Even though things are slowly starting to open back up, the coronavirus is still running rampant and infecting people, and making it so that, “I won’t wear a mask” is as bold and stupid a statement as, “With enough exercise and FitTea, I too can look like Kim Kardashian.” And yet, just a few days ago, we learned that former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar was a-ok with going to the big Cabo Wabo in the sky if it meant he could get back out touring and filling concert seats. After getting dragged for saying that, Sammy has decided to clarify what he meant about dying for those sweet summer stadium jams.
Sammy posted a clarification on his Instagram page yesterday, and he explains that his quote from Rolling Stone was taken out of context, but not in the way that celebrities-doing-damage-control like to play the context card.
Sammy says that Rolling Stone spoke to him on May 8th, which was less than two months after the country went into lockdown mode. He says that he and his family took stay-at-home rules very seriously, and that early in May, things were starting to look up. He’s not wrong, really. Around May 8th, the United States was seeing a small dip in cases. For example, on May 11th, there was a little less than 17,800 cases. As of yesterday, that number has climbed to nearly 39,000. Sammy says that at the time of his interview, he did feel like the curve was being flattened and that it seemed like it would be okay to go back and play shows, so long as the numbers weren’t climbing again. A quick internet search shows that the curve didn’t exactly flatten, which brings Sammy to yesterday’s clarification.
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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.
Sammy adds that he’s got a minimum of 200 employees at any given time, and he doesn’t want anyone to get sick. But, he also wants to see the economy up and running again. Ah, the double-edged COVID-19 sword. So he’ll be watching and waiting. The only problem is, Sammy’s quote in Rolling Stone was more about how we couldn’t play the watching-and-waiting game for too long, because the poor economy was at risk! via Rolling Stone:
“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…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.”
So to Sammy’s 200 employees, you’re safe…for now. But listen, everyone’s clock gets punched eventually, so why not take 5 minutes to call up your favorite groupie and tell them you love them? Just because. And also because Sammy needs a new fleet of jet skis for his grandchildren to whip around their Mexican vacation home, and he’s not going to make the down payment from tequila sales alone.