Sammy Hagar revealed details about his final phone call with late rocker Eddie Van Halen.
The legendary rock guitarist died at age 65 earlier this year after a lengthy battle with cancer. Speaking to Variety in a recent interview, the former replacement lead singer of the band Van Halen explained that he and Eddie buried their years-long feud in a final phone call after the former found out about the latter’s declining health.
“Poor Eddie, broke my heart, but thank God we connected before [he died],” Hagar told the outlet. “I heard he was in bad shape and I wanted to reach out; I finally said, ‘I’m just calling him.’”
However, the singer noted that getting in touch after all those years was a challenge.
“I was calling his brother, I was calling his manager, I was calling his friends, and I’d say, ‘Hey, tell Ed, give him my phone number. Tell him if he ever wants to talk to me, I really, really want to talk it out, help him and see what I can do,’” Hagar explained. “I [told them], ‘I want to be his friend, I want to bury the hatchet,’ but they never got it done.”
Hagar famously replaced David Lee Roth as the lead singer of Van Halen in 1985. In 1997, tensions led to Hagar splitting from the band as well before returning for a brief reunion in the early 2000s. However, it seems the tension between the two rockers never went away.
In the end, it was comedian George Lopez who connected the duo before Eddie’s death. When they finally got in touch, Eddie explained why he hadn’t responded to Hagar’s calls until then.
Eddie Van Halen and Sammy Hagar in 2004Getty Images
“I said, ‘Why don’t you respond? I’ve been reaching out,’” Hagar recalled, “and Ed said, ‘Why didn’t you call me? Don’t f–king call my brother, f–king call me!’ And I said, ‘I love you man,’ and it was like, boom, we were good. It was a beautiful thing.”
With his distinct solos, Eddie Van Halen was the engine behind the ultimate California party band and helped knock disco off the charts starting in the late 1970s with his band’s self-titled debut album and then with the blockbuster record “1984,” which contains the classics “Jump,” “Panama” and “Hot for Teacher.”
His son, Wolf, announced news of his death on Twitter on Oct. 6.
“I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning,” he wrote at the time.