Hagar Hoping Van Halen Takes High Road At Rock Hall
Van Halen's appearance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on March 12 "could go a lot of different ways," according to Sammy Hagar. That said, Hagar -- the group's second frontman, fVan Halen's appearance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on March 12 "could go a lot of different ways," according to Sammy Hagar. That said, Hagar -- the group's second frontman, from 1985-96 -- tells Billboard.com he has high hopes that the famously combative group will take the high road on that particular night.
"My hope is that everyone lets everything go and we go there in complete respect of each other and in a loving way, with the attitude that 'I couldn't have done it without you' towards everybody," says Hagar, who received the official word of Van Halen's selection at his Cabo Wabo Cantina in Mexico, where he and Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony have spent the past week jamming with Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith in a newly developing side project called Chickenfoot.
But he also notes that, "The biggest fear for me is there'll be animosity and 'I won't talk to that guy' and maybe some harsh words towards each other or some sly remarks in speeches ... and it's not out of the question that that could happen. But in the end, no matter what happens, when you hear the music you're gonna go, 'That's one of the greatest rock'n'roll bands in the world, ever, and well-deserved the inauguration into the Hall of Fame."
Hagar says he hadn't spoken to anyone other than Anthony about the induction but planned to put in a congratulatory call to drummer Alex Van Halen. He expects that manager Irving Azoff "is gonna try to spin everyone together somehow" and says he'll "go with the flow" with induction ceremony plans, which Hagar expects will include a live Van Halen performance.
However, Hagar deemed talk of a Van Halen tour this year with original frontman David Lee Roth and guitarist Eddie Van Halen's 15-year-old son Wolfgang on bass speculative and voiced concern for that particular turn in the band's course.
"Wolfie's a great guy; I love Wolfie. But I don't think Van Halen should bring a 15-year-old kid to replace Sam, Dave and Michael Anthony," Hagar says. "That's a lot of pressure for Wolfie. Just 'cause he's Eddie's son doesn't mean he can go out and play in arenas and perform and entertain an audience for two hours. I would love to see Eddie and Alex get behind Wolfie, with a kid of his age singing, and produce the record for him and help him launch a career. I'd rather see it go that way than come out and say 'Wolfie's the bass player in Van Halen and maybe singing, too.' Van Halen's got way too much history to have that put on him."