Sammy Hagar says he shouldn’t be blame for keyboards in Van Halen
The Red Rocker Sammy Hagar talked to host Eddie Trunk at his radio show Trunk Nation and said people need to stop blaming him for the addition of keyboards in Van Halen songs.
Sammy Sagar said about keyboards in Van Halen:
“Finally I get my soapbox here! Everyone blamed me for the friggin’ keyboard playing on the Van Hagar era, starting with [1986’s] ‘5150.’
“On [1988’s] ‘OU812,’ we went very keyboard-oriented. I didn’t do any of that – that’s what Eddie [Van Halen] did. Eddie wanted to do that. He liked playing keyboards, and he was freakin’ good at it.
“He wrote these beautiful songs like ‘When It’s Love’ and stuff like that, and ‘Why Can’t This Be Love’ – it’s such a cool lick, it’s like…”
Michael Anthony said:
“Once Ed really got into the keyboard thing, he barely picked up his guitar for a long time, I remember. He was just playing keyboards all the time.”
Sammy Hagar continued:
“So it wasn’t like I was sitting here, saying, ‘Hey, man. Let’s do some more keyboard songs. I’m sitting here saying, ‘Hey, what have you got, Ed?’, and he goes, ‘I’ve got this.’
“And I’m going, ‘Wow, that’s great. I could sing to it’ – ’cause I could sing to any damn thing – so I’d start singing and Ed would go, ‘Oh, man, this is so cool. Of course, Valerie [Bertinelli, Eddie’s wife at the time] would come in and validate it. She would come in and when she heard ‘Love Walks In,’ she just: ‘Oh my god!’
“And Eddie’s going, ‘Oh, man, my wife’s happy, so I’m happy,’ and I’m going, ‘Well, I’m happy.’ And we had success and all that.
“But I kind of always got blamed for the keyboard songs and it was not me whatsoever. I’m a damn guitar player. Every time I would pick up, like, for ‘Finish What Ya Started’ or something like that, when I would instigate a song, it was a guitar song – ’cause I don’t play keyboards.
“So it wasn’t me. I just went along with what we had, and if it wouldn’t have been good, I wouldn’t have went along with it. I would have said, ‘This sucks,’ you know? [Chuckles] But it didn’t.
“And the part that’s most impressive to me is what a good keyboard player Eddie Van Halen is. He’s got a left hand on the freakin’ keyboard that’s as good as freakin’ Bootsy Collins on the bass, man. He’s funky with that left hand. You know, listen to ‘When It’s Love’, man.”