In a new interview with AZCentral.com, Sammy Hagar discussed his upcoming summer 2024 tour with bassist Michael Anthony, guitarist Joe Satriani and drummer Jason Bonham that will focus largely on the music of VAN HALEN. Support on “The Best Of All Worlds” trek will come from LOVERBOY. Sammy said: “Well, Michael Anthony and I, you know, we’ve been doing this [SAMMY HAGAR AND THE] CIRCLE thing. We play about an hour of VAN HALEN and we play about 45 minutes to an hour of my stuff, MONTROSE and everything.

“We’re gonna kind of just really go heavy on VAN HALEN,” he explained. “Play four or five of Sammy‘s greatest hits. You know, ‘One Way To Rock’, ‘Heavy Metal’, ‘I Can’t Drive 55’, ‘Mas Tequila’, songs you’ve gotta play. One MONTROSE, a CHICKENFOOT and a whole lot of VAN HALEN, the whole catalog.

“I mean, we’re gonna go back into the early years for three or four songs, sprinkle ’em in there, because I’m calling it not just ‘The Best Of All Worlds Tour’, I’m calling it the ‘Thank You’ tour. For me it’s thank you. Thank you, Eddie [Van Halen]. Thank you to the fans. Thank you for this wonderful life, being able to do this, because I don’t know how much longer I can do it.

Mike and I, 20 years ago, did a reunion. And it’s been 20 years this year. I’m going, I don’t have another 20 years to be waiting on Alex Van Halen, who’s the only guy left. So he didn’t want to do it? You know, he, I guess, just doesn’t like playing without his brother. Don’t blame him. God bless him. So I’m saying, ‘I’m getting Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony and Jason Bonham, who his dad was Alex‘s hero.’ Jason plays just like his dad. So it’s pretty much the music is gonna be served as good as it can be served today.”

The 2024 tour will come more than two years after Satriani revealed that he was approached about participating in a VAN HALEN tribute show with David Lee Roth and Alex Van Halen. That project never got off the ground, reportedly because Roth was “holding up” getting everything approved.

Last November, Hagar told SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” that an attempt was made to see if Alex would be interested in taking part in “The Best Of All Worlds” prior to getting Bonham involved. “A hundred percent,” he said. “Jason insisted upon, ‘I will not say yes to do this thing until at least you get… Alex says yes or no.’ Alex hasn’t returned my call for five years. I’ve called, I’ve left messages, I’ve left texts, I’ve left e-mails.

“I don’t think Al really wants to go out and play; otherwise they would have did it with Joe when they were thinking about it [back in 2021],” he continued. “And [VAN HALEN‘s manager] Irving Azoff called me [around that time in 2021] and said, ‘Hey, would you do it? Somebody’s out of their mind. You and Alex, I’ve gotta get you guys together.’ I said, ‘Fine.’ He said, ‘Reach out one more time.’ I reached out one more time. No response.

Alex never played with anybody ever except his brother,” Hagar added. “He never jammed with anybody. The whole time we were in VAN HALEN, Mike and I would be out playing clubs with Eddie [Van Halen], jumping on stage on nights off. And Alex [would be] standing on the side of the stage [and looking on].”

Sammy previously talked about the upcoming tour during an appearance on “The Howard Stern Show” on November 13, 2023. “It’s time. Nobody else is gonna do it,” Sammy stated about performing songs from different eras of VAN HALEN. “If Dave [Lee Roth] goes out, he can’t sing my stuff. [But] we can do a few of the early VAN HALEN songs. I have no problem with that; I did it when I was in VAN HALEN. This is really a celebration of all that, and we are the only ones who can do it.”

Sammy continued: “We’re gonna invite every musician in every town. 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, just like they used to for Eddie [Van Halen]. So if we’ve got other guitar players, we’ll get them involved, other singers, 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.”

Asked by Howard Stern what the odds are that Alex Van Halen would show up on the tour and “maybe join the celebration of his brother”, Hagar said: “I would hope so. I reach out to Al 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 getting any younger.’ So I’d say, ‘Hey, Al, we ain’t getting any younger. Give me a call. Let me know. What do you wanna do? Come on over. Let’s get together. Mike and I’ll meet you somewhere.'”

Hagar and Anthony previously worked with Satriani in the supergroup CHICKENFOOT. They recorded two albums between 2009 and 2011 and toured across America but never performed any VAN HALEN material. More recently, Hagar and Anthony have played some of the VAN HALEN catalog with guitarist Vic Johnson and Bonham in SAMMY HAGAR AND THE CIRCLE.

Hagar mended his relationship with Eddie Van Halen months prior to the legendary VAN HALEN guitarist’s October 2020 passing.

Hagar replaced 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 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.

Produced by Live Nation, the 28-date “The Best Of All Worlds” tour will commence on July 13 in West Palm Beach, Florida and will conclude on August 31 in St. Louis, Missouri.

“We’re gonna go deep into the VAN HALEN catalog,” Hagar told “The Howard Stern Show”. “If you’re gonna go deep into the VAN HALEN catalog, you need Joe Satriani.”

Although Hagar and Anthony normally play five or six VAN HALEN songs” on the road with THE CIRCLE, Sammy told Stern they are planning to only play “five or six of my songs” alongside VAN HALEN classics and deep cuts.

“When we go out next year in July, it will be almost exactly 20 years since Mike and I did a reunion with Ed and Al in ’04,” Hagar said. “Mike and I just said, ‘We can’t wait another 20 years. How long can I even sing these songs? How long can I do this stuff? I just thought it’s time to serve the fans.”

“There’s stuff we’re going to do on this next tour that we haven’t played since that tour in 2004,” Anthony added.

Regarding the challenge of learning legendary VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen‘s parts, Satriani said: “There are things that are so iconic, you have to nail it. But if you go deep with what he did live, he never played the same thing twice. He kept evolving; he kept pushing. He’d do the recorded version a little bit, but then he moved on.

“It’s a daunting task when you do the deep dive into what he did,” he continued. “But it’s good to start at the beginning, and then you just learn all his little improvs and you get the idea of what he was trying to do. It’s thrilling; it’s fun.”

Photo credit: Timothy Norris





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