Sammy Hagar has made it abundantly clear he can't wait to perform regular concerts again, but the Red Rocker isn’t too keen about socially distanced shows.
In a new interview with Radio.com, Hagar said, “The drive-in movie theater thing, that didn’t appeal to me. I couldn’t do it. My fans are crazy. So, we did the Catalina Island thing, where we said, ‘Well, let’s have a boat-in and see how that works.’ And that was cool, but it was so expensive! I mean, you wanna talk about ‘pay to play’ …We had to build a stage, we had to bring production and everything on the Catalina. We had to stay there a week, with building everything out, and we did a pay-per-view, and it was successful, but it was not financially successful. But that wasn’t the idea. the idea was to finish up my birthday bash and get it done.”
Hagar continued, “‘Getting creative with it’ …I don’t like creative with trying to do a concert. I’m sorry. I don’t wanna do ’em from my home…I have my fun by walking out on stage for two hours and playing the music and entertaining and talking to the folks and getting the feedback. There’s nothing that will ever replace that. And I need it. And I want it. And my fans need it. And they want it. And we’ve got to have it. So we’ve gotta get back to it.”
He concluded, “I don’t wanna play to half a house…I don’t care about playing for five [thousand people.] I’d play for five hundred. I don’t mind that at all. I just know that those five thousand people are not gonna stay in their seats and socially distance. The second we start getting it on and I start saying, ‘Are we having any fun yet?’ and holding the mic up in the air and [going], ‘Right now,’ they’re gonna be at the front of the stage all unsocially distanced, and it’s gonna get criticized or I’m gonna get sued or fined or something. So it’s a bummer.”
Back in May 2020, Hagar told Rolling Stone he was fine with performing concerts before a COVID-19 vaccine saying, “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.”
He would later clarify his comments in a follow-up statement saying, “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. I stand by that. I employ 200 people directly and when we tour even more. 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.”