Sammy Hagar will kick off his Best of All Worlds tour with Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony and Jason Bonham this week, promising to focus on a mix of classics and deep cuts from his time with Van Halen.

Despite the nature of the tour, fans shouldn’t expect to see any guest appearances from Alex Van Halen along the way — but it isn’t for a lack of trying on Hagar’s part.

“Mike and I reached out to Alex before we did this,” Hagar tells UCR. “We reached out to him a dozen times before this tour, in every way. Email, text message, phone call, message on the machine, OK? No response. No response. I mean, we made every offer to get together or to just talk or to have breakfast, lunch or dinner. Go to the studio and play. Come to my house or I’ll come to your house. Go ride horses, go sit on the beach. What do you want to do? Let’s just do something. Let’s get together. And nothing."

Noting that he and Van Halen “don’t have a relationship,” Hagar added: “When the tour came, the first person we called and left all of the messages, sent all of emails, it was Alex Van Halen. Mike and I said, ‘We’re wanting to do this thing.’ Alex’s famous line to me [was], ‘Sammy, we ain’t getting any younger.’ Mike and I said, ‘Alex, we ain’t getting any younger. We’re going out and playing for the people. We’re going to go honor the Van Halen catalog. Let’s just get together and let’s talk about it. Mike and I, we’re going out, we’re going to do this, Alex. Please join us. Let’s be friends, let’s bury the hatchet, whatever.’ There was no response.

“I was saying, ‘He’ll come to a show, he’s got to in L.A. or something. I’m sure he’ll come.’ But no, no, he sold all of his equipment. That was his statement. That was like, ‘Nah, I ain’t coming nowhere.’”

READ MORE: All 48 Sammy Hagar-Era Van Halen Songs Ranked Worst to Best

The Link Between Alex Van Halen and Jason Bonham

Even though Alex Van Halen likely won’t be attending or performing at any Best of All Worlds tour dates, Hagar says his presence will be felt via Jason Bonham.

“Alex idolized John Bonham. And Jason plays exactly like John Bonham, his dad,” he explains. “Every time Alex would go in the studio, when I was in the band, he’d play ‘When the Levee Breaks’ for the engineer, or he’d play certain drum sounds, like ‘Kashmir.’ He’d play a Zeppelin tune or so and he’d say, ‘Let’s try to get this sound. Right here, this is what I want, that sound.’ Alex is a great drummer, totally original and badass. He’s one of the greatest rock drummers of all time, Alex Van Halen. But he was playing like John Bonham a lot of times.”

The late Bonham serves as a link between his son and Van Halen. “Jason, when he hears that, he goes, ‘Oh, I know what [Alex] was trying to play. My pop was always on the hi-hat like this and then he played in between,’” Hagar says. “So he knows exactly what Alex was doing. When he plays it, it fuckin’ sounds like his dad and Alex are on the same kit, man. Jason is the right guy for this tour. He’s been with me for a long time. Having Jason play ‘I Can’t Drive 55,’ you know, no big deal. Anybody can play that. Well, not anybody, but you know, any decent drummer would be fine on [that song]. But when it comes to ‘Poundcake’ or ‘Rock Candy’ — because Denny Carmassi was also a John Bonham freak that wanted to play like John Bonham in Montrose — when you play those kinds of songs, Jason Bonham is important.”

The Best of All Worlds tour launches on July 13 in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Van Halen Lineup Changes

Three different singers and two different bassists joined the Van Halen brothers over the years.

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