Sammy Hagar Recalls Eddie Van Halen’s Phone Call To Convince Him To Join Van Halen

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Sammy Hagar recently spoke about a crucial moment in his career when Eddie Van Halen called him and asked him to join the band. With this one phone call, the musicians’ careers changed and brought Hagar his stint with Van Halen.

David Lee Roth had been in Van Halen from 1972 until 1985, when he decided to quit and focus on his solo career. Although there wasn’t a solid explanation for why Roth departed from the band, they seemed to have control issues with Van Halen’s sound, direction, and music. While DLR moved on and successfully pursued his solo career, Van Halen began looking for another singer.

Soon after, Van Halen’s Eddie called Sammy Hagar randomly and asked him to come to join the band. Hagar was unsure, but he eventually accepted and joined the band. He created and performed with them from 1985 until 1996, later returning between the years 2003 to 2005. The band’s fans loved the eras of the two different singers separately. They unofficially changed their name to Van Hagar after fans started referring to their time with the Red Rocker.

Hagar recently recalled that phone call that changed their lives in an interview. Late guitarist Eddie Van Halen called him and asked him to come to join Van Halen immediately. Hagar explained that he had just arrived home from a tour and was tired, but Eddie didn’t quit. He eventually went to write and play songs with them. Hence, the iconic lineup of the band was formed.

Here is the story told by Hagar:

“Eddie Van Halen says to Claudio, ‘Oh,’ Claudio says, ‘Oh, that car belongs to Sammy Hagar, you should call him, get him in your band.’ Eddie goes, ‘You got his phone number?’ The guy says, ‘Yeah,’ and he sits right down in the office and calls me out of the blue. I just got home from a tour, been home two days after the VOA tour, maybe 120 shows.

I was done, happy to be home, the best shape of my life though. I was like chiseled. He says, ‘Dave quit. Why don’t you come down and join our band?’ I said, ‘Oh man, I’m just getting off the road,’ and I said, ‘Give me a couple of days.’ He said, ‘Nah, come down tomorrow.’ I said, ‘When do you wanna do this?’ He said, ‘Come down tomorrow.’ I said, ‘You gotta give me a couple of days, man.'”

He continued:

“I just shaved my head. I cut all my hair off because my hair was trash from sweating every night in the lights, and it was like a haystack on top of my head. So I cut it all off after most tours, and I thought, ‘Man, I ain’t gonna go around with like this.’ He goes, ‘Why don’t you come out here to try to write songs. I got some ideas.’

So, he talked me into it. I called my manager and said, ‘I’d love to play with Eddie, but man, I don’t wanna be in that band.’ I’m thinking about their image because of the previous singer. I’m going out. I’m not that kind of guy. Anyway, I went down with him. The rest is history, Van Halen.”

You can watch the full interview below.