Hagar went on to detail how he recently tried to contact Van Halen, with whom he has been estranged for years, only to once again receive silence from the drummer.
“I reached out to Al, and he wouldn’t return my call or my email,” Hagar said. “And so I said, ‘You know what? Fuck it. It’s not on the top of my list, my agenda. I think Eddie deserves, definitely, a tribute. … And the whole world would show up and the whole world would do it.”
Discussions surrounding a tribute to Van Halen have been circulating since the guitar great’s death in October 2020. More recently, it was revealed that David Lee Roth and Alex Van Halen had conversations with guitarist Joe Satriani and former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted about a potential tour. That concept seemingly fizzled out, and Eddie’s son, Wolfgang, turned heads when he suggested “certain personalities just can’t get over themselves to work collectively” toward a tribute.
Many observers assumed that the comment was a swipe at singer Roth. However, Hagar, who replaced Roth in Van Halen in 1985, insisted that’s not the case.
“I don’t know why people put it on Roth,” Hager noted to Trunk. “I don’t talk to Dave. And if he did it, he’d wanna do it without me. I’m sure that’s part of the dysfunction that Wolfie’s talking about. I’ll make a statement that I don’t know is true or not, but what do you wanna bet that he goes, ‘I will only do it if Hagar’s not there.’ And if that were the case, that’s typical Roth, and that’s part of the dysfunction. It’s not like he controls it; it’s just [that] he doesn’t play well with others. And like I said, if Alex came to me and wanted to do it, I’m in. Absolutely — let’s go [and] do it somehow. But Alex has got a stick up his ass about something with me still, and he’s gonna take it to his grave, I guess. [I made peace with Eddie before he died but] I don’t think I made peace with Al. And I don’t think I’m going to unless he reaches back out to me. I’ve done it about five times now.”
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