POST-VAN HALEN HAGAR IS ‘LIVIN’ IT UP’:
April 18, 2006
Sammy Hagar is gearing up for summer with a new album and a tour about to begin. Two years removed from a Van Halen reunion tour, the Red Rocker says he realized the importance of performing the band’s classic material, so he’s bringing VH bassist Michael Anthony out on the road for a nightly mid-set digression, billed as “The Other Half,” into all things Van Hagar.
“We’re really having fun with stuff and after the last Van Halen reunion, it doesn’t feel much like that may ever happen again for all kinds of reasons,” Hagar says. “But I just think I need to play those songs, the fans need to hear those songs and it’s just unfair to let it sit and die.”
Current plans call for Anthony to arrive on stage about an hour into the Hagar and Wabos (recently shortened from Waboritas) set with his legendary bass solo extravaganza, before the two Van Halen members jam for 60 minutes in a retrospective filled with hits and even a few obscure tunes. Hagar says the idea for “The Other Half” stems from last year’s annual Cabo Wabo Cantina birthday party in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, when Anthony showed up onstage unannounced.
As for his next studio album, dubbed “Livin’ It Up,” the 58-year-old artist says he’s shopping it to labels. However, fans will hear about a half-dozen of the songs on the 36-date tour, which begins May 5 in Lake Tahoe, Nev.
“Livin’ it Up” is really a lifestyle record,” Hagar says. “It’s not a metal record at all. I would say it’s more American country rock than heavy metal rock, which is the type of music I’ve always played from Montrose through Van Halen. My intention was to just make a real honest record.”
Written over the past year at his home in Cabo San Lucas, the album features original songs such as “One Sip and You’ll Surrender” and “The Way We Live,” as well as a rocking honky-tonk cover of Toby Keith’s “I Love This Bar” and his version of the Staple Singers’ “I’ll Take You There.”
While Hagar’s solo prospects appear bright, that’s not the case with Van Halen.
“There were some real problems in the band,” Hagar says, referring to the reunion tour. “I have to tell you, there were nights I didn’t know what song Eddie [Van Halen] was playing. There were times I wanted to kill that guy for what he was playing. I would have left that tour in the middle of it if it wasn’t for the professional aspect. He’s never going to see my ass again unless he goes and gets himself some help.”
Courtesy of www.billboard.com