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Sammy Hagar, the second frontman for the legendary rock band Van Halen, said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine that he would “rather die” than see coronavirus kill the American economy or keep fellow musicians from touring.
“I’ll be comfortable playing a show before there’s a vaccine if it’s declining and seems to be going away. I’m going to make a radical statement here. This is hard to say without stirring somebody up, but truthfully, I’d rather personally get sick and even die, if that’s what it takes,” Hagar said.
“We have to save the world and this country from this economic thing that’s going to kill more people in the long run. I would rather see everyone go back to work. If some of us have to sacrifice on that, okay,” he added.
“I will die for my children and my grandchildren to have a life anywhere close to the life that I had in this wonderful country. That’s just the way that I feel about it. I’m not going to go around spreading the disease. But there may be a time where we have to sacrifice. I mean, how many people die on the Earth every day? I have no idea. I’m sorry to say it, but we all gotta die, man,” the rocker noted further.
The magazine interviewed 14 “veteran touring artists” who are not currently touring over concerns about the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, including greats John Fogarty, Stevie Nicks, Judy Collins, Bruce Springsteen, and Mavis Staples.
For his part, Fogarty made it political.
“I’m an older person, and a lot of people my age have died. Maybe some other guy thinks it’s a good idea, but I’m not dying for Donald Trump. I’m not dying for the economy. How can you have any kind of a crowd?” he said.
Other artists expressed frustration at having to be away from fans as well as the uncertainty of not knowing when they’ll be able to get back on the road. Others, like David Crosby — who’s nearly 80 and said he’s in danger of losing his house — lamented the economic impact not being able to tour has had.
As for Hagar, 72, this isn’t the first time he’s been outspoken about the negative effects coronavirus-related shutdowns have had on the country and the economy.
In an interview with historic rock station KSHE-95 in St. Louis late last month, Hagar said he “came to grips” with COVID-19 and refused to remain in lockdown.
“When it first came out and they said people over 60 are at risk of dying, right, I got a little nervous,” the singer told host Favazz on the KSHE Morning Rock Show. “I thought, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa.’ And then I thought about it, and after about three weeks of lockdown, I was really getting bored, but I also started kind of liking it.”
Hagar, who founded the Cabo Wabo Tequila brand and restaurant chain, noted that he wasn’t used to having much time to himself.
“My whole life I worked every day of my life,” he said. “Sunday, it may be the Lord’s day off, but it’s not Sammy Hagar’s day off. I worked every freakin’ day of my life in some fashion on one of my projects. Either I’m recording, or I’m writing, or whatever. So all of a sudden, I went, ‘Man, I don’t have anything to do.’”
After a few weeks in lockdown, Hagar said he had an epiphany, knowing that the disease was more deadly for people his age.
“You know what I thought of? I thought, ‘You know what? I’ve had the best life of any human being on this planet. If the damn thing wants to come and get me and kill me, let it be,” Hagar said. “Life isn’t gonna be any better from this day on for the rest of my life than it has been.
“I swear to you, I came to grips with it, and I was not afraid. I didn’t want to get anyone else contagious if I had it, but I don’t have it — I’m healthy as a freakin’ tick,” he added.
Not everyone on social media agrees with the rocker.
Wouldn’t it be funny if Sammy got The Vid?
— Chatelaine (@AppleRiverBnB) June 25, 2020
That moment with David Lee Roth becomes the higher cultural intellect. I did not see that coming.
— “Curious people go further” -Sonia Sotomayor (@ELAdepartmentAR) June 25, 2020
I never knew that about Dave. But he is a whole level above Sammy.
— C B (@chrisbe64354617) June 25, 2020
Is Sammy a gop trumptard.damn if so never listening to his music again.he cant hold a candle to david lee roth.roth is van halen
— Cory Dennis (@CoryDennis13) June 25, 2020
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