Sammy Hagar's Thoughts On The Band's Relationship With Alex Van Halen

Van Halen is one of the most influential rock bands of all time, and one of the few bands whose number of singers is almost equal to the number of hits they scored throughout their decades-long career.

According to AllMusic, the band was formed by brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen who got into music at a young age. They started out playing as Mammoth, doing shows in the Pasadena area, until they met vocalist David Lee Roth who was singing for another band. When they recruited Michael Anthony on bass from the band Snake, Van Halen was officially born, releasing their first album in 1978. They immediately became a massively popular group, scoring hit after hit after hit across several albums.

However, by 1985, a rift formed between Roth and the band, leading to his departure, with Sammy Hagar taking over vocal duties, as recounted in AllMusic. The drama didn't hurt the band's popularity at all, and the band continued topping charts and selling out stadiums. Alas, Hagar's time in the band came to an end in 1996, and he was eventually replaced by Gary Cherone, whose time in the band lasted even less time than his predecessors, appearing on only one album. While Hagar and Roth would return to the band for brief periods, it seemed destined that Van Halen would always play musical chairs with its singers. One of the few constants in the band, however, was drummer Alex Van Halen who always kept time even when the times changed.

Alex Van Halen steps out of the limelight

Van Halen's existence came to a close when its legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen tragically passed away on October 6, 2020 from throat cancer, according to AllMusic. While there had since been rumors of getting the surviving band members together for a tribute project, nothing has materialized, and it seems that Alex Van Halen is largely responsible for that, as he has apparently not been very communicative with his ex-bandmates and has largely stayed out of the public eye since his brother's passing.

Sammy Hagar expounded on his thoughts on his relationship — or lack thereof — on Ultimate Classic Rock, via Rock Celebrities, in 2021. The "I Can't Drive 55" singer shared his enthusiasm for the possibility of joining his old bandmates for a concert to pay tribute to Eddie, but also expressed his frustration about Alex not staying in touch with everyone, saying, "Alex just ... doesn't want to communicate with anybody. ... I don't know, I'm sure he's still in pain from the whole thing, but I'm not dogging him." However, at the time of the interview, Hagar believed that he and Alex would eventually bury the hatchet in the future.

Alex Van Halen's strained relationship with Sammy Hagar

While Sammy Hagar initially expressed optimism about the possibility of patching things up with Alex Van Halen in his interview with Ultimate Classic Rock in 2021, as recounted on Rock Celebrities, it seems that, after more than a year of Alex living a mostly secluded life, he has a darker outlook on that ever happening. According to Blabbermouth, during an appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk," Hagar discussed the still nonexistent relationship he has with the drummer, saying, " ... Alex has got a stick up his ass about something with me still, and he's gonna take it to his grave, I guess. [I made peace with Eddie before he died but] I don't think I made peace with Al. And I don't think I'm going to unless he reaches back out to me."

While it's totally understandable that Alex would be hesitant to revisit anything Van Halen-related, especially considering that it was his brother who passed away, it's still a shame that fans may never have the opportunity to experience their magic one more time. It also sounds like the reunion project that was discussed could've been pretty cool, at least according to Hagar in his appearance on "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk," wherein he revealed, "There was that talk everybody heard about Jason [Newstead, former Metallica bassist] being the bass player and Joe Satriani playing guitar and Alex and all that." Hagar stated that he'll happily join whatever project is pitched, but until Alex signs off on it, fans shouldn't expect anything to materialize anytime soon.

Michael Anthony's relationship with Alex Van Halen

Sammy Hagar may not have had much success in reaching out to Alex Van Halen, but Michael Anthony seems to at least be on talking terms with his old bandmate. According to Blabbermouth, Anthony appeared on an episode of SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" wherein he revealed that he's occasionally spoken to Alex. "And for the most part, we don't even speak that much about music — more about just family, how we're doing and stuff like that," Anthony said.

Like Hagar, Anthony is definitely open to some kind of reunion or Eddie Van Halen tribute project. He even mentioned on "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" that there was some initial talk about putting something together, although doing without the "Van Halen" banner, considering how instrumental Eddie was to the band. Anthony told Trunk, " ... [W]e basically just had kind of a conference call about having a conference call to discuss it, and then that other call didn't happen for whatever reason on their end. I told them that I'd obviously be interested." Considering that Anthony has achieved somewhat more progress in keeping in contact with Alex, time will tell if he'll be the one to bring the band back together for their swan song.