Sammy Hagar planned to retire until he received a call from Eddie Van Halen

Sammy Hagar planned to retire until he received a call from Eddie Van Halen


Sammy Hagar and Van Halen almost never were. 

While speaking to Fox News Digital after receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Tuesday, Hagar explained he was about to pump the brakes on his music career — until Eddie Van Halen called.

“Then comes Van Halen when I was ready to retire. I hate to use that word because I swear it’s not in my DNA. But I was ready to say, ‘You know, I’m going to quit for a while. I’m going to stop. I’ve been touring my whole life,’” the rocker shared.

“This is 1985, you know. I just came off a major tour, platinum albums in a row, you know. I was rich and famous. So, I thought, ‘Why am I going to keep doing this?’ And then Eddie [Van Halen] calls. That was a defining moment.”

VAN HALEN’S SAMMY HAGAR PLANNED TO ‘MAKE SOME NOISE’ WITH EDDIE VAN HALEN BEFORE GUITARIST’S DEATH

Sammy Hagar said he was ready to retire before Eddie Van Halen called in 1985.  (Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Images/Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

Before his time as Van Halen’s frontman, Hagar rose to fame playing with the band Montrose in the 1970s and then had a successful solo career. 

Hagar told Fox News Digital with a laugh that another defining moment of his career was “getting thrown out of Van Halen” in 1996 after creative differences with Eddie. “I had to roll up my sleeves and go back to work.” 

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He said joining Montrose early on was also an important moment in his career. 

WATCH: Sammy Hagar planned to retire before Eddie Van Halen asked him to join band

“Joining Montrose was a big step from playing clubs, someone else’s music, to writing my own music and making my own album of original material and then going on tour all over the world,” he told Fox News Digital. “So, that was a big moment. I mean, that was a defining moment. I learned everything from Ronnie Montrose. How to play on stage, how to write songs, how to do all that.” 

VAN HALEN’S SAMMY HAGAR RECALLS KEEPING UP WITH THE BAND’S SUCCESS WHILE JUGGLING ‘DARK’ TIMES AT HOME

Guy Fieri at Walk of Fame ceremony

Sammy Hagar poses with his star during his Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

He eventually rejoined Van Halen from 2003 to 2005 and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the group in 2007. Eddie Van Halen died in 2020.

Hagar was joined Tuesday by celebrities like fellow Van Halen member Michael Anthony, Red Hot Chili Peppers musician Chad Smith, John Mayer and Food Network star Guy Fieri.

Guy Fieri with Sammy Hagar

Sammy Hagar with Guy Fieri at his Walk of Fame ceremony.  (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Fieri told Fox News Digital he was “overwhelmed” Hagar asked him to speak at the ceremony, adding that he was “more nervous” to emcee the event “than I was for my own star.

WATCH: Guy Fieri was more nervous to emcee Sammy Hagar’s Walk of Fame ceremony than for his own

“But it was great. It was an amazing ceremony and so deserved by Sammy,” he added. “Such a great guy, way beyond the music. He’s a philanthropist. He’s a community guy. He’s a worldly person. This was one of the highlights of my career without question.”

Sammy Hagar with John Mayer

John Mayer spoke at Sammy Hagar’s Walk of Fame ceremony.  (Fox News Digital)

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Mayer also spoke about his bond with Hagar during his speech at the ceremony. 

“Sammy Hagar was already a hugely successful artist in his own right when he was asked to join Van Halen,” Mayer told the audience gathered near Amoeba Music on Hollywood Boulevard. 

“He certainly didn’t have to join another band to continue making hit records. I think the reason he took them up on the offer is for the same reason he does anything — because it sounded like fun. Sammy is driven by having fun. Sammy has the kind of fun we only dream about letting ourselves have.

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“Every time I think of him, a thought comes to mind that I’d like to share with you today: Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, Sammy Hagar is having way more fun than you.” 



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