Sammy Hagar knows a thing or two about reuniting with a famous band, so when he spoke recently with Attention Deficit Delirium, I asked him about his thoughts on a classic Guns N’ Roses line-up reunion. Over the years people have argued that it will never happen. I argue that money is always a good motivator, even if it just means select concert dates like Rage Against The Machine have done. And with GN’R recently being nominated for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, one wonders if Axl and Slash can bury the hatchet if they get inducted, even to at least to acknowledge the accolade. “They’ve proved it again and again and again that it ain’t [about] the money,” observed Hagar. “They just don’t get along because Axl goes out for a lot less money with his version of Guns N’ Roses, and Slash goes out for a lot less money with Velvet Revolver or by himself. The amount of money they could make if they got it all back together, made a great record and toured the world would probably be as much as the Rolling Stones [get], and for them not to do it, it obviously ain’t about the money. Because they could do it. I would manage them. I’d be their manager and make sure they got the right deal from all the promoters. They could be the biggest band in the world if they wanted to.”
That’s if they wanted to. (The ka-ching will need to ring loud enough.) As far as Van Halen is concerned, don’t expect to see the Red Rocker and his Chickenfoot bandmate Michael Anthony jumping at the prospect of rejoining Eddie and Alex onstage or in the studio. Especially with Chickenfoot thing keeping them busy, with Van Halen unceremoniously replacing Anthony with Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang on bass prior to the reunion tour with original frontman David Lee Roth in 2007 and with Hagar’s recent autobiography delivering his frank, unrestrained views on the VH camp.
“I just don’t see Van Halen getting together again,” the singer stated. “I don’t know what would have to happen for it to happen. I don’t think they’re ever going to get together with Dave. They’ve been working on that record for a year and a half or whatever, and they keep postponing and postponing it. I just know that Wolfie, Dave and Ed are not the Van Halen that the world wants to see. To do it with David without Mike was a horrible decision, but those guys haven’t made a good decision since I left the band. I don’t think so. It’s not about me, I just think that they really burned Mikey and burned the fans by throwing him out before Dave came back finally.”
It is easily argued that Anthony’s vocal harmonies are an integral part of the Van Halen sound. “Those vocal harmonies on the last tour were Mike on tape,” asserted Hagar. “Mike should’ve reamed them for it. Wolfie don’t sing like that, and Ed sure as hell don’t. Go on the Internet and listen to Ed’s voice live from the reunion with me. Hear him sing on ‘When It’s Love’ and some of those songs. Ed can’t sing, and his voice is shot if he can, from cigarettes and booze anyway.”
When asked how he has managed to keep his voice in good shape after all of these years, Hagar replied, “I don’t smoke. I drink and eat all kinds of crazy foods. I don’t know, I’ve been really lucky with my voice. I wish I could tell you. If I knew the secret I’d let the world know.”