Sammy Hagar Regrets ‘Angst’ About Van Halen in His Memoir
The former frontman maintained that he’d been honest about the downside of his time with the band when he wrote Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock, which was published in 2011.
Hagar’s second stint in Van Halen ended acrimoniously in 2004, and both he and Eddie Van Halen made disparaging comments about each other in the years that followed. They settled their differences towards the end of the guitarist’s life, by which time his health was so poor that plans for a “kitchen sink” Van Halen tour, which would have featured Hagar along with original frontman David Lee Roth, was abandoned.
“I included everything. There's nothing I didn't say,” Hagar told Rock This With Allison Hagendorf when asked about the memoir. “I kind of wish I would have been a little more conservative about the Van Halen years – but I was angry when I wrote the book. They threw me out of the band, and they did it ruthlessly.” He continued: “God rest Eddie's soul; I love him to death. But him and his brother are pretty tough guys to deal with, if they go against you. They really made it harder on me at a weird time in my life.”
The singer asserted: “I was angry when I wrote that stuff, but I didn't enhance it. Believe me, if anything, I was kind to those gentlemen at that time in our lives. And I'm so glad we came back together. But if I'd waited a little longer, I wouldn't have been so angry and there wouldn't have been so much angst in it.”
Speaking at the time of the book’s launch 10 years ago, Hagar reflected that he’d had the “greatest relationship and the greatest run” with Van Halen, but added: “The last two years were really rough… If you choose to write an autobiography, which I did, then you only have one shot. If you don’t tell it all then you sit there for the rest of your life telling stories and people are like, ‘Well, why wasn’t that in the book?’ I don’t wanna have to do that. It’s all right there.”
Four years later, Eddie accepted that, around 2004, he’d become a “very angry drunk,” but rejected what Hagar had written about the period as “him painting a picture of something that never happened.”
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