Eddie Van Halen tribute concert will definitely happen, say Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony

Van Halen performs on stage at Oakland Arena, Oakland, California, United States on 1st August, 2004. L-R Michael Anthony, Sammy Hagar, Eddie Van Halen.
(Image credit: Anthony Pidgeon/Redferns)

In November, Wolfgang Van Halen confirmed a “kitchen-sink” reunion tour with Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony and David Lee Roth was in the works for Van Halen, but was ultimately nixed by Eddie Van Halen’s cancer diagnosis. Following EVH’s death in October 2020, talk has turned to a tribute concert for the guitar great – and Hagar and Anthony are determined to make it happen.

When asked about an EVH tribute show in a new interview with New York’s Q104.3 radio station, Hagar said, “It's gotta happen. Of course it’s gonna happen.

“No-one’s really connected all the dots with everyone involved, but I have been told, and I have read interviews with various people involved – with Wolfie and Valerie [Bertinelli, Eddie’s ex-wife] and Eddie’s wife [Janie] that he was married to at the time – they all said as soon as this is over, we’re gonna get everybody together and do a tribute or whatever: just a thank you, a goodbye, a send-off. And that’s an absolute must.

“I don’t care if it takes 10 years – that will happen. And if we’re available to do it, we’ll do it.”

“We’ve got to celebrate the music – so much good music,” Anthony added.

Wolfgang Van Halen has previously spoken to Entertainment Tonight about organizing a tribute show to his late father, with proceeds going towards EVH’s favorite charity, Mr. Holland’s Opus, which provides musical instruments to underfunded schools.

Proceeds from Wolfgang’s debut Mammoth WVH single, Distance, benefited the same charity.

Although he was lined up to play bass on Van Halen’s “kitchen-sink” tour, Anthony recently revealed he never had the chance to reconcile with Van Halen before the guitar legend’s death in October 2020.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.