Sammy Hagar sounded like a man who was open to a reasonable compromise late last year.
"I'm honored to be a part of [Van Halen]," Hagar told Rolling Stone. "I'm sorry about the bad blood, but I'm totally honored."
He said that writing music with Joe Satriani in Chickenfoot was one of his best experiences. I'd rather write a record with him than anyone else," Sammy said. But it was who he compared Satch to that was noteworthy.
"Joe Satriani is my favorite writer to work with since Eddie Van Halen," Hagar said.
But something has sure changed Sammy Hagar's tune lately. And that something is Eddie Van Halen himself.
The guitar-playing Van Halen recently told Billboard that he and David Lee Roth were certainly not "friends," despite touring together. But it was Eddie's statements about former Van Halen bassist and singer Michael Anthony -- who is also one of Sammy Hagar's best friends and current bandmate -- that set Sammy off.
“Every note Mike ever played, I had to show him how to play,” Van Halen said. “Before we’d go on tour, he’d come over with a video camera and I’d have to show him how to play all the parts.”
One huge hole in the current Van Halen lineup sound is the Michael Anthony harmony vocal. Instead, that sound is present in Chickenfoot and Anthony's current project with Sammy Hagar, The Circle. It's very apparent where that sound comes from.
But Eddie Van Halen even slagged that off. It's like he can't help himself.
“Mike’s voice is like a piccolo trumpet. But he’s not a singer. He just has a range from hell,” Eddie says. “Mike was just born with a very high voice. I have more soul as a singer than he does. And you know, people always talk about Mike’s voice on Van Halen songs, but that’s a blend of Mike’s voice and my voice. It’s not just him.”
In new interview, Eddie Van Halen claims Sammy Hagar drives under the speed limit at all times.
— Matt Goldich (@MattGoldich) June 20, 2015
Michael Anthony responded to the criticism in a very diplomatic way.
“I am proud to say that my bass playing and vocals helped create our sound. I’ve always chosen to take the high road and stay out of the never-ending mudslinging, because I believe that it ultimately ends up hurting the Van Halen fans.”
Sammy Hagar was not nearly as nice. During an interview, he was asked about what Eddie said about Mike. Hagar issued a blistering riposte directly to Eddie Van Halen.
"Fuck you, Eddie Van Halen, for saying that about Mikey. You're a liar."
Looks like the feel-good vibe is gone again, eh?
Sammy Hagar once said, "I suppose I had 'fuck me' money before, and now I have 'fuck you' money."
Sounds like Sammy just used it.
Here is the video of Sammy's response. The transcription is below.
"It's really irritating to see them go after Mikey. Mikey didn't do anything — ever — to Van Halen. Mikey was the most loyal guy in the band. He was the first guy there at rehearsal, the last guy to leave, the guy that was… the first guy at the gig, the guy that flew the… carried the banner, the flag, the VH banner… he carried it every night. And the horseman with the flag, the flagman on the horse in the calvary. That was Michael Anthony, okay?! [He was] a hundred percent dedicated. [He] never did anything to hurt those guys. And they try to hurt him again, and again, and again."
"For Eddie to say he had to show [Michael] what to play and had to teach him all those songs, that is the biggest line of bullshit I've ever heard in my life. I was in that band for eleven years, and there was never a video camera involved of Eddie showing him what to play. Eddie would tell him what to play once in a while, and say, 'No, Mike, don't play with that many notes. Just stay on one note — boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom — so that I can fuck up and nobody will know it.' It was that kind of shit. And I am telling you straight up, especially on the '04 reunion tour, if Mike would have played any more than one note, it would have been showing that Eddie wasn't playing the right chords again and again and again; I couldn't sing to 'em, you couldn't play bass to 'em. So… that is a lot of bullshit."
"I don't know why they go after him like that. He doesn't deserve it. He's one of the greatest rock and roll bass players ever in the world. Michael Anthony is Top 5 rock and roll bass player in the world. Any bass player will tell you that, any musician will tell you that. Listen to him play on The Circle. He ain't going 'boom boom boom boom boom boom boom boom' unless it was called for.
"Michael Anthony is a bad motherfucker. Fuck you, Eddie Van Halen, for saying that about Mikey. You're a liar."