Sammy Hagar has apologized for exposing Eddie Van Halen’s “dark side” in his 2011 memoir, Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock.

Hagar and Van Halen famously reconnected before the legendary guitarist’s death in 2020, giving both former bandmates some much-needed closure after years of bitterness. In Hagar’s book, he portrayed Eddie Van Halen as a “very angry drunk,” adding that the “reunion tour in '04 was some of the most miserable, back-stabbing dark crap I've ever been involved with my whole life."

While speaking with Inside With Paulo Baron, Hagar shared his regret for how he framed Van Halen. “More than anything, because of the untimely and tragic death of Eddie Van Halen, I apologize from the bottom of my heart for exposing his dark side to where I don't think anyone wants to hear that now, and, unfortunately, it's in the book. And it's true — it's all true. It's not like I have to say, 'Oh, I was lying' — no, no, no. If I wrote the book today, I would only put the good of Eddie Van Halen, because he was such a brilliant, genius guitar player and such a great friend and a great partner — until everything went wrong, like everything else. Anybody's that's been divorced or broke up with your girlfriend or your boyfriend, you know how it goes. Happy endings aren't always the case in a relationship. [Eddie and I] had a happy ending — thank God — but before that, it wasn't a happy ending of the band. But thank God we got it back together."

Hagar added, "He was the sweetest guy in the world when I met him. When Eddie Van Halen walked into my dressing room in that show in Anaheim Stadium with Boston and Black Sabbath, that was one of the sweetest people, most humble human beings I've ever met in my life. I thought, 'How can this guy play so badass and be that humble?' I thought, 'It's impossible. He must have a fire inside of him that he's not showing.' And when that fire came out, it was quite the fire — a freakin' volcano." [via Blabbermouth]

Shortly after Eddie Van Halen’s death, it was revealed that the idea of a “kitchen sink” tour had been contemplated by EVH, which would have featured David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony and Gary Cherone.

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