The Van Halen Vault Tape Sammy Hagar ‘Would Love to Hear’ Again
Sammy Hagar said there were probably four completed and unreleased songs in the vault from his time with Van Halen, but there's a different archive recording he’d most like to hear again.
Speculation has been circulating about the material in the band's archives following the death of Eddie Van Halen, although his son, Wolfgang, recently said it will be a while before any release is even considered.
“We did a little bit, and I know exactly which songs they are,” Hagar told Eddie Trunk on SiriusXM, when asked about unheard material from the Van Hagar era.
“There's four songs that I remember that we actually had the lyrics and sang. ... We were always in a hurry to go back on the road. It was so crazy. … The longest we ever took was For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge … we were working slow on that record. There's a couple of songs from that. And there was a song from right before the  reunion tour – I think there was an extra tune.”
He noted that "things that didn't make the record the first time, my opinion they wouldn't make the record the second time either. It's not like there would ever be any bad Van Halen music, but the songs probably just weren't up to par. We all felt that way. What made the record was the good stuff.”
Hagar was more enthusiastic about a recording they made that was never meant for release. “You know what's the coolest thing that's in that vault from my era would be?" he said. "The day that I walked in that studio to jam with Van Halen, 1985, to see if I was going to join the band. We recorded all that stuff. We recorded a rough version of 'Good Enough,' a rough version of 'Summer Nights' and a blues jam. We played this slow blues, a 12-bar blues - I was just scatting and making up words and just jamming, the four of us. And there's probably hours of that. I would love to hear that … that's just so raw that it's not something you would compare to a finished product.”
He recalled Eddie Van Halen showing him his guitar, which featured a customized tremolo arm. “I don’t even know how to use a whammy bar, and he's going [wham-gung-gung] and I just started singing ‘Summer Nights’ on that chorus … that was a done deal. ... There's some some good memories. You got me thinking … my brain's gonna be thinking about all that stuff – I might have to write a second book.”
Hagar also remembered the late guitarist spent so much time in his 5150 Studios that there's probably “a ton of music and stuff where he and [drummer] Al [Van Halen] would just be out there and jamming and doing stuff. ... I'm sure there's some very interesting stuff in that vault. Wolfie's definitely got a little gold mine on his hands there.”