Van Halen’s former bassist Michael Anthony was recently interviewed by Steve Gorman for the ‘Steve Gorman Rocks’ show, during which he opened up about the first time that he met Sammy Hagar in 1985 after David Lee Roth was fired by the band.
As you know, Sammy Hagar joined Van Halen back in 1985 and he had an 11-year tenure with the iconic band before he decided to leave in 1996. However, he came back together with Van Halen in 2003 for a two-year reunion and in late 2020, Hagar revealed that he’d been trying to convince the band members to do a reunion tour including David Lee Roth.
During a recent interview, Van Halen’s former bassist Michael Anthony, who was let go in 2006 when Eddie decided that his son Wolf will replace him, talked about their first interaction with Sammy Hagar and how he and his former bandmates realized that he’d be the perfect vocalist for their band.
Anthony said that he’d already seen Sammy and his work before physically meeting him and that they officially met when he popped by Eddie’s studio 5150. As Sammy had cut off all his hair around that time, upon seeing him Anthony exclaimed ‘that’s not Sammy Hagar, he’s the guy with long hair’ and they ‘instantly became friends.’
Following that, the band jammed with Sammy for ’10 minutes tops’ as that’s how long it took them to realize that they had something special going on. At some point, they told Sammy to just ‘sing something’ to the tunes that they played for him and some of those bits actually ended up in the ‘5150’ record. Michael recalled that day and said that ‘The chemistry was just such, like – Wow.’
Here’s what Anthony said:
“I’d obviously seen Sammy play a few times. I never actually paid too much attention. Yeah, his stuff [was] great. I liked the Montrose stuff. Obviously, he had his solo stuff going on. But the first time I actually met him, I was in the studio at Ed’s house, the 5150 studio, and Sammy, I guess, was on a break. He had cut all his hair off. And he comes walking into the studio. I was sitting there in the studio, and he comes walking in. And I go, ‘That’s not Sammy Hagar, he’s the guy with long hair.’ And we instantly became friends.
We played probably for about 10 minutes tops, and we knew that we had something happening. We had a couple of songs that would end up on the ‘5150’ record; I think they were ‘Good Enough’ and… There was another one; there was a couple of them that were pretty much written. And we played it for him, and we said, ‘Just sing. Just sing something.’ And there were bits that he actually sang that ended up — and I kid you not — on the album. The chemistry was just such, like, ‘Wow!’“
Click here for the source and you can watch the whole conversation below.
🚨 TONIGHT! 🚨 Michael Anthony's talking about the first time he played with Sammy Hagar as new frontman of Van Halen, plus much more! Don't miss the interview tonight on Steve Gorman Rocks!
Posted by 102.3 The Wolf on Thursday, April 8, 2021