Sammy Hagar says that he wants to “apologise from the bottom of my heart” for exposing Eddie Van Halen's "dark side" in his tell-all 2011 autobiography Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock.
Speaking on the Inside With Paulo Barn podcast Hagar stood by everything he revealed in his best-selling memoir, but admitted to feeling regrets for including some of his more savage depictions of Eddie Van Halen in the text. At one point Hagar observed that Van Halen’s bandleader had changed from being “one of the sweetest guys I ever met” to “the weirdest fuck I'd ever seen, crude, rude and unkempt.”
“Because of the untimely and tragic death of Eddie Van Halen,” Hagar said, “I apologise 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.' 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."
Van Halen’s second frontman now says he would have taken a more sympathetic view of the late guitarist had he known just how ill Van Halen was at the time.
“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."
"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,” Hagar added. “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 and Van Halen patched up their differences in the months before the guitarist’s tragic passing on October 6, 2020, and Hagar admits that he “fell apart” when he heard of his friend’s death.
You can watch Hagar’s interview in full below.