When Sammy Hagar Refused Eddie Van Halen For The Sake Of His Close Friend Michael Anthony


Sammy Hagar is a talented musician who rose to fame in the 1970s with the band Montrose. He also pursued a solo musical career and produced his hit song ‘I Can’t Drive 55’ in 1984. Hagar then enjoyed great commercial success after replacing Van Halen’s lead vocalist David Lee Roth in 1985. The musician left the band in 1996 but returned and played with them between 2003 and 2005. Currently, Hagar continues his musical career in Chickenfoot and Sammy Hagar And The Circle as the lead singer.

As you know, Van Halen was a band that brought hard rock to the forefront. Formed in 1972, Van Halen was known for their entertaining live shows and talented lead guitarist Eddie Van Halen. After Diamond Dave’s departure and Sammy Hagar joining the band as his replacement, Van Halen released several chart-toppers and multi-platinum albums.

When Hagar left the band, they went on a hiatus until 2003, the year Hagar returned.  That year Eddie and Alex asked the Red Rocker to join, but the musician refused and stated he would perform under one condition, which concerned his fellow musician Michael Anthony. Let’s learn what he wanted from Eddie Van Halen.

Sammy Hagar Refused To Perform With Van Halen If Michael Anthony Did Not Rejoin


In the early 2000s, Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony’s contribution to the band was gradually decreasing. Besides, the bassist started contributing to Sammy’s projects more, and he appeared with Hagar’s band The Waboritas numerous times. Following that, the Red Rocker formed a side project featuring Michael Anthony, called Planet Us. They recorded two songs and played together a few times before their disbandment. Then, Hagar and Anthony rejoined Van Halen.

Towards the end of 2003, Eddie and Alex asked Hagar to rejoin Van Halen for a 2004 tour, but their plan didn’t include Anthony. Thus, Hagar stated that he wouldn’t perform with them unless Anthony rejoined as well. Anthony agreed to play with them but on a reduced royalties contract only for the duration of the tour. Van Halen went on a worldwide tour in 2004 and released the double-disc greatest hits collection, ‘The Best Of Both Worlds.’ Anthony did not contribute through songwriting or playing bass, but he did sing the backing vocals.

As reported by Blabbermouth, Michael Anthony recalled those times in an interview and said Eddie didn’t want him due to his close relationship with Sammy. He then said he agreed to receive less money because he wanted to be a part of the tour as it might be the last time they toured.

According to Blabbermouth, Michael Anthony stated that:

“But the fact of the matter is when we did the tour in 2004, Ed didn’t want me there because of my relationship with Sammy. I sucked it up and took less pay because I thought if it was the last time Van Halen went out and toured, and I wasn’t part of it, I would really be upset.

To sign on to do the tour, they made me relinquish any rights and claims I had to the Van Halen name, the logo, whatever. At this point, there is basically nothing going on as far as Van Halen goes. It’s tough to say that, but I’m not going to sugarcoat anything anymore.”

As it seems, Sammy Hagar was the reason Michael Anthony rejoined Van Halen back then. However, they both drifted apart from the band after the tour ended. It turned out that the reason was Eddie’s drinking problems. Hagar then returned to his solo band, The Waboritas, and Anthony appeared with him on the stage occasionally. Today, the bassist continues his musical career in Sammy’s band The Circle.