Sammy Hagar praises Red Hot Chili Peppers' "soulful" Eddie Van Halen tribute song

Sammy Hagar (left) and John Frusciante perform live onstage with their respective bands in 2022
(Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images, Jeremychanphotography/Getty Images)

Last Friday (September 23), Red Hot Chili Peppers released Eddie, an emotional tribute to Eddie Van Halen that doubled as the latest single from their forthcoming album, Return of the Dream Canteen.

Built off a bass line Flea wrote after hearing of Van Halen's passing, Eddie features some gorgeous lead lines – and a fiery, whammy bar-driven solo – from Chili Peppers electric guitar player John Frusciante.

Former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar, for one, was moved by the song. On an Instagram post Flea made promoting the tune, Hagar commented: "Wow, very soulful guys. I love hearing John shred like that – sound[s] like he was having some fun. Beautiful."

Eddie's son, Mammoth WVH frontman and Van Halen bass guitar player Wolfgang Van Halen, praised the song as well, simply commenting "❤️❤️❤️" on the same Instagram post.

“Sometimes we don’t realize how deeply affected and connected we are to artists until the day they die. Eddie Van Halen was a one of a kind," Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis said in a statement about Eddie last week.

“The day after his death Flea came into rehearsal with an emotional bassline. John, Chad [Smith, the band's drummer] and I started playing along and pretty soon with all our hearts, a song in his honor effortlessly unfolded. 

“It felt good to be sad and care so much about a person who had given so much to our lives," he continued. "Although the song doesn’t speak to Eddie by name, it talks about his early days on the Sunset Strip and the rock n' roll tapestry that Van Halen painted on our minds.

“In the end, our song asks that you not remember Eddie for dying but for living his wildest dream.”

Return of the Dream Canteen is the Red Hot Chili Peppers' second album of 2022 – following April's Unlimited Love – and their second LP since Frusciante rejoined the band a second time in 2019.

Produced, like Unlimited Love, by Rick Rubin, the album is set for an October 14 release via Warner.

To preorder the album, visit the Red Hot Chili Peppers' website.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.