SAMMY HAGAR On VAN HALEN Reunion Tour: 'I Like My Band Better'

VAN HALEN frontman Sammy Hagar spoke to Favazz of the St. Louis radio station KSHE 95 in early October about the group's current reunion tour and Hagar's future plans. Several excerpts from the interview follow:

On upcoming activities:

Sammy: "Well, all I've gotta say that the VAN HALEN tour is coming to a close. We've got 17 more shows. At the end of my birthday bash, I go off…"

Favazz: Are you feeling good about all that?

Sammy Hagar: "I like my band better, I'm sorry. I think the VAN HALEN thing is great. I wanted to do it, it was really my idea, I pushed for it to happen — everybody wanted to do it, it wasn't like I had to twist anybody's arm. But I mean, I instigated it, I made the initial call, and I'm glad I did, because I had to have some conclusion of that, and we did it for the fans. It could have been better than it was. The show was pretty awesome, but I'd like to see everybody in that band be a little more concerned about the fans the way that I am besides just going on and doing the show. I just wish everybody took it a little more seriously."

Favazz: I said that on the air these shows were great, but just knowing you and knowing how you are, it just seems like next year's kinda iffy for anything with it.

Sammy Hagar: "Yeah, I think it was past this trip — it should have happened a few years ago. God help us if we would have waited any longer. [laughs] So at least we got it done. And it was good for the fans, and there were some great nights — don't get me wrong. During the show there were some magical moments, the set list was one of the best rock 'n' roll set lists in history. So, I think it was all good. I would have cut prices in half and did a few other things, but like I said, it's not just my game — it's a four-man deal with a manager." [laughs]

Favazz: I've gotta tell you, when I interviewed you in Oklahoma City, I was wearing this fine Cabo Wabo [nightclub in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico owned by Hagar] shirt. And the manager came in and said, "Would you change shirts with the promoter?" And that was the first and most unusual request I've ever had by a manager or anything. And I never related that story on the air and I never told you about it.

Sammy Hagar: "That's good. You didn't have to tell me. I hate to hear those kinds of things, because those guys are real jealous of this thing, you know… I don't know why. It's almost like Cabo Wabo, in some ways, broke the band up the first time because they didn't wanna do it, and they were part of it, and they wanted to give it to the government — they didn't want me to have it. And I said, 'You're not gonna take my place from me, man. This is, like, crazy.' 'Cause they were partners. So I bought them out. And ever since then they've hated it, because it's been successful. But I hate to talk about it like that because that's kind of like…"

Favazz: The truth is the truth.

Sammy Hagar: "Yeah, exactly. The truth is the truth. And it's so stupid for them to make you change your shirt. If I would have known that, that would have never happened. You would have been wearing that nice wonderful red shirt and somebody would have had a black eye for telling you to change it."

Favazz: Well, the exact quote was, "Do you mind changing your shirt? I wanna keep world peace."

Sammy Hagar: "Well, you changed your shirt and there still isn't world peace, so..." [laughs]


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