Hagar, who fronted Van Halen from 1985 through to 1996, had previously likened the emotional impact of the 65-year-old guitarist’s death on October 6, 2020 to “getting hit by a freaking Mack truck”, and in a new interview recorded for an upcoming episode of Celebrity Sleepover, Hagar expressed his gratitude that he’d managed to re-connect with his former friend earlier in 2020 and put old animosities to bed ahead of Van Halen’s passing.
“It just was such a miracle that him and I hooked up about four months, five months before that,” Hagar admitted.
Hagar says that the pair got into some “soul talking” and had even discussed the possibility of working together again in the future, a notion that seemed highly, highly unlikely after Hagar’s scathing words about the guitarist in his 2011 autobiography, Red.
“The way I’ve swallowed this pill, and [I’ve] been able to say, ‘You know what, we made 11 years of music together,” Hagar stated. “We wrote some 40, 50 million-selling records and some of the greatest songs in rock history. I’m so fortunate to have that, and then have [former Van Halen bassist] Michael Anthony standing next to me onstage and we play songs like Right Now, Pound Cake and Top of the World and Finish What You Started. It’s like, Yeah, this music lives, this is what Eddie left.”
Hagar recently addressed rumours about his decision to join Van Halen after the exit of original frontman David Lee Roth, specifically the rumour that the band’s label and management were leaning upon them to change the band’s name to Van Hagar. Hagar admitted he would have been “embarrassed” had Eddie Van Halen agreed to the proposal.
“I now what they were thinking,” he admitted to Marci Wiser at 95.5 KLOS radio, “because they thought, ‘If this doesn’t work, at least you can go back with Van Halen again. But if you’re Van Halen and it don’t work, now you’ve ruined Van Halen.’ They were trying to preserve, I think, the Van Halen name.”