Vocalist Sammy Hagar and bassist Michael Anthony have paid tribute to their former bandmate, the late Eddie Van Halen, in a video statement titled “We Love You Eddie”.
The clip was shot Wednesday, 7 October – just a day after Van Halen’s passing – at a rehearsal session with The Circle for Hagar’s annual birthday concert, which will livestream on nugs.tv later this month.
“For Mike and I, it was just like getting hit by a freaking Mack truck,” Hagar said. “It kind of took the wind out of the sails. I just wanna say that I’m kind of devastated. A Van Halen song never felt so hard to sing and play in my life.”
Watch the full video above.
While friction between Hagar and Van Halen was widely publicised, it was revealed that the pair had made peace prior to the guitarist’s passing; Hagar shared a note with the Howard Stern Show revealing that he had been in regular contact with Van Halen since earlier this year.
“Eddie and I had been texting, and it’s been a love fest since we started communicating earlier this year,” Hagar wrote. “We both agreed not to tell anyone, because of all the rumours it would stir up about a reunion, etc., and we both knew that wasn’t gonna happen. But he also didn’t want anyone to know about his health.”
Countless artists have shared tributes to Van Halen, remembering the guitarist for his many contributions to music and guitar. On Wednesday, 7 October, virtuoso Steve Vai penned a lengthy open letter about his friendship with Van Halen where he wrote, “I feel the shock and the loss of the entire guitar community. I just want to say let’s focus on all that he gave us, because it truly was a gift.”
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