Sammy Hagar Speaks Out About a Potential Van Halen Tribute Tour

by Caitlin Berard

Legendary singer Sammy Hagar is a man of many hats. In his 50-year career in music, Hagar has not only enjoyed a successful solo career but written both a New York Times Best Selling autobiography and a cookbook. Perhaps his most impressive accolade of all, however, is his contribution to the history of one of the most iconic bands of all time – Van Halen.

In 1985, David Lee Roth parted ways with the band to pursue a solo career, leaving Van Halen’s lead vocalist position vacant. Sammy Hagar stepped in, and together, he and Van Halen created four number-one, multi-platinum albums.

After 11 years, Sammy Hagar departed the band to resume his career as a solo artist. And though he reunited with the band years later, Van Halen’s heyday had come to an end. Tragically, the band’s guitar savant and founding member, Eddie Van Halen, then died in 2020 following a long battle with cancer.

Sammy Hagar Rejects the Idea of a Van Halen Tribute Tour

In the wake of the heartbreaking loss, the band unanimously decided that there was no Van Halen without Eddie. And after almost 50 years of making incredible music, Van Halen disbanded.

Many fans agree with this decision; however, whispers about a possible Eddie Van Halen tribute tour have followed the band since they parted ways.

But how do the remaining band members feel about such a reunion? Well, for Sammy Hagar, another Van Halen tour would never work, even to pay homage to Eddie. In a recent interview with News-Herald, the celebrated vocalist spoke out about the possibility and revealed he’s not interested, for a multitude of reasons.

“I’m so happy with everything I’m doing now, I don’t think I’d go back there,” Hagar explained. “Maybe if Alex [Van Halen, Eddie’s brother] was interested, it might be something to talk about. With him and Mikey and a superstar guitar player. But it’s really not Van Halen without Eddie, so … I just don’t know.”

Sammy Hagar does, however, always include a Van Halen track or two in his setlist. In the wake of Eddie’s death, Hagar feels that “there’s nobody [else] to play it”. Not to mention, his fans are always overjoyed to hear any Van Halen tune, no matter how obscure.

“I’m shocked that no matter what Van Halen song we play, no matter how deep the cut, [fans] act like it’s a No. 1 single,” Hagar said. “We can do ‘Amsterdam’ (from 1995’s Balance) and they’re singing along like it was on the radio all the time.”

“When people love that music that much and we’re the guys who did it and we’re still around… Then, yeah, we have that responsibility to play it for them,” Hagar continued.