Eddie Van Halen died in October even as he was planning a reunion tour that would have featured both of his band's lead singers, David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar.
Just a few months after the music industry lost legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen, former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar is sharing how thankful he is that the two were able to reconnect and "bury the hatchet" before Van Halen's death.
"I heard he was in bad shape and I wanted to reach out," Hagar told Variety over the weekend. "I finally said, 'I’m just calling him.'"
Desire was one thing, but the reality proved much more challenging after all those years as it turns out Hagar no longer had his former bandmate's phone number, and wasn't quite sure how to get it.
"I was calling his brother, I was calling his manager, I was calling his friends, and I’d say, ‘Hey, tell Ed, give him my phone number. Tell him if he ever wants to talk to me, I really, really want to talk it out, help him and see what I can do,'" Hagar said.
He shared the message that he wanted to "bury the hatchet" and try to rekindle their friendship, but he said it just wasn't working ... until the most unlikely person helped him make the connection.
"George [Lopez] is a dear friend and he was Eddie’s friend and he said, ‘Sammy, Eddie’s in bad shape, he loves you brother, you need to reach out,'" Hagar shared. "I said, ‘Give me his fucking number and I’ll make sure I call him.'"
Hilariously, it seems Van Halen was well aware that Hagar was trying to reach out to him through mutual acquaintances, but had no interest in being the one to reach out.
When Hagar asked him why he never responded to his overtures through friends, he said Van Halen told him, "Why didn’t you call me? Don’t f--king call my brother, f--king call me!"
Of course, that's exactly what eventually happened, with Hagar adding that "it was like, boom, we were good. It was a beautiful thing."
It was apparently such a beautiful thing that they not only rekindled their relationship but were legitimately planning to put together the ultimate Van Halen reunion -- one featuring both of the band's iconic frontmen (who'd never toured together).
Hagar said he'd been pushing for it for years, hoping all the members cuold put aside their differences and "give the fans the biggest band in the world... You don’t get bigger than Van Halen, and the fans deserve to see it all, hear every song."
Hagar famously replaced original Van Halen lead singer David Lee Roth in 1985, and the two could not be more different as vocalists and frontmen. The band adopted a wholly different sound under Hagar, finding equal levels of success.
But those vocal differences were such that neither frontman (Roth would rejoin the band in later years) could do the full catalog justice.
"I’ll sing some of the Dave songs, but I wouldn’t ever sing enough," Hagar said. "Then he can’t sing my songs, so they never heard, you know, the Van Halen hits, the number one albums we had. And so it’s not fair."
Alas, it looks like it will never come together now, as Van Halen's son, Wolfgang, confirmed in November that the band could not continue without his father, telling Howard Stern (per Rolling Stone), "You can't have Van Halen without Eddie Van Halen."