SAMMY HAGAR: 'I Apologize From The Bottom Of My Heart For Exposing EDDIE VAN HALEN's Dark Side' In My Book
June 28, 2021
In a new interview with Brazil's "Inside With Paulo Baron" Internet show, Sammy Hagar was asked if there were any things that he left out of his 2011 autobiography "Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock", that he thinks he should have put it or any stories that he included that he later wished he hadn't. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Oh, yeah. I forgot so many really fun little things, and every now and then I'll wake up in the morning and have a dream and I'll wake up and it makes me remember something in the childhood, and I think, 'Oh, I should have put that in the book. But the fucking book would have been this big. [Holds hands wide apart.]'"
He continued: "But more than anything, because of the untimely and tragic death of Eddie Van Halen, I apologize from the bottom of my heart for exposing his dark side to where I don't think anyone wants to hear that now, and, unfortunately, it's in the book. And it's true — it's all true. It's not like I have to say, 'Oh, I was lying' — no, no, no. If I wrote the book today, I would only put the good of Eddie Van Halen, because he was such a brilliant, genius guitar player and such a great friend and a great partner — until everything went wrong, like everything else. Anybody's that's been divorced or broke up with your girlfriend or your boyfriend, you know how it goes. Happy endings aren't always the case in a relationship. [Eddie and I] had a happy ending — thank God — but before that, it wasn't a happy ending of the band. But thank God we got it back together."
When journalist Regis Tadeu pointed out that it's important to expose the dark side sometimes because it's "reality," Sammy said: "No one knew a lot of that about Eddie, but they'd see him on stage and they would think, 'Why is he acting like that?' And I would say, 'Well, you should have seen what happened backstage. Holy fuck!' If we'd have known he was sick then, then I would have understood and I would have been a little more, 'Hey, Ed, come on,' try to reel him in. But he was impossible. He was on a track of just wild. It was tough."
Hagar added: "He was the sweetest guy in the world when I met him. When Eddie Van Halen walked into my dressing room in that show in Anaheim Stadium with BOSTON and BLACK SABBATH, that was one of the sweetest people, most humble human beings I've ever met in my life. I thought, 'How can this guy play so badass and be that humble?' I thought, 'It's impossible. He must have a fire inside of him that he's not showing.' And when that fire came out, it was quite the fire — a freakin' volcano."
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 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 "Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock", Hagar slammed Eddie, saying the guitarist was unkempt, hunched over, frighteningly skinny, drinking wine straight out of a bottle, missing part of his tongue (after a cancer scare) and several teeth. He told an interviewer in 2012: "What happened on that reunion tour in '04 was some of the most miserable, back-stabbing dark crap I've ever been involved with my whole life."
In a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone, Eddie questioned an "embellished" portion of "Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock" that painted the guitarist as a "very angry drunk" during the group's 2004 reunion tour.
Last November, Eddie's son Wolfgang revealed that his father had contemplated a "kitchen-sink tour" that would have included Anthony, as well as vocal turns from both Hagar and Roth. There was even talk about bringing back Gary Cherone, who sang with VAN HALEN on one poorly received album, 1998's "Van Halen III".
Eddie died last October at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California. The iconic VAN HALEN axeman passed away from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.