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Sammy Hagar apologizes for exposing Eddie Van Halen's "dark side" in memoir

Sammy Hagar (left) and Eddie Van Halen
(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Sammy Hagar has apologized for his depiction of his former Van Halen bandmate, the late Eddie Van Halen, in his 2011 autobiography, Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock. 

In his memoir, Hagar depicted in detail the effect alcoholism had on the late guitar hero. In one section of the book, Hagar recalled visiting his house in 2004, saying, “It looked like vampires lived there. There were bottles and cans all over the floor. The handle was broken off the refrigerator door. There were spider webs everywhere.” 

In a new interview with Inside with Paulo Baron, when asked if there was anything he forgot to put in or regretted including in the book, the singer said: “Oh, yeah. I forgot so many really fun little things, and every now and then I’ll wake up in the morning and have a dream and I’ll wake up and it makes me remember something in the childhood, and I think, ‘Oh I should have put that in in the book.'

"But more than anything, because of the untimely and tragic death of Eddie Van Halen, I apologize from the bottom of my heart for exposing his dark side to where I don’t think anyone wants to hear that now, and unfortunately, it’s in the book.”

While he maintains that the book is entirely truthful, he now wishes he would have only included the positive aspects of his former bandmate, praising him as “such a brilliant, genius guitar player and such a great friend and great partner – until everything went wrong, like everything else.”

Earlier this year, Hagar also took to New York’s Q104.3 radio station to reveal that a tribute show to send off the late guitar master is already in the works, with both himself and former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony involved. 

“It’s gotta happen. Of course, it’s gotta happen. No one has 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 all 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.”

Hagar initially joined Van Halen in 1985, replacing original singer David Lee Roth. The band would score four consecutive chart-topping albums with Hagar before his departure in 1996. He would later return for a one-off reunion tour with the group in 2004.