Pop Culture

Sammy Hagar clarifies remarks about playing concerts amid COVID-19 pandemic

Sammy Hagar has clarified some contentious remarks he made recently about feeling “comfortable playing a show before there’s a vaccine” in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so long as reported cases started “declining.”

The former Van Halen singer took to Instagram on Thursday, saying that when he made the “radical statement,” he was simply “optimistic” that he would soon return to the stage because he thought the curve of novel coronavirus cases “was beginning to flatten.”

Hagar, 72, noted that while his controversial interview with Rolling Stone was published earlier this week, it was actually conducted early last month — when he believed “things were starting to look up” for the U.S.

“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 (and) the curve was beginning to flatten,” wrote the veteran rocker.

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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.

A post shared by Sammy Hagar (@sammyhagar) on

The exclusive article heard 14 individual musicians’ opinions about the global health crisis and how they’ve been handling it. While most of the artists expressed fear of COVID-19,  said he “would rather see everyone go back to work” to save the faltering economy.

“This is hard to say without stirring somebody up, but truthfully, I’d rather get sick and even die, if that’s what it takes,” the I Can’t Drive 55 hit-maker admitted during the interview.

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Despite his eagerness to get out on the road last month, Hagar seems to have changed his tune in the recent Instagram post, after saying that he will “appropriately adjust” his touring plans in accordance with the “right improvements and safety measures.”

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“When I was asked if I’d be comfortable enough to get back onstage before a vaccine was out, I was cautiously optimistic,” he said, reflecting on his past comments.

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“Big picture, it’s about getting back to work in a safe and responsible way and getting this economy rolling again,” Hagar said, reiterating his concern for the economy.

“I will do my part. I stand by that,” he added. “I employ 200 people directly and when we tour, even more.”

Sammy Hagar performs before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Tex. on Nov. 8, 2015.


Sammy Hagar performs before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Tex. on Nov. 8, 2015.


AP Photo/Larry Papke

The former Montrose frontman continued:  “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,” he concluded.

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Within the last six months, more than 120,000 U.S. citizens have died as a result of COVID-19. Currently, the nation has just under 2.4 million confirmed cases of the life-threatening virus.

As of this writing Hagar has no scheduled performances in 2020 — except for one.

While the “Red Rocker” was set to embark on an extensive U.S. tour this summer with his band the Circle, all dates were cancelled earlier this year, with the exception of one in Lincoln, Calif., on Sept. 5.


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Huge differences between COVID-19 numbers in Canada and the U.S.


Huge differences between COVID-19 numbers in Canada and the U.S.

Despite California being one of the most affected states in America, tickets for the one-off gig are still being advertised via Hagar’s official website.

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California Governor Gavin Newsom‘s recently announced a statewide policy that requires citizens to wear face masks in public to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Read more:
Sammy Hagar vows to continue playing concerts despite COVID-19

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.


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Local musician invents better way to collaborate in COVID-19 era


Local musician invents better way to collaborate in COVID-19 era

In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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