Sammy Hagar Clarifies Comments About Playing Shows Amid Pandemic (UPDATE)

"I’m sorry to say it, but we all gotta die, man," the former Van Halen frontman said last month.

Rocker Sammy Hagar has clarified his comments about sacrificing people to the coronavirus if it means saving the economy.

The former Van Halen frontman told Rolling Stone last month that he’d be happy to play shows before there is a vaccine. The interview took place in May but was republished Tuesday in condensed form for a feature on how touring artists are coping with being off the road during the pandemic.

“I’m going to make a radical statement here,” the musician said. “I’m always good for that. Yeah, not too soon. I want to make sure it’s not escalating. When it’s declining and seems to be going away. I mean, it’s the flu, I guess, unless there is something I don’t know. So there’s a season where it’s going to go, ‘Eh.’ I mean, someone is going to get it always. It’s like the cold or pneumonia. Someone is always getting something.”

“Truthfully I’d rather personally get sick and even personally 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,” he added. “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 and freedom. 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,” Hagar said. “We used to go to war for our country where hundreds of thousands of people died to keep our freedom and keep this country economically where everyone has a car and a home. Those days are changing, but that’s the way I feel about this whole thing. I’m not real big on dragging it out until we’re all fucked and there’s no way out.”

On Thursday, Hagar sought to clarify the comments. He noted on Instagram that the original interview took place on May 8, “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.”

“When I was asked if I’d be comfortable enough to get back onstage before a vaccine was out, I was cautiously optimistic,” the 72-year-old wrote. “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.”

The “big picture” is “about getting back to work in a safe and responsible way and getting this economy rolling again,” he said, vowing to do his part.

“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,” Hagar concluded. “That said, as things change, for the better or worse, we will appropriately adjust our plans.”

Check out Hagar’s post here:

In the same compilation piece about life without concerts, John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival described the pandemic as “so real and so scary and life-threatening.”

“Maybe some other guy thinks it’s a good idea, but I’m not dying for Donald Trump,” Fogerty said of states reopening. “I’m not dying for the economy. How can you have any kind of a crowd?”

Multiple states have seen record spikes in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases this week, following last month’s easing of restrictions aimed at slowing the virus’s spread.

CORRECTION: This article initially reported comments made by Hagar to Rolling Stone as having been made this week, when in fact he made them in early May. Rolling Stone published the article on which HuffPost initially reported on June 23. The comments of all 14 artists quoted in it are undated, and the article does not indicate that these remarks were compiled from previous articles.

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