The former Van Halen frontman credits George Lopez for encouraging him to reconnect with his bandmate before the guitarist passed away in October this year.
Rocker Sammy Hagar has comedian George Lopez to thank for putting him in touch with Eddie Van Halen shortly before his death, after losing his old bandmate’s number.
The singer, who fronted Van Halen from 1985 to 1996 and returned for a two-year reunion in 2003, reveals he and the guitar great managed to clear the air during Eddie’s final days, and he’s glad he did.
“Poor Eddie, broke my heart, but thank God we connected before (he died),” Hagar tells Variety. “I heard he was in bad shape and I wanted to reach out; I finally said, ‘I’m just calling him.’ ”
However, getting hold of the cancer-stricken star proved to be more difficult than anticipated, “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.’ I (told them), ‘I want to be his friend, I want to bury the hatchet,’ but they never got it done.”
It was only after chatting with mutual pal Lopez that Hagar finally got the hook up.
“George is a dear friend and he was Eddie’s friend and he said, ‘Sammy, Eddie’s in bad shape, he loves you brother, you need to reach out,’ ” he explains. “I said, ‘Give me his f**king number and I’ll make sure I call him.’ ”
Recalling the uneasiness at the start of the phone call, Hagar shares, “I said, ‘Why don’t you respond? I’ve been reaching out,’ 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.”
Eddie died in October (20), putting an end to Hagar’s hopes to enjoy one more Van Halen reunion tour with both himself and David Lee Roth – the singer he originally replaced.
“Eddie and Al (Alex Van Halen, drummer) and Irving Azoff, their manager (and) my dear friend, we were looking at doing the reunion tour with everybody, which is the way it had to be,” Hagar says.
“I’ve been pushing for that for 10 years. (I was ready to) put (any differences) aside. Let’s go give the fans the biggest band in the world, you know what I mean? You don’t get bigger than Van Halen, and the fans deserve to see it all, hear every song… That would have been wonderful.”
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