Sammy Hagar has revealed details about his final phone conversation with the late Eddie Van Halen, saying his late former bandmate "broke my heart." Speaking to Variety, Hagar opened up about the candid moment for the two, who both played in iconic rock band Van Halen but parted ways decades ago on bad terms. Sadly, the legendary guitarist died in October, after a long battle with cancer.
"Poor Eddie, broke my heart, but thank God we connected before [he died]," Hagar told the outlet. "I heard he was in bad shape and I wanted to reach out; I finally said, 'I’m just calling him.'" However, this proved to be a bit of a challenge, as the singer no longer had Van Halen's phone number, and had difficulty tracking it down. "I was calling his brother, I was calling his manager, I was calling his friends, and I’d say, 'Hey, tell Ed, give him my phone number. Tell him if he ever wants to talk to me, I really, really want to talk it out, help him and see what I can do,'" he recalled. "I [told them], 'I want to be his friend, I want to bury the hatchet,' but they never got it done."
You rarely hear people talking about @EddieVanHalen's brilliant piano playing. When Neil Young invited me back to Bridge school benefit I brought Eddie. It was so special and unusual. We had never done anything like this. Please enjoy this treasure. https://t.co/dq8WRYCkyY— Sammy Hagar (@sammyhagar) December 23, 2020
Interestingly, it was comedian and actor George Lopez who was able to put the two men in touch again. "George is a dear friend and he was Eddie’s friend," Hagar explained, "and he said, 'Sammy, Eddie’s in bad shape, he loves you brother, you need to reach out.' I said, 'Give me his f—ing number and I’ll make sure I call him.'"
When Hagar and Van Halen finally spoke, after so many years of feuding, the singer says it was a heartwarming moment. "I said, 'Why don’t you respond? I’ve been reaching out,'" he said, "and Ed said, 'Why didn’t you call me? Don’t f—ing call my brother, f—ing call me!' And I said, 'I love you man,' and it was like, boom, we were good. It was a beautiful thing."
Van Halen had been first diagnosed with tongue cancer as far back as 2000. Not long after his death, his ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli made mention of the cancer having spread to his lungs. Van Halen was 65 years old at the time of his death.