Flashback: Van Halen's Ill-Fated 2004 Reunion Tour With Sammy Hagar

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This topic has 19 voices, contains 29 replies, and was last updated by  davidestrada 1573 days ago.

August 8, 2013 at 8:10 pm Quote #28829

ron
(8969)

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/flashback-van-halens-ill-fated-2004-reunion-tour-with-sammy-hagar-20130808

Flashback: Van Halen’s Ill-Fated 2004 Reunion Tour With Sammy Hagar
Watch them play ‘Panama’ in New Jersey
By Andy Greene
August 8, 2013 1:45 PM

Van Halen’s 2004 reunion tour with Sammy Hagar made a lot of sense, on paper. The group had been in hibernation for six years following their ill-fated LP and world tour with Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone, and fans were hungry to see the band again. David Lee Roth may have seemed like the obvious choice for a vocalist at this point, but private attempts to reunite with him earlier in the decade quickly fizzled. With no other viable option, they reached out to Sammy Hagar, who was quite willing to forgive and forget.

The tour could have been a huge triumph, but problems emerged before they played a single note together. Eddie didn’t want to include Michael Anthony, and Hagar wouldn’t agree to anything unless the bassist was on the tour. Anthony ultimately signed a contract that drastically reduced his income for the tour. “I had to also concede a bunch of other stuff like percentage cuts and any claim to the trademark,” he told Rolling Stone in 2007. “I didn’t need the money. I decided to suck it up because I thought if this was the last time Van Halen was performing, I wanted to be out there with them and with the fans.”

Michael Anthony was on board, but Sammy Hagar was shocked when he saw Eddie in the flesh for the first time in a decade. “He looked like he hadn’t bathed in a week,” he wrote in his 2011 memoir Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock. “He was missing a number of teeth and the ones he had left were black. His boots were so worn out he had gaffer’s tape wrapped around them, and his big toe stuck out. He walked up to me, hunched over like a little old man, a cigarette in his mouth. He had a third of his tongue removed because of cancer and he spoke with a slight lisp.”

The group decided to cut three new songs for a Van Halen compilation album, but Ed kept disappearing and Sammy started to fear the whole thing would fall apart. “He had turned into the weirdest fuck I’d ever seen, crude, rude and unkempt,” he wrote. “I should have walked, but Eddie’s got a very charming, cunning side to him, where you feel like he’s got a good heart. He’s going to come through. He’s going to clean up and we’re going to get this thing done.”

With help from producer Glen Ballard, they managed to cobble together three songs. They then assembled a set list that was heavy on material from the Van Hagar era, a handful of songs from the Roth era and the three new songs. (Here’s video of the group performing “Panama” at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.)

It was clear to most people in the crowd that Eddie wasn’t in the best shape, but few knew the depths of his drinking problem. Hagar and Anthony barely spoke to Eddie backstage, but by some miracle they didn’t miss a single date on the tour. When it ended in Tucson, Arizona in November of 2004, they went their separate ways. Sammy hasn’t spoken to Eddie since, and Anthony learned he was fired from the band when he read reports online a few years later that Eddie’s son Wolfgang was the new bassist.

Despite all the trouble, Sammy Hagar has no regrets about his time in Van Halen. “Everyone immediately goes to the dirt, but quite honestly being in Van Halen was one of the greatest experiences in my life,” he told Rolling Stone in 2011. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ll take the dirt right with it.”

He even told us another reunion isn’t totally out of the question. “Someday, before we all die, fuck yeah,” he said. “We might be in our nineties, though.”


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August 8, 2013 at 10:40 pm Quote #28832

PT5150
(5528)

It’s a shame as it could have been such a great tour. Ed could have got the Steinberg out.

SUMMER NIGHTS
GET UP
And 5150 would have been excellent to hear.
SUCKER
AFU
SPANKED
JUDGEMENT DAY
AMSTERDAM


EDDIE’S fingers aren’t fingers they are muscle-powered pistons that hammer guitar strings to the fretboard with the force of a rivet gun”.


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August 9, 2013 at 8:08 am Quote #28836

PT5150
(5528)

Few photos from 2004 Tour.



EDDIE’S fingers aren’t fingers they are muscle-powered pistons that hammer guitar strings to the fretboard with the force of a rivet gun”.


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August 9, 2013 at 11:47 am Quote #28838

voodoo
(1877)

He was a disaster on that tour for sure. I remember going to as many shows as I could figuring we’d never see Eddie on stage again. When the ’07 tour started, I only bought one ticket for Detroit, because I had already heard a couple recordings and I wasn’t impressed. I wanted to hear it for myself. I still wasn’t all that impressed with his playing, but it was better than the mess in ’04. So, I ended up getting tix to their second show in Auburn Hills and he wasn’t much better than he was in Detroit. I didn’t bother to go see any other shows on that tour and when I heard him playing after his rehab stint in ’08 he was killing it. I was so bummed that I couldn’t make it to one of those ’08 dates when he was finally playing up to snuff. ’04 was definitely a strange tour and era in VH history.


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August 9, 2013 at 1:47 pm Quote #28839

cabosanlucas139
(1004)

For sure the 3 shows I saw in 2004 Eddie was terrible but the 2 shows I saw in 2008 he was on the money. Loved the 2012 shows as he was looking happy and playing great. How about Europe!!!!!!


