Ex-VAN HALEN singer Sammy Hagar was asked by VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner at this week's Classic Rock Roll Of Honour event in Hollywood if he knew anything about reports — which have since been debunked — that his former bandmates are currently mixing the follow-up to "A Different Kind Of Truth".
"I don't know what's going on," Hagar responded. "I couldn't even tell you. I could speculate all day long but I always get in trouble for doing that so I'd rather just say I would love to hear some new music from those guys, and I don't care if I'm in the band or not; that doesn't mean anything to me."
Hagar, whose current band, THE CIRCLE, also includes VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony, drummer Jason Bonham and Vic Johnson, continued: "Right now, I'm really happy. I can play any song I want and I can sing it and I can rock it, and I've got musicians that can do it, and me and Mikey [Michael Anthony] are having the time of our life."
He added: "My guess is, if you want me to make one prediction, I think that Michael Anthony will be back in that band because they really need to do that. If they’re going to serve the fans and ever do what the fans really want right now, if it's going to be Dave [Lee Roth], then it's gotta be Mike. too. It's gotta be the original band, and that's the way it should be. Nothing against Wolfie [current VAN HALEN bassist Wolfgang Van Halen] — I love the guy; he was a sweet kid. [He] grew up. I saw him when he was born, for God's sake — but they need to do that and my prediction is they will."
In a February 2013 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, VAN HALEN singer David Lee Roth spoke about the touchy subject of Anthony potentially replacing current bassist — and Eddie Van Halen's son — Wolfgang Van Halen. He said: "Ed has his own vision, I'm assuming. We haven't really been able to speak about it and it's a disappointment, just as not having a chance for a reunion of the original band. Clearly, vocals are every bit as much a component of success as a rhythm section or a guitar solo… What we have at our fingertips is arguably one of the greatest high tenor voices ever — that was in Michael Anthony. In our tiny little corner of the universe, that voice is as identifiable as the high voice in EARTH, WIND & FIRE, as identifiable as the high voice in the BEACH BOYS. VAN HALEN is an indelicate house blend of both — that's intentionally."
In October 2011, ex-VAN HALEN vocalist Sammy Hagar accused the band of using tapes of backing vocals originally done by Anthony on its 2007/2008 reunion tour, for which Anthony was replaced by Wolfgang. Hagar told Attention Deficit Delirium, "Those vocal harmonies on the last tour were Mike on tape. Mike should've reamed them for it. Wolfie don't sing like that, and Ed sure as hell don't. Go on the Internet and listen to Ed's voice live from the reunion with me. Hear him sing on 'When It's Love' and some of those songs. Ed can't sing, and his voice is shot if he can, from cigarettes and booze anyway."
Anthony and Hagar both last played with VAN HALEN on a 2004 reunion tour that ended acrimoniously. Both maintain that Anthony was booted from VAN HALEN for maintaining a friendship and working relationship with Hagar.
Hagar told The Pulse Of Radio that he thinks VAN HALEN made a grave mistake leaving Anthony out of the reunion tour with Roth. "Anyone in their right mind would know if you're gonna get Roth back finally! after all these abortions they've had, you get Mikey and you do the reunion tour, what the world really was waiting for. Not just fuck it up again. It's almost like they don't care about their fans. They just want to badger them until — see how much they'll take."