Sammy Hagar Reveals Van Halen Fans’ ‘Free Show’ Promise

In a YouTube video, Sammy Hagar recently revealed how he nearly split Van Halen up and lost the band thousands of dollars. During the band’s ‘Monsters of Rock’ tour in 1988, Hagar described how things went bad during one of the band’s biggest gigs in Dallas, TX: “So, about two weeks into the tour, we’re in Dallas, Texas, playing two nights at the Cotton Bowl, and I can’t sing a lick.” I got onto the stage, opened my lips, and couldn’t sing a single syllable. I was so terrified that I warned the audience, “You’re going to sing all night.” I’ll just stay up here. And I guarantee we’ll do a free show next time.”

That ‘commitment,’ however, appears to have generated friction in Van Halen: “And [the free show] we did.” But it nearly bankrupted the band; it cost us around $200,000 to return and perform a free gig. It was known as Dallas Alley… We had 80,000 people there and we did it; we came back and we did it, but it nearly broke Van Halen.” The ‘promised’ free VH show occurred three years after Hagar said the remarks on stage in 1988, on December 4, 1991, when the band performed for fans. You can listen to Hagar tell the story again here, as well as view footage from the broadcast.

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