Sammy Hagar’s birthday bashes are the stuff of legend, with friends and family of the Red Rocker gathering annually to toast Hagar’s health and happiness. Taking place just 48 hours on from the passing of Eddie Van Halen, this year’s event was always going to be bittersweet, with Hagar confessing that he was “devastated” to hear of his former bandmate’s death on October 6.
Together with longtime Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, Hagar and his band The Circle paid their own special tribute to EVH on Catalina Island on October 8. Ahead of an emotional reading of Van Halen classic Right Now, from 1991’s For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, Hagar requested a moment of silence from his bandmates and the Californian audience for the late guitarist, who died on October 6 after a lengthy battle with cancer.
We're about to do a very special song that means a lot to Michael Anthony and myself," Hagar told the assembled crowd. "So I would like to ask for just a quick moment of silence, please. And you know why.…”
Check out YouTube user Trojanvitty’s footage of the powerful performance.
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.