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Sammy Hagar to Van Halen: ‘I’m Sorry’

Former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar says he’s ready to “forgive and forget,” and that he hopes to be friends again with former bandmates Eddie and Alex Van Halen.

The Van Halen News Desk posted the above video, pulled from Hagar’s upcoming appearance on Oprah: Where Are They Now, which will premiere Aug. 20 on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Hagar insists he’s not looking to rejoin the band (joking “that’s work! I don’t wanna do that!”), but simply to rekindle their personal relationship. “I want to be friends,” he says. “I want to say, ‘I’m sorry [for] anything bad I’ve said about you.”

Since leaving Van Halen under disputed circumstances in 1996, Hagar has fought a largely one-sided war of words against the Van Halen brothers, who have been comparatively silent on the matter. A brief, and by all accounts disastrous, 2004 reunion tour only intensified his anger, culminating in Hagar directing a very blunt “f— you” to Eddie Van Halen for downplaying former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony’s contributions to the group in a 2015 interview.

But in January, the first signs of thawing in the relationship surfaced, when Hagar tweeted a birthday greeting to Eddie Van Halen, to which the guitarist replied, “Thanks Sammy. Hope you’re well too.” Hagar later explained that the recent deaths of David Bowie and Glenn Frey convinced him that life was too short to hold grudges. “It makes you say, ‘I don’t want to be buried with any regrets or bad vibes like that,'” he said. “It makes you want to be just friends with everybody and say, ‘Hey look, forget it.’”

Van Halen haven’t made much noise since completing a North American tour with original singer David Lee Roth last fall, though current bassist Wolfgang Van Halen is working on his first-ever solo album. Hagar is touring with his newest band, the Circle, which features Anthony on bass, along with drummer Jason Bonham and guitarist Vic Johnson.

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