SAMMY HAGAR Wishes He Had Been ‘A Little More Conservative’ About VAN HALEN Years In His Autobiography
In a new interview with Spotify‘s «Rock This With Allison Hagendorf», Sammy Hagar was asked if there is anything that he wishes he had included in his 2011 autobiography «Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock». He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): «I included everything. There’s nothing I didn’t say. I kind of wish I would have been a little more conservative about the VAN HALEN years. But I was angry when I wrote the book. They threw me out of the band, and they did it ruthlessly. And I don’t care what anyone says — God rest Eddie‘s [Van Halen] soul; I love him to death — but him and his brother [Alex Van Halen] are pretty tough guys to deal with, if they go against you. They really made it harder on me at a weird time in my life. So I was angry when I wrote that stuff, but I didn’t enhance it. Believe me, if anything, I was kind to those gentlemen at that time in our lives. And I’m so glad we came back together. But if I’d waited a little longer, I wouldn’t have been so angry and there wouldn’t have been so much angst in it.»
According to Sammy, he has been asked by his book publisher to record an audio version of «Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock», even though it’s already been a decade since its original release. «They still want me to do it,» he said. «[But] I’m afraid, ’cause if I start reading it, I know I’m gonna change it. I’m gonna try to be nicer, or I may tell a story that maybe wasn’t in the book, or I’ll remember something else.»
In «Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock», Hagar slammed Eddie, saying the guitarist was unkempt, hunched over, frighteningly skinny, drinking wine straight out of a bottle, missing part of his tongue (after a cancer scare) and several teeth. He told an interviewer in 2012: «What happened on that reunion tour in ’04 was some of the most miserable, back-stabbing dark crap I’ve ever been involved with my whole life.»
In a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone, Eddie questioned an «embellished» portion of «Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock» that painted the guitarist as a «very angry drunk» during the group’s 2004 reunion tour.
Last October, Sammy said that he was in contact with Eddie Van Halen «almost weekly» in the months leading up to the legendary guitarist’s death. He went on to say that he was comforted by the fact that he made peace with Eddie before the influential rocker’s passing. «If that wouldn’t have happened, I would be devastated much worse than I already am,» Sammy said. «It was horrible news. There’s never a good time to hear news like that, when a loved one passes. It was tough to deal with, but, honestly, the music is what pulled me through.»
Hagar replaced David Lee Roth in VAN HALEN in 1985 and recorded four studio albums with the band — «5150», «OU812», «For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge» and «Balance» — all of which topped the U.S. chart.
Sammy, Eddie, Alex and Michael Anthony last teamed up in 2004 for a U.S. summer tour. In exchange for taking part in the tour, Anthony reportedly had to agree to take a pay cut and sign away his rights to the band name and logo.