Hagar and Anthony — who continue to perform Van Halen songs together as Sammy Hagar and the Circle — recorded the video tribute during the band’s rehearsal on Catalina Island, California Wednesday, a day after Eddie Van Halen died at the age of 65 following a lengthy battle with cancer.
“I just wanna say I’m kinda devastated,” Hagar said of Van Halen’s death. “I’ll tell you, a Van Halen song never felt so hard to sing and play in my life.”
Anthony added, “It’s very surreal right now, and it hasn’t sunk in yet.”
Hagar and Anthony were both stunned by the news of their former bandmate’s death. “It hit like a Mack truck. Took the wind out of the sails,” Hagar said.
“We have the music,” Anthony said. “The music will live forever,” Hagar added. The pair ended their tribute by saying, “We love you, Eddie.”
The video then cut to Sammy Hagar and the Circle’s onstage rehearsal Wednesday, with the band holding a moment of silence before performing Van Halen’s “Right Now.”
Van Halen’s brother Alex also posted a small tribute to Eddie via social media Thursday, “Hey Ed. Love you. See you on the other side. Your brother, Al.”
— Van Halen News Desk (@VanHalenNews) October 8, 2020