“I’m Gonna Faint”: Sammy Hagar Remembers the Bloody Van Halen Tour That Led to a Serious Injury

Although gaining a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Van Halen, Sammy Hagar also nurtured a promising solo career with hit songs like “I Can’t Drive 55”. He even performed alongside the hard rock band Montrose. But nothing seemed to compare to his time with Van Halen. First joining the group in 1985, the singer eventually left the band in 1996 only to return in 2003. With his career spanning over five decades, Hagar recently recalled touring with Van Halen and how broke his tailbone on the opening night of the Van Halen tour. 

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Created in 1988, the Monsters of Rock tour promised to bring together some of the biggest names in rock and roll. Some of the bands featured included Metallica, Scorpions, Dokken, and Kingdom Come. While not knowing the stage arrangement at the time, Hagar made it work but was worried about a set of metal stairs. As the night went on, he explained, “I’m singing the first chorus, I’m stepping backwards; I stumble onto the stairs, and hit my tailbone right on the corner of one of the metal [edges].”

Recalling the damage done by the stair, Hagar added, “It actually cut through my leather pants. And I was numb; I fell down on the stairs and I got back up and I kept singing, but I felt really weird. I reached back … bloody hand. I go, ‘Oh, my God!’ I felt the bump back there as big as an orange. Eddie [Van Halen] was playing a long intro, and I ran over to my side of the stage, and I said to my guy, ‘What’s going on?’ He’s like, ‘Dude, you don’t wanna know!’ … I can’t see it [but] I’m gonna faint.”

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Sammy Hagar Shares The One Positive Of His Injury

Finishing the show, Hagar rushed to the hospital to see the extent of the damage. “I had a fractured tailbone, vertebrae completely knocked out of whack. I had to have stitches across it, actually. It was brutal.”

Considering it the “worst injury” he ever sustained, Hagar continued to perform. And it seemed to only get worse. “It was horrendous until the last show. … In Denver, Colorado, I couldn’t hit the high note in ‘Eagles Fly’ because I got a sinus infection [and] an ear infection from flying. I got run down; I was on antibiotics. Every day, I had to have a doctor show up in my room and give me a steroid shot in the spot so I could stand up straight.”

While not a joyous time for the singer, Hagar pointed to the best part. Apparently, he got the chance to meet Sting thanks to them being at the same doctor. “That’s how I met Sting, he was at my doctor’s office too!”

(Photo by Nicola Gell/FilmMagic)

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