VAN HALEN: HAGAR Reunion Update

The Van Halen Mailing List (www.van-halen.org) has issued the following update regarding the recent rumors of a possible VAN HALEN reunion with former singer Sammy Hagar:

"As with all VAN HALEN rumors, this needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but the following has been confirmed by a fairly reliable source within the VAN HALEN 'inner circle'.

- The Sammy Hagar press release is true. Hagar visited with '5150' producer and FOREIGNER guitarist Mick Jones in August. Jones told Hagar that he had recently spoken with Alex Van Halen, and that Alex sent his regards. Jones gave Hagar Alex's number and encouraged him to give Alex a call. Sammy did, and the two exchanged pleasantries. In September, Sammy spent an afternoon and evening with Alex. Eddie Van Halen was contacted by the two, but was busy with his son, but promised to call Hagar soon. Hagar and Eddie have spoken on the phone regularly during the month of October.

- During this time, Alex, Eddie and Hagar discussed the status of their back catalog with Warner Brothers (which is undergoing a change in ownership). Alex apparently was very concerned that the new owners would look to 'cash in' on the VAN HALEN catalog by issuing 'Best Ofs' and sticking the songs on compilations. Hagar, having lived with Capitol Records constantly repackaging his old material, agreed. Since VAN HALEN is without any management, Hagar suggested that his manager, Irving Azoff, be allowed to handle any ideas or proposals Warner Brothers had for the back catalog. The Van Halen brothers agreed, and if Warner Brothers is going to release any VAN HALEN material, they will have to go through Azoff.

- There HAVE been discussions about reforming the VAN HAGAR lineup. These discussions mostly revolve around the desire to release 'Between The Two Of Us' which has also been called 'Between Us Two'. Originally recorded during the 'Balance' sessions, and recorded again during what would become the tracks for the 'Twister' soundtrack, the song has been described as 'Dreams' meets 'Unchained' and several feel it is the best VAN HAGAR collaboration ever.

- HOWEVER, there is a lot to still be discussed. Sammy Hagar does not want to disband his solo group, THE WABORITAS, and has made it clear that if he were to rejoin VAN HALEN, he would want to be able to continue to record and tour with them. Surprisingly, Eddie Van Halen has no problems with this, and has suggested a 'GENESIS' type of situation, where the group will do an album-tour cycle, then take an extended break to pursue other projects. Eddie does not want to get locked into a contract with a record company for anything more than a single album release, and wants to be able to work on other non-VAN HALEN projects.

- Neither Hagar nor the Van Halen brothers want to tour without new material.

- Alex Van Halen does not want to tour excessively, and does not want to tour outside North America, with the exception of 'one ofs' for major shows internationally.

- There is still bad blood between Hagar's road crew, which is primarily made up of former members of VAN HALEN's road crew that were unceremoniously dumped by VAN HALEN during the time that Ray Danniels managed the group, and the VAN HALEN brothers.

- Michael Anthony has been in contact with the Van Halen brothers, and it is understood (although it is not clear who created this 'understanding') that he will be involved in any 'VAN HALEN' projects, but will not be involved in Eddie's other plans (Eddie has taken to playing all instruments himself while working during the last three years). Alex Van Halen did not have any problems with Michael Anthony playing on Sammy Hagar's shows, but asked him not to play with David Lee Roth, as there is still ill-feelings regarding an attempt to work with Roth in 2000.

- A ridiculous number of bands and management companies, including representatives for KISS, AEROSMITH, BON JOVI and others have contacted Azoff about the possibility of creating a co-headlining stadium/arena tour. Azoff has made it clear that you cannot have a tour with a group does not exist."

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