Ross Cat of Best Of WNY recently conducted an interview with Sammy Hagar. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow.
Best Of WNY: Will we see premier rock 'n' roll bassist and all-around party animal Michael Anthony on the road with you again this summer?
Hagar: "Mike will be popping in and out of the tour, for sure. He really wants to play with us at the stadium shows that we are doing with Kenny Chesney. At this time I'm not exactly sure when he's going to be playing; one thing's for sure — knowing Mikey, he can't stay home when Sammy and the WABOS are out on tour, we've found that out over the last ten years. He's played on about 90% of our gigs since the last VH reunion; he's usually around by hook or by crook. I have to say that having Mikey on stage makes it so much easier to play the Van Hagar material, when I'm singing 'Why Can’t This Be Love', 'Top Of The World', or 'Poundcake' and I hear his harmonies, I can close my eyes and feel like it was 1990 again. Hands down, Mike's backing vocals and bass playing are as big a part of the VAN HALEN legacy as me, Eddie, Alex or Dave. It has been and always will be an open door policy for Mike in any band I'm in."
Best Of WNY: Any desire to check out the current VAN HALEN tour which is getting primarily positive reviews in its second leg?
Hagar: "No, I just can’t do it, after the last Van Hagar tour, Eddie became my enemy; he wasn't the same guy he was when we started the Van Hagar era of the band; he made what should have been a great experience just down right miserable. Now when I say that, I'm talking about the Eddie Van Halen that is struggling with his personal demons; they've been pretty well documented. I will say this: The fact that they are doing the tour with Dave is awesome. They have owed the amazing VAN HALEN fans that for a long time; but not taking Mike out isn't doing the Roth era justice and it's just wrong. If you're finally going to go out and bill yourself as the original VAN HALEN, then Mike should be playing with them, for God's sake, that's just my two cents. I understand Eddie wanting to play with Wolfie, but he should just go out and start their own band. That being said, it seems that some positive has come out of this whole thing. Last time I saw Eddie, he was in really bad shape a few years back; but I did see a recent photo and he looks healthier than he has in a long time. That, to me, is a great thing, Eddie has all the support on the planet from me if he is finally getting his shit together. If this tour has helped him get himself together and clean up, I’m so happy for that."
Best Of WNY: you toured with David Lee Roth back in 2003 any chance you'd be willing to set aside differences and give VAN HALEN fans the "Best Of Both Worlds" with all five guys touring together?
Hagar: "As far as that goes, that's just not something I'm really interested in doing again right now. Eddie would have to be able to bring himself back to ground zero; by that, I mean he'd have to be completely clean."
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