“This is about Van Halen”
Sammy Hagar is returning to the road next year. He confirmed Tuesday [November 14] plans for a full North American tour slated for next summer. He will be joined by rock heavyweights and longtime bandmates Michael Anthony on bass and backing vocals, Jason Bonham on drums, and Joe Satriani on guitar for the 28-date trek next summer. There could possibly be more musicians, however, joining in on the run.
During an appearance on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show, Hagar declared that special guest appearances by musicians of note in every city the tour stops at could occur, and he also publicly invited his former Van Halen bandmate, founding drummer Alex Van Halen, and original singer David Lee Roth, to join him on stage during his tour next year.
“We’re gonna invite every musician in every town,” Hagar stated. “First of all, whenever you play, if there’s a guitar player in town, no matter what city it is, they come out to see Joe [Satriani], just like they used to do for Eddie [Van Halen]. So, if we’ve got other guitar players, we’ll get them involved. If Alex Van Halen wants to jump up, if David Lee Roth wants to come out and join us, come on, motherfucker. You are welcome! This is about Van Halen.”
Since Eddie Van Halen’s passing in October of 2020, there’s been a ton of speculation about either a tribute tour, or a Van Halen reunion of all the surviving members.
“It’s time,” Hagar said on Stern. “Nobody else is gonna do it. […] And we are the only ones who can do it.”
When Stern asked what the odds are of Alex Van Halen coming out to a gig, Hagar replied, “I would hope so. I reach out to Al [Alex Van Halen] about once a month for about five years now, and he doesn’t get back to me. I call, I leave a voice message, I send a text, and I send an e-mail. All three things. ‘Al, give me a call.’ Al’s favorite line to me was always, every time he wanted to get back together, he would say, ‘You know, Sam, we ain’t gettin’ any younger.’ So, I’d say, ‘Hey, Al, we ain’t gettin’ any younger. Give me a call. Let me know. What do you want do? Come on over. Let’s get together. Mike [Michael Anthony] and I will meet you somewhere.”
The tour follows on the heels of the chart-topping success of Van Halen’s The Collection II, the box set released on October 6. The new release is a sequel of sorts to 2015’s The Collection, which featured the band’s six albums recorded by the band’s original lineup with singer David Lee Roth. The new set includes 5150 (1986), OU812 (1988), For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991), and Balance (1995). These records represent the band’s phenomenal streak of four No. 1 Billboard 200 albums in a row. Additionally, fans will enjoy the Studio Rarities 1989-2004 LP, an exclusive compilation that assembles eight gems from the Hagar era for the first time. Among these rarities is “Crossing Over,” the B-Side to Balance’s “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You”, and the band’s only non-album B-side.
“It’s crazy to think that it’ll be 20 years since Mikey and I played these songs with Van Halen on the 04’ Best of Both Worlds Tour,” Sammy Hagar said. “With Joe on board, we can take a deeper dive into those years. We’re going to touch on some hits from my entire career but seeing fans old and new really embrace the new collection set off something in Mikey and I. We were at my Birthday Bash in Cabo for my 76th and looked at each other and high fived, like ‘let’s do it.’ We pulled out a couple of them and it was an instant lovefest with the fans from our first riffs. The music we created is going to outlive us all. They deserve to be heard so it’s time we go out and serve the fans that music, while we still can.”
The compilation boasts other exceptional highlights, including the band’s cover of Little Feat’s “A Apolitical Blues” and the instrumental “Baluchitherium,” which were originally left off the vinyl versions of OU812 and Balance, respectively. Additionally, the set features two songs the band contributed to the Twister Soundtrack – “Humans Being” and the Grammy®- nominated “Respect The Wind.” Rounding out the set are “It’s About Time,” “Up For Breakfast,” and “Learning To See,” which were recorded during the band’s temporary reunion with Hagar in 2004. All three debuted that year on Van Halen’s second greatest hits collection, The Best of Both Worlds.
“These records were recorded before (without) ProTools or digital recording,” Hagar said of the original albums. “It was analog on real to reel tape recorders. There’s a very special sound to that type of recording. We were careful not to destroy any of that, but to re-master with more modern technical equipment to bring out that wonderful magical sound. Where do you hear this stuff!? It’s never sounded better.”