Former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar has said he would ‘rather get sick and even die’ than continue with coronavirus lockdown.
The Red Rocker, as he’s nicknamed, was one of a number of musicians asked by Rolling Stone magazine how they were coping with the COVID restrictions.
While Chrissie Hynde said she would ‘just wait’, and Bruce Springsteen said he was frustrated but understood the situation, Hagar, 72, argued for restarting now.
He said the economic impact of a shutdown was worse than the health risks of the virus.
Sammy Hagar, 72, said he was willing to ‘sacrifice’ himself to get real life back to normal
‘I’ll be comfortable playing a show before there’s a vaccine, if it’s declining and seems to be going away,’ he said.
‘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.
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‘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.’
Hagar, who was in Van Halen from 1985-96, now plays solo gigs as well as shows with his bands The Circle and Chickenfoot.
Hagar’s last show was on February 7 in San Antonio, Texas.
His March 14 show in Santiago, Chile and the rest of the South American tour was cancelled.
All his shows through to September have now been cancelled, his website says.
Yet Hagar says he is ready to ‘sacrifice’ himself to get back to normality.
‘If some of us have to sacrifice on that, OK,’ he said.
Hagar, pictured on stage in January, said he was ready to die to save the economy for his kids
‘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.’
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Most festivals and concerts have been cancelled for the rest of this year.
Colorado is to permit open air gigs this month, but with a maximum capacity of 100 people regardless of the venue size.
New Jersey is holding a drive-in gig on July 11, played by Southside Johnny and others.
‘In general, you don’t want to put anybody at risk,’ he said.
‘Nobody knows when everything is going to open up.
‘I don’t worry about me, but I do worry about the band. It’s the gig, and they don’t have another gig.’
Hynde told the magazine she couldn’t imagine social distancing at a concert, and was prepared to wait until shows could be safely held.
She also said she welcomed the end of mega concerts.
‘I’m sure we will have gigs,’ she said.
‘I’d be delighted if there was never another show in a stadium. You go to see a rock band because you want to see the band. You don’t want to look at a screen. It’s become sports.’
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Springsteen said he was ready, post lockdown, to return to live music ‘with a vengeance’.
‘Time seeming to move quickly but slowly,’ he said.
‘Empty and unused time I don’t care for, especially at 70. I’m counting my days.
‘I feel like Muhammad Ali, who was at his prime — well, I’m in my late prime — and the years he could have spent boxing were taken away from him.’
David Crosby said the shutdown was ‘a goddamn disaster’ financially, and he was at risk of losing his home.
But Stevie Nicks said she was trying to be philosophical about it all.
‘All we have right now, if you’re home in quarantine, is time, unless you’re taking care of kids,’ she said.
‘So, really, you could do anything that you’ve been wanting to do your whole life.
‘That’s how I’m trying to look at it.’