In a Rolling Stone compilation about artists’ quarantine statements, the former Van Halen frontman is quoted saying ‘we all gotta die’ when talking about returning to the stage amid the pandemic.
Sammy Hagar wanted to make sure people do not misinterpret his statement about returning to the stage before there is a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. Shortly after his “we all gotta die” quote was picked up by the media, the former Van Halen frontman attempted to give a clear context to his comment.
“Hey, Sammy here. Earlier in the week @rollingstone ran a compilation piece from their Quarantine Q&A series,” the 72-year-old rocker began addressing his remark through an Instagram post on Thursday, June 25. “I did that interview a month and a half ago, things change very fast right now, so I wanted to clarify and put a few things into context now.”
“I did that interview May 8th when we were already several weeks into the stay-at-home, which my family and I took very seriously, and things were starting to look up, the curve was beginning to flatten,” he continued. “So when I was asked if I’d be comfortable enough to get back onstage before a vaccine was out, I was cautiously optimistic.”
“I said, ‘Yeah, not too soon. I want to make sure it’s not escalating. When it’s declining and seems to be going away.’ Big picture, it’s about getting back to work in a safe and responsible way and getting this economy rolling again. I will do my part,” Hagar pointed out further. “I stand by that. I employ 200 people directly and when we tour even more.”
The “I Can’t Drive 55” hitmaker concluded by stating, “Like everything today, it’s a watch and see over the next few months but we remain cautiously optimistic that with the right improvements and safety measures in place, we might be able to play shows this year. That said, as things change, for the better or worse, we will appropriately adjust our plans.”
Hagar’s COVID-19 comment at issue was featured in a Rolling Stone article that compiled 14 artists’ statements about the quarantine. Claiming that he will “be comfortable playing a show before there’s a vaccine,” he noted, “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.”
“We have to save the world and this country from this economic thing that’s going to kill more people in the long run,” he went on to declare. “I would rather see everyone go back to work. If some of us have to sacrifice on that, OK. 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,” the father of four at the end stated. “I’m sorry to say it, but we all gotta die, man.”
To his credit, Hagar did stress that it was too early to go back on tour in the summer. In his original interview with the magazine, he stressed that his summer tour “ain’t going to happen.” He added, “I wouldn’t do that. That’s too early. But let’s get through this summer and see how things are looking.”