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August 9, 2013 at 4:10 pm Quote #28840

videoman320
(308)

Ed was a mess in 04 and THAT is what caused all the problems. 2012 and this year are probably some of Eddies best shows in decades. He has been amazing and best of all he looks like he is really happy to be back on stage. Plus in the few shows they have done this year I have noticed a huge difference in Dave. Nobody was more critical of him than me since he’s been back but I will be the first to admit he was much better in Japan,Oshkosh, and the last show in California. It seemed like he was paying attention to his vocals more instead of worrying about being a circus clown. I also think the time off between shows really helped his voice. I’ve been noticing like never before lately the older singers sound much better when they have a few days off between shows.It’s probably harder for Dave to rest his voice because it seems he never shuts up!! LMAO!!!
I don’t think they are close to calling it quits but I still hope for their greatest tour ever. The Best of Both Worlds! Van Halen LIVE with David Lee Roth & Sammy Hagar. That would
be a huge success.


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August 9, 2013 at 7:36 pm Quote #28842

VAiN
(2768)

videoman320: The Best of Both Worlds! Van Halen LIVE with David Lee Roth & Sammy Hagar. That would be a huge success.

No it wouldn’t. That would be a nightmare. You got your 04 fix of that fat back-stabbing clown and that’s all you’re gonna get. Ed clearly wasn’t in touring shape in 04 but that didn’t stop old fatso from doing it anyway, and THAT is what caused all the problems. At least Ed had a moment of clarity at the end of the trainwreck tour and said ‘fuck it’ and was done with it. I’m glad I was there to witness it.


Resident dickhead. I will hurt your delicate feelings.


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August 9, 2013 at 7:40 pm Quote #28843

VAiN
(2768)

Sammy Hagar, who was quite willing to forgive and forget.



Resident dickhead. I will hurt your delicate feelings.


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August 9, 2013 at 7:59 pm Quote #28844

Dave
(1954)

Before you blame Sammy, please don’t forget it was Al who approached him 1st to tour, and the reason Al did was to pay for his divorce.


Stay Frosty


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August 9, 2013 at 10:02 pm Quote #28845

jabbo5150
(335)

voodoo: He was a disaster on that tour for sure. I remember going to as many shows as I could figuring we’d never see Eddie on stage again. When the ’07 tour started, I only bought one ticket for Detroit, because I had already heard a couple recordings and I wasn’t impressed. I wanted to hear it for myself. I still wasn’t all that impressed with his playing, but it was better than the mess in ’04. So, I ended up getting tix to their second show in Auburn Hills and he wasn’t much better than he was in Detroit. I didn’t bother to go see any other shows on that tour and when I heard him playing after his rehab stint in ’08 he was killing it. I was so bummed that I couldn’t make it to one of those ’08 dates when he was finally playing up to snuff. ’04 was definitely a strange tour and era in VH history.

Agreed on all counts. I remember the Palace show in 2004 where they got lost during Best of Both Worlds and thinking how great Eddie was the last time they toured with Cherone. It was sad. The 2007 Detroit shows were better, but not 100%, though Dave sang well. 2012 had Eddie playing great, but Dave singing much worse than 2007. We fans can’t catch a break!


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August 9, 2013 at 10:46 pm Quote #28846

mrmojohalen
(5454)

I don’t understand the purpose of the flashback. Next year is the 10th Anniversary. Would have made more sense to post a story then.


When you turn on your stereo, does it return the favor?


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August 9, 2013 at 11:05 pm Quote #28847

ron
(8969)

mrmojohalen: I don’t understand the purpose of the flashback. Next year is the 10th Anniversary. Would have made more sense to post a story then.

Not much to celebrate here.


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August 9, 2013 at 11:09 pm Quote #28849

videoman320
(308)

VAiN: No it wouldn’t. That would be a nightmare. You got your 04 fix of that fat back-stabbing clown and that’s all you’re gonna get. Ed clearly wasn’t in touring shape in 04 but that didn’t stop old fatso from doing it anyway, and THAT is what caused all the problems. At least Ed had a moment of clarity at the end of the trainwreck tour and said ‘fuck it’ and was done with it. I’m glad I was there to witness it.

It would be a nightmare for Sammy haters like you when he blows away Dave like he did in 2002. As for your dollar sign I would bet Sammy is worth far more than the rest of Van Halen combined. I’ll put Hagars body of work for his career up against Roths anyday.


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August 9, 2013 at 11:17 pm Quote #28850

guitard
(7354)

VAiN: No it wouldn’t. That would be a nightmare. You got your 04 fix of that fat back-stabbing clown and that’s all you’re gonna get. Ed clearly wasn’t in touring shape in 04 but that didn’t stop old fatso from doing it anyway, and THAT is what caused all the problems. At least Ed had a moment of clarity at the end of the trainwreck tour and said ‘fuck it’ and was done with it. I’m glad I was there to witness it.

videoman320: It would be a nightmare for Sammy haters like you when he blows away Dave like he did in 2002. As for your dollar sign I would bet Sammy is worth far more than the rest of Van Halen combined. I’ll put Hagars body of work for his career up against Roths anyday.


VHTrading doesn’t need the negative debates. It has literally driven long time members away from the site. There are plenty of other sites that practically specialize in these kinds of discussions. You guys know which sites I’m talking about. Please take these kinds of discussions there.


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August 10, 2013 at 1:06 am Quote #28851

mcs5150
(1085)

I like Dave; I like Sammy; I like Gary; I like Van Halen. That is all.


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