In a new interview with Kyle Meredith, former VAN HALEN frontman Sammy Hagar spoke about plans to organize a tribute show in honor of his longtime bandmate, VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen, who died last October. He said (see video below): "I have nothing to do with the [Eddie Van Halen] legacy. That's their business — that's Wolfie [Wolfgang Van Halen; Eddie's son], Alex Van Halen [Eddie's brother]; they're family members. Whoever wants to call me up and say, 'Here's the date,' I will be there. I don't care where I am. I'll cancel a [solo] show [if I need to]. [Laughs] [That's] something VAN HALEN would never do. I always make that joke — canceling a show was [out of the question with] VAN HALEN. I went out sick without being able to sing, Eddie went out with a crutch, Alex went out with a fucking neck brace — we wouldn't cancel shows. But I will cancel my show for a tribute to Eddie any day."
Hagar acknowledged that an Eddie Van Halen tribute concert is unlikely to happen before the coronavirus pandemic has subsided. "We've gotta get back to work first — they've gotta allow us to get in the same place — because that's not gonna be a social-distance event, let me tell you that right now," he laughed.
Last November, Wolfgang told Entertainment Tonight that he and his family may eventually stage a tribute show in honor of his father, with proceeds going toward Eddie's favorite charity, Mr. Holland's Opus, which helps underprivileged students access musical instruments. Proceeds from the debut solo single from Wolfgang's solo band MAMMOTH WVH, "Distance", are also benefiting Mr. Holland's Opus.
During the same chat, Wolfgang once again shot down a rumor that a new version of VAN HALEN could be assembled featuring him on guitar in place of his late father. In October, a rumor started to make the rounds via a Wolfgang Van Halen private group on Facebook that the VAN HALEN "camp" was discussing the possibility of the band carrying with a revamped lineup that would consist of Hagar on vocals, Anthony on bass, Alex Van Halen on drums and Wolfgang on guitar. Furthermore, it was suggested that Eddie Van Halen told his son and brother "I give you my blessing" with regard to the prospect of VAN HALEN continuing without him.
"No way. That'll never happen," Wolfgang told Entertainment Tonight. "I think a message to the VAN HALEN fans [would be that] some things just really suck. I don't have a dad anymore and I have to figure out how to process that and deal with it. And, that's the process that VAN HALEN fans need to go through and realize that you can't have the band anymore without Eddie Van Halen. The music will live on forever, but you can't have [the band] without him. Impossible.
"My dad would probably be really pissed off at me if I [tried to take his place,]" Wolfgang added. "He'd probably be, like, 'What are you doing playing my stuff? Go do your stuff.' He would've been really upset, like, 'You have all this music you're sitting on. Why wouldn't you go forward with that?'"
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.
Sammy, Eddie, Alex and Michael Anthony last teamed up in 2004 for a U.S. summer tour. In exchange for taking part in the tour, Anthony reportedly had to agree to take a pay cut and sign away his rights to the band name and logo.
In early 2019, rumors were rampant that the classic-era lineup of VAN HALEN would reunite for the first time since 1984. It has since been revealed that a health setback involving Eddie was responsible for the tour not materializing.
Eddie died at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California.
The iconic VAN HALEN axeman passed away from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.
Hagar and Anthony are currently members of SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE which released its massively popular "Lockdown Sessions" as an album collection titled "Lockdown 2020" on January 8.