By Christopher Scapelliti
Things are about to get a lot warmer between Sammy Hagar and Eddie Van Halen. The former Van Halen singer is set to issue an apology to the guitarist and invite him to be friends again.
Hagar offers the apology in his upcoming appearance on Oprah: Where Are They Now. He says he’s not interested in getting back together with Van Halen as musicians—he just wants to set things right.
“The whole Van Halen issue, I really put that behind me, and I’m proud of what we did,” Hagar says. “So I’ve decided, forgive and forget.
“I ain’t looking for nothing from nobody. I don’t wanna… I ain’t asking to be, you know… get back in the band and do all that again. That’s work! I don’t wanna do that. No, no, no, I just wanna be friends. I wanna say I’m sorry [for] anything I said bad about you.”
Hagar’s grievances with Van Halen go back to 1996, when he objected to the band’s decision to release a greatest-hits compilation instead of a new album. Hagar has said he was also being pressured to write a new song for the collection, as well as the song “Human Beings” for the Twister soundtrack, during what was supposed to be a period of time off.
Hagar and the group briefly reunited in 2004 and performed a trouble-plagued tour, after which Hagar quit. His anger at Eddie Van Halen exploded in June 2015 after the guitarist gave an interview to Billboard in which he downplayed bassist Michael Anthony’s contributions to the band. Hagar, who performs with Anthony in Chickenfoot and the Circle, took to his Facebook page to support the bassist, saying “Michael Anthony is a bad motherfucker. Fuck you, Eddie Van Halen, for saying that about Mikey. You’re a liar.”
The first sign of a thaw in the Hagar–Van Halen relationship appeared last January, when Hagar tweeted birthday greetings to Van Halen, who responded in kind. Hagar subsequently said he was inspired to patch things up after the January deaths of David Bowie and the Eagles’ Glenn Frey. which made him realize life’s too short to hold grudges.
Hagar later offered a “no comment” when asked what he would say if Van Halen called him up for a reunion. “We’ll see what happens when it happens—if it happens,” he said.
Here’s a preview of Sammy’s Oprah appearance.