Mitch Lafon of Classic Rock Revisited recently conducted an interview with Sammy Hagar. An excerpt from the chat follows:
Classic Rock Revisited: What do you think of the current VAN HALEN reunion and Michael Anthony being snubbed?
Sammy: I think they're crazy for doing that. When I got to "reunion" with those guys in 2004, they wanted to throw Mikey out then and I said, "Well, I won't do it without Michael Anthony," and I made sure Michael was still in the band and I guess Dave doesn't feel like that because he let them throw him out and I think that's a mistake. If Eddie wants to play with Wolfie, it's none of my business. He has the right to play with his son. I think that's awesome. I think it's cute. I think it's beautiful and Wolfie, I'm sure, is a good musician. He's Eddie's son and he's been around music all his life. He's a good kid, but Eddie should just do a solo record with him or something like that.
I just don't see doing the VAN HALEN reunion tour with Dave… They've been trying to do this since '95 when I left the first time and it's unfair to the fans. They're going to get away with it because it's finally Dave in the band again and I think without Dave they'd be doomed if Eddie, Wolfie and Alex tried to go out as VAN HALEN like they were going to do. That would be the biggest mistake… EVER! But with Dave coming back in they can pull anything off because people want to see that. Nobody has been able to see that since 1984 and that's a long time.
Having the run I had with the band — I'm totally happy. I'm not interested in doing VAN HALEN. I love my band. We've been together 10 years. We're awesome and we're having more fun than I've ever had playing music in my life. We're not having the success I had with VAN HALEN, but no one has that success. That was the biggest band in the world. So, unless you're VAN HALEN, U2 or LED ZEPPELIN you have to be happy going out and playing 3,000-4,000 seaters and selling them out and having a fan base that love you. The only good news to them throwing Mikey out is that he gets to play with me. He's got his own band, THE MAD ANTHONY EXPRESS. They play old VAN HALEN, ZZ TOP… and it's really good. Then I joined his band playing guitar and we do some early Sammy stuff like "This Planet's on Fire" and "Rock N Roll Weekend" and then Vic Johnson comes out and takes the guitar from me and we do the Van Hagar era — which you are NOT going to hear on this next VAN HALEN reunion tour — believe me. Dave is not going to be singing my stuff. If he could, I still don't think he would. It's not his kind of style.
Classic Rock Revisited: Is that the one downer? That all that music you created…
Sammy: Is gone? No no, it's not shameful. We had 14 number one records. They're doing the Dave thing. This is Dave's trip. Dave has got to be the happiest guy on the planet. And the Dave-era fans are probably happy too. I think that at the end of the night you're going to go, "I heard a bunch of great songs, but I wish I had heard 'Poundcake' or 'When It's Love' or 'Dreams' or 'Right Now'." You're going to miss those songs, but anyways, those are the songs we'll play with THE OTHER HALF, the Van Hagar era, that Mikey and I and Vic and my drummer play and we do a good job. When you hear my voice and Mike's singing together, Mike's bass guitar... All of that is original and when you hear that, it's going to sound a little more like the original than if Dave was trying to sing my songs, which wouldn't sound so good.
Classic Rock Revisited: Which is what you get on the "Livin' It Up in St. Louis" DVD.
Sammy: Exactly. What you see there is what we're going to do and then we take a little break and my band comes out and we finish the show out. It's like a heck of a four-ring circus. It's pretty awesome and the fact that Mike is not in the band — in a certain respect, I can go, "This is wrong," but in a selfish respect I can go, "This is awesome."
Classic Rock Revisited: For the fans, it truly is the best of both worlds.
Sammy: Yeah — B & B! That was the name of the last greatest hits record and last VAN HALEN reunion tour with me — "Best of Both Worlds" — and I think this is clearly the best of both worlds.
Read the entire interview at www.classicrockrevisited.com.