The news of Eddie Van Halen‘s death came this week, just as Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony were preparing to play Hagar’s annual Birthday Bash show. Due to the pandemic, the show was moved to Catalina Island in California and Hagar and Anthony reflected on the emotional first rehearsal show playing after Eddie’s death.
The video opens with Hagar speaking about how great it was just to play again with The Circle after being off for seven or eight months, but the conversation then turns to the death of Van Halen.
“For Mike and I it was just like getting hit by a freaking mack truck. It kind of took the wind out of the sails,” says Hagar, adding, “I’m kind of devastated and thank God I’m glad we get to do it again tomorrow. A Van Halen song never felt so hard to sing in my life.”
Anthony adds, “It was hard. It was very surreal to play ‘Right Now.’ It hasn’t sunk in yet.”
Hagar says, “What I felt playing a song like ‘Right Now’ that is especially so timeless is, ‘Wow, thank God for this.’ We’ll never play with Eddie, but thank God for this.”
Anthony concludes, “We have the music and it will live on forever if nothing else.”
Both musicians salute their late bandmate, with Anthony offering a “Love ya, Eddie” to the camera.
From there, we see a bit of the concert they had just performed. Before starting to play “Right Now,” Hagar asked for a moment of silence and a visibly emotional Anthony cleared his eyes and paced a bit before joining the band on the song. Watch the video in full below.
Sammy Hagar + Michael Anthony Discuss Their First Show After Eddie Van Halen’s Death
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