Sammy Hagar has had a lot to say about Eddie Van Halen recently, and not much of it very good.
But on June 24 he made a revelatory Facebook post about Ed that clears up a nearly three-decade-old mystery about Van Halen’s work on Hagar’s 1987 album, I Never Said Goodbye.
Hagar recorded the record to fulfill his contract with Geffen and bring his solo career to a close. He had already joined Van Halen and brought Ed along to the sessions to play bass and coproduce the album.
At the time, Hagar told Guitar Player that he’d asked Ed to play bass because “otherwise, he’d have been hounding me to play guitar.” Van Halen, for his part, was adamant that before the record was finished, he would play at least one note of guitar on it. And he did.
But what note, or notes, did he play?
Hagar has referred to it as a “mystery lick” for the past 28 years. But on Facebook, he finally made the big reveal:
“I played all the guitar on this record,” Sammy wrote. “Eddie did one small part in ‘Eagles Fly’ in the middle instrumental section. He did his finger tapping chimes.”
Sammy adds that he had a great time making the record, noting that “songs like ‘Give to Live’ and ‘Eagles Fly’ have gone on to be classics for me—they were even incorporated into the Van Halen live show during my acoustic performances.
“Damn, I miss this record,” he adds. “I’m gonna go put it on right now.”
Check out “Eagles Fly” below and see if you can find Ed’s guitar contribution. The part Sammy refers to starts around the 2:15 mark.