Sammy Hagar and the Circle have mainly tackled covers like the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and Little Richard’s “Keep-a-Knockin'” in their weekly Lockdown Sessions video series over the past couple of months, but their newest session takes on 1991 Van Halen classic “Right Now.”
“When I wrote this song with Eddie Van Halen over 30 years ago I had no idea it would be so relevant today,” Hagar wrote on YouTube.
“Right Now” was one of Van Halen’s biggest hits during Hagar’s time fronting the band. But when David Lee Roth returned to the fold in 2007, they jettisoned every song cut during that period from their live repertoire. Hagar keeps those songs alive when he tours with the Circle, which also features former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, drummer Jason Bonham and guitarist Vic Johnson.
Hagar has gone on record numerous times over the years with his desire to come back to Van Halen, along with Anthony, for a mega reunion tour where he’d share the stage with Roth. It’s often felt like little more than fan fiction, but he recently told Rolling Stone that wheels were in motion for some sort of reunion tour in 2019.
‘“I was asked through other people in my management to see if that would happen,” he said in May. “The camps talked about it and Live Nation asked about it. It came and went because Ed got sick. I don’t know exactly what happened to him, but I think he had back surgery. …Eddie had a lot of health issues, but I heard he got it together. I pray for the guy and I love the guy.”
He remains hopeful that a reunion can still happen at some point in the future. “I know that Eddie and I are not done,” he said. “If enough water goes under the bridge before we die, it’ll happen. It has to. God is going to slap us both around if he has to.”
In the meantime, Hagar is putting all of his creative energy into his work with the Circle. Each week they pick a new song to record from their separate homes. “You don’t have to be in physical shape like you do for a two-hour show,” he said. “I couldn’t do that now, but I could do one song. And my voice is strong. We can get so creative. There’s no pressure. Nobody paid for anything.”