“It’s gotta happen. Of course it’s gonna happen,” Hagar declared during an interview with New York radio station Q104.3. “No one’s really connected all the dots with everyone involved, but I have been told, and I have read interviews with various people involved – with Wolfie [Eddie’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen] and Valerie [Bertinelli, Eddie’s ex-wife] and Eddie’s wife [Janie] that he was married to at the time – they all said as soon as this is over, we’re gonna get everybody together and do a tribute or whatever; just a ‘thank you,’ a goodbye, a send-off. And that’s an absolute must.”
Though Hagar understandably stopped short of saying when such a concert may happen, he declared he’ll be ready whenever it takes place. “I don’t care if it takes 10 years. That will happen.”
“We’ve got to celebrate the music,” added Anthony. “So much good music.”
Hagar had previously expressed interest in honoring Eddie, but said that it wasn’t his place to start such conversations. “There’s no talk of reunion or a tribute with me, that’s for damn sure,” Hagar told ABC News back in November. “When they want to do something, when they think it’s time, if they get together and said, ‘Hey, would you come out and sing some songs?,’ you’re damn [right] I would. … But [for me] to talk about that? Hell, no.”
Hagar replaced original Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth in 1985. He’d record four studio albums with the band – 5150, OU812, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and Balance – before departing the group in 1996. Meanwhile, Anthony served as the band’s bassist from 1974 until 2006, when he was replaced by Wolfgang.
In the years since, Hagar and Anthony have teamed up in the projects Chickenfoot and the Circle. Still, Van Halen was never far from either of their minds. The Kitchen Sink tour, which would have seen all the current and former members of Van Halen reunite, was reportedly in discussion as recently as 2019.
“Working with Eddie, Mike and Alex again would have been a dream come true,” Hagar admitted to Q104.3 regarding the Kitchen Sink tour. “It would have been the greatest thing in the world.”
Sadly, Eddie was too sick to see the idea to fruition. The iconic guitarist died in October 2020 following a battle with cancer.
In recent months, Hagar has professed his support to Wolfgang, who has released his long awaited solo material in the months since his father’s passing. The Red Rocker even expressed a desire to share the stage with Wolfgang in the future, once bands are able to go one tour once more.
Watch Q104.3’s full interview with Hagar and Anthony below.