Former VAN HALEN members Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony have released a new video message, filmed on Wednesday (October 7) at rehearsals for Hagar's annual birthday bash, which was moved to Catalina Island in California due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the clip, Sammy and Michael talk about the passing of their longtime VAN HALEN bandmate Eddie Van Halen, who died on on Tuesday (October 6) at the age of 65 following a long cancer battle.
"For Mike and I, it was just like getting hit by a freaking Mack truck," Sammy said about learning of Eddie's death. "It kind of took the wind out of the sails. I just wanna say that I'm kind of devastated. A VAN HALEN song never felt so hard to sing and play in my life."
Anthony added: "It was hard. It's very surreal right now. It hasn't sunk in yet."
Hagar continued: "What I felt playing especially a song like 'Right Now' that is so timeless, that I felt, 'Wow, thank God for this.' We'll never play it with Eddie again, but thank God for this."
Anthony said: "We have the music, if nothing else."
The video concludes with Anthony, Hagar and the rest of THE CIRCLE playing the first few seconds of "Right Now", preceded by Hagar asking for a moment of silence.
Eddie and Alex formed VAN HALEN in 1972 in Pasadena, California, with David Lee Roth on lead vocals and Anthony on bass.
VAN HALEN and Anthony had not been on good terms for more than a decade, with Anthony not invited to join the reunion with Roth that began in 2007. The subsequent two tours and studio album, "A Different Kind Of Truth", featured Eddie's son Wolfgang on bass.
Anthony took a pay cut and signed away all of his rights to the band name and logo in order to participate in VAN HALEN's 2004 tour, which featured Hagar.
Hagar replaced David Lee Roth in VAN HALEN in 1985 and recorded four studio albums with the band — "5150", "OU812", "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" and "Balance" — all of which topped the U.S. chart.
VAN HALEN was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked Eddie Van Halen No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.