Sammy Hagar and the Circle are still officially booked to tour North American amphitheaters this summer on a bill with Whitesnake and Night Ranger, but odds are rather high they’ll be forced to either cancel or postpone it due to the coronavirus.
As they wait to learn the fate of their tour — along with the rest of us — Hagar and bandmates Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham and Vic Johnson have teamed up via the internet to record a cover of the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” They shave about six minutes off the song by skipping many verses and the long instrumental section, but they still get the point across.
Hagar and Anthony played “Won’t Get Fooled Again” a handful of times during their tenure in Van Halen. One of those performances appears on the 1993 concert album Live: Right Here, Right Now. In his 2011 memoir Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock, Hagar admitted that much of the album was actually recorded in the studio since Eddie Van Halen’s guitar was out of tune and Alex Van Halen wasn’t always playing drums at the right speed.
“Only now that Eddie was playing in tune, my singing’s off-key,” he wrote. “And where Al sped up in ‘Runaround,’ now I’m singing ahead of the beat. Now I had to go back in the studio and redo all my vocals. I wanted to kill those guys. They put me in a room with the video of the concert, gave me my microphone, and I stood there and sang the whole fucking concert one time through. Just like it was a live performance.”
Hagar and Anthony haven’t performed with Van Halen since the group’s 2004 reunion tour. They formed the Circle with Bonham and Johnson in 2014 and play sets heavy on songs by Led Zeppelin, Van Halen and Hagar’s solo catalog. They released their debut studio LP, Space Between, in May 2019.