Speaking in the video, recorded on October 7 following rehearsals for his annual star-studded birthday celebrations, Sammy Hagar admits to being “devastated” by the 65-year-old guitarist’s death on October 6.
Recalling his feelings on learning of Van Halen’s death, Hagar says, “For Mike and I, it was just like getting hit by a freaking Mack truck. It kind of took the wind out of the sails. I just wanna say that I'm kind of devastated. A Van Halen song never felt so hard to sing and play in my life.”
“It was hard,” agrees Michael Anthony. “It's very surreal right now. It hasn't sunk in yet.”
“What I felt playing especially a song like 'Right Now' that is so timeless, that I felt, 'Wow, thank God for this.’” Hagar continues. “We'll never play it with Eddie again, but thank God for this.”
“We have the music,” says Anthony, while Hagar adds, “The music will live forever. I’ll sing it as long as I live.”
The message ends with Michael Anthony saying, “We love you Eddie”, before cutting to footage of Hagar and Anthony rehearsing Right Now with The Circle, preceded by Hagar requesting a moment of silence for EVH.
Hagar recently revealed that he and Van Halen reconciled and resolved their past conflicts 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.”
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.”
A number of Eddie Van Halen’s peers, including his friends Tony Iommi, Brian May and Angus Young have offered their own tributes to the late guitarist.