The relationship between Van Halen’s former frontman Sammy Hagar and bandleader Eddie Van Halen has been somewhat tempestuous since Hagar bailed on the band in the wake of their occasionally shambolic 2004 reunion tour. But Hagar has now revealed that the pair reconciled and resolved their issues in recent months, but chose to keep the renewal of their friendship out of the public eye.
“Eddie and I had been texting, and it’s been a love fest since we started communicating earlier this year,” Hagar stated in a note passed along to The Howard Stern Show. “We both agreed not to tell anyone, because of all the rumours it would stir up about a reunion, et cetera, and we both knew that wasn’t gonna happen. But he also didn’t want anyone to know about his health.”
“He stopped responding to me a month ago, and I figured it wasn’t good. I reached out one more time last week, and when he didn’t respond, I figured it was a matter of time. But it came way too soon.”
As news of Van Halen’s passing broke on October 6, Hagar posted a photo of himself and the guitarist aboard a private jet with the caption “Heartbroken and speechless.”
Speaking last year, Hagar shed some light on the circumstances that led to the end of his first stint with the Californian band.
“We had eight years of [huge success], and then suddenly people in the band started changing… and it wasn’t me and it wasn’t Mike [Anthony, bass],” Hagar said. “The Balance record was like pulling teeth, things got very dysfunctional by then. Drugs and alcohol and insecurity and bad management killed that band.”
But as recently as May, Hagar was making positive noises about another reunion with the band.
“I foresee it happening,” he said. “I just know what I know in my heart and my head, which is that it has to happen. Whether it’s Sam and Dave or not, I don’t know that either. But I know that Eddie and I are not done. If enough water goes under the bridge before we die, it’ll happen. It has to. God is going to slap us both around if he has to.”