By Christopher Scapelliti
January 26 was Eddie Van Halen’s 61st birthday, and in true fashion he got a surprise gift: a birthday tweet from his former bandmate Sammy Hagar.
The exchange, though minor, marks a thaw in the icy relationship between the two men. Reportedly, they haven’t spoken since Van Halen’s 2004 reunion tour, which was the first time they’d played together since Hagar left the group in 1996.
Hagar shared details of that tour in his 2012 autobiography, Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock, noting, “What happened on that reunion tour in ’04 was some of the most miserable, back-stabbing dark crap I’ve ever been involved with my whole life.” Van Halen was said to be especially unhappy with Hagar’s description of the tour, in which he shared details about the guitarist’s health and struggles with alcohol.
And we’re pretty sure Ed wasn’t pleased when Sammy took to Facebook last June to refute Ed's claims that founding Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony didn’t write his own bass parts and wasn’t such a great singer. In his widely seen clip, Hagar stared down the camera and delivered an uncensored condemnation of Van Halen.
Still, the tweets are bound to fuel speculation that Van Halen could launch a new reunion tour with Hagar, as they did with original singer David Lee Roth this past summer. Rumors that a “Van Hagar” reunion was imminent came to life this month after Michael Anthony was photographed with a road case bearing the Van Halen name. Anthony quashed the rumor on Facebook, noting that the shoot took place in his warehouse, where he keeps many road cases and gear from his Van Halen days.
But for faithful VH fans, even that won’t be enough to keep them from hoping. After all, if Slash and Axl could reunite after all these years and bad blood, could a Van Halen–Sammy Hagar reunion really be an impossibility?