Watch Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony pay touching tribute to late bandmate Eddie Van Halen

Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony
(Image credit: Sammy Hagar)

Ex-Van Halen duo Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony have shared their thoughts on the death of their former colleague and friend Eddie Van Halen in a video message titled ‘We Love You Eddie’.

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. 

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.