On September 22, 1985, Sammy Hagar was performing at the inaugural Farm Aid benefit when he was joined onstage by Eddie Van Halen.
Van Halen had just split with singer David Lee Roth about one year earlier, and as far as anyone knew, the band was still without a frontman. But Eddie and Sammy’s performance became the opportunity for them to reveal Hagar’s new role in Van Halen.
After performing three songs, Hagar brought out Ed, and the two jammed on Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll.”
“We didn’t have time to work nothin’ up,” Hagar told the crowd. “And Eddie and I were sittin’ at his house, bullshittin’, and we looked in the newspaper, and it said Eddie was gonna jam with me. And I said, ‘Well, shit, I didn’t know that.’ So at the last minute, we decided to go ahead and do it. We don’t know any songs as a band, so we’re just gonna jam a couple songs that we all grew up on.”
TNN broadcast the show, but the network cut away before Sammy could reveal the news that he had joined Eddie, his brother Alex and bassist Michael Anthony in Van Halen.