Sammy Hagar drops some horrible truth about Eddie Van Halen

In a recently uploaded video to social media from 2016, Hagar revealed some truth about Eddie Van Halen.
Van Halen press conference
Van Halen press conference / Kevin Winter/GettyImages

Eddie Van Halen, like most human beings, was more than one thing. He was not just an amazing guitarist for Van Halen and he was not just a person who battled drug addiction. He was both, and not always at the same time. While his music made many people happy, his battles with self-control often made people sad.

Sammy Hagar was Eddie's bandmate in Van Halen between 1985 and 1996 and again from 2003 through 2005. In those spans, Hagar saw the best of Eddie Van Halen and the worst of him. In a recently uploaded video of an interview that Hagar did with AXS TV in 2016, the vocalist gave some insight into the issues the band had during a 2004 tour. The shows weren't good, but Eddie was worse.

In fact, Hagar wasn't sure if Eddie would live through the tour. He also wasn't a nice person, which appears to have differed from how he normally was. Many songs the band churned out, Hagar was not sure what guitar part Eddie might play. In other words, while fans might have enjoyed the gigs, the band was not having a good time.

Sammy Hagar discusses sad truth about touring with Eddie Van Halen

Hagar told AXS TV, "Eddie was completely whacked out off the charts on alcohol and drugs...he was really in bad shape, I thought he was going to die...He did horrible things to people. He treated people so bad. He was a complete raving maniac. I've never met a person like this in my life...trying to bust windows out of a G5 airplane at 4,000 feet with a wine bottle."

The tour Hagar commented on was just four years after Eddie had been diagnosed with tongue cancer. In a 2002 surgery to help him overcome the diagnosis, Eddie had a third of his tongue removed. This likely helped lead to a downward spiral of drug abuse.

Worst Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ever. Worst Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ever. dark. Next

Eddie Van Halen seemed to deal with several bouts of cancer during his life. After having tongue cancer, he suffered through throat cancer beginning in 2014. Upon his death from a stroke in 2020, his ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli stated in an Instagram post that Eddie had also had lung cancer.

None of that is an excuse for treating people poorly, of course. When one has dealt with serious illness and there are also drug addiction concerns, there are likely going to be issues. The bottom line, however, is if someone knows another who is struggling, help them if they allow help.

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