Sammy Hagar Clarifies ‘I’d Rather Personally Get Sick and Even Die’ Comments About Returning to Music During the Pandemic


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A recent piece from Rolling Stone interviewed several music icons about how they’re holding up during the COVID-19 pandemic and their thoughts about returning to playing live music. Sammy Hagar became the focus of much online conversation due to this quote from the “Red Rocker”:

“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. 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. 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. 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.”

After his quote went all around the internet and inspired strong reactions from all sides, Sammy Hagar took to social media on Thursday to “clarify and put a few things into context now.”

Notably, the Rolling Stone piece was conducted a month and a half ago, Hagar says, adding that his perspective has changed since then due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic:

View this post on Instagram

Hey, Sammy here. Earlier in the week @rollingstone ran a compilation piece from their Quarantine Q&A series. I did that interview a month and a half ago, things change very fast right now, so I wanted to clarify and put a few things into context now. I did that interview May 8th 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. So when I was asked if I’d be comfortable enough to get back onstage before a vaccine was out, I was cautiously optimistic. 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.” 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.

A post shared by Sammy Hagar (@sammyhagar) on


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