"He did horrible things to people. He treated people so bad. He was a complete raving maniac." In 2016, Sammy Hagar talked candidly about his fears that Eddie Van Halen was going to die during Van Halen's 2004 reunion tour

Van Halen, 2004
(Image credit: SGranitz/WireImage)

In a 2016 interview newly posted to YouTube by AXS TV, Sammy Hagar spoke candidly about his issues with Eddie Van Halen on Van Halen's lucrative 2004 reunion tour, describing the 80-show tour as "the worst experience in my life."

The tour, which ran from June 11, 2004 to November 19, 2004, received some damning reviews from fans and critics alike, with Hagar subsequently admitting that he tried to quit the circus mid-tour, so embarrassed was he by the guitarist's wayward performances at certain gigs, a consequence of Van Halen's battle with addiction.

"Eddie was completely whacked out off the charts on alcohol and drugs," Hagar recalled in the interview. "And poor guy, I mean he was really in bad shape, I thought he was going to die."

Recalling how there'd be nights where Van Halen's playing on classic songs was so bad that he couldn't even recognise which song the guitarist was performing, Hagar admitted that he wanted to walk away after 40 shows. 

"I said, I can't do this anymore," he remembered. "The guy's going to die first of all."

"It was horrible. He did horrible things to people. He treated people so bad. he was a complete raving maniac. I've never met a person like this in my life... trying to bust windows out of a G5 airplane at 4,000 feet with a wine bottle... it ain't even our plane, it's a rental plane!"

By his own admission, the only reason that Hagar stuck around was because he was informed that, due to the contract he'd signed when promoters were putting the tour together, if he quit, he would have had to compensate the other band members fully for the earnings they would lose as a result of his decision. At the end of the tour, the relationship between the frontman and the guitarist was at its lowest ebb, but Hagar and Van Halen would repair their friendship before the guitarist's passing in 2020.

"Eddie's a sweet human being," Hagar went on to say in the interview, "he's talented and he's a sweet wonderful guy. He's got some demons you know... he's not the only person I know like that but when I saw those demons take over him it was pitiful."

Watch the full interview below:

Sammy Hagar Speaks Candidly About David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen - YouTube Sammy Hagar Speaks Candidly About David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen - YouTube
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Hagar will be playing Van Halen songs alongside ex-VH bassist Michael Anthony, Joe Satriani and Jason Bonham on his The Best of All Worlds Tour, which kicks off at the iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, Florida, on July 13.

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