively relationship with rival Vh frontman David Lee Roth and more.
“That’s one of the greatest events in rock history. That’s right up there with the early Farm Aids, and right up there with Live Aid. That was a great event, and that could be done for Ed with everybody playing.
“I’m thinking of a one-off weekend or something where we give the money away to some cause,” Hagar clarified, also revealing that he wouldn't object to sharing the bill with original Van Halen singer Dave Lee Roth, a man with whom he has a famously acrimonious relationship.
"I would love it if Dave wanted to do a tribute where he’d sing ten of his songs, and then I’d come out and do ten of mine.”
But Hagar insists he’s not proposing reforming under the Van Halen band name, DLR or no DLR: "I’m not in love with the idea of being Van Halen without Eddie Van Halen. Matter of fact, I’m dead against it. But I would love to play music with Alex and Mike again. I would love to play those songs again.
On who would step into EVH's unfillable shoes, Hagar says there are plenty of options - but it can't be a soundalike: "I’d prefer that nobody attempts to replace Eddie Van Halen. I think that’s blasphemy and should be illegal."
Elsewhere, Hagar reiterates, "I would definitely love to play with Alex and Mike with a great guitar player that doesn’t try to just mimic Eddie perfectly.
"There’s so many great guitar players. There’s Steve Vai. There’s frigging John 5, who is a great guitar player."
For an awful lot more on being fired from Van Halen, the prospects of Alex getting on board (spoiler alert: slim) and much, much more, check out Rolling Stones' interview (paywall).