How Eddie Van Halen Stopped Sammy Hagar From Retiring

Rock musicians Sammy Hagar and Eddie Van Halen (1955 - 2020), both of the group Van Halen, performs onstage at the Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, Illinois, March 15, 1986
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Rocker Sammy Hagar was all smiles when he recently received his very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. While speaking about the honor, he recalled a time when he was about to retire from making music completely, and how his late friend Eddie Van Halen swooped in and stopped him from calling it quits.

He explained, “Then comes Van Halen when I was ready to retire. I hate to use that word because I swear it’s not in my DNA. But I was ready to say, ‘You know, I’m going to quit for a while. I’m going to stop. I’ve been touring my whole life.’ This is 1985, you know. I just came off a major tour, platinum albums in a row, you know. I was rich and famous. So, I thought, ‘Why am I going to keep doing this?’ And then Eddie [Van Halen] calls. That was a defining moment.”

American rock singer and musician Sammy Hagar in concert, circa 1975

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Before he became a Van Halen frontman, Hagar was already famous as part of the band Montrose in the 1970s and had a successful solo career. Later on, a spat with Eddie became another defining moment in his career. Hagar was kicked out of the band in 1996 after he and Eddie had some creative differences. Eventually, Hagar rejoined Van Halen in 2003 and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with them in 2007.

Sammy Hagar performs on stage during iHeartRadio ICONS with Sammy Hagar and The Circle: Inside The Making of Space Between at iHeartRadio Theater on May 08, 2019 in Burbank, California

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While many people know Hagar for his work in Van Halen, he also admitted that his time with Montrose was very important to him. He shared, “Joining Montrose was a big step from playing clubs, someone else’s music, to writing my own music and making my own album of original material and then going on tour all over the world. So, that was a big moment. I mean, that was a defining moment. I learned everything from Ronnie Montrose. How to play on stage, how to write songs, how to do all that.”

US musician Sammy Hagar attends his Hollywood Walk of Fame Star ceremony in Hollywood, California, on April 30, 2024

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At the star ceremony, singer John Mayer was there to talk about his friend Hagar and shared why Hagar and his music are so timeless. He joked “Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, Sammy Hagar is having way more fun than you.”

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March 2023

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