The arrival of alternative rock into the mainstream in the early '90s caused many an established rocker to worry about their future on the charts. But Sammy Hagar took a unique approach. In a new interview, he revealed that his fear caused him to court the new guard's fans by having Alice in Chains open for Van Halen.

As he told Jenny McCarthy (embedded below), it was in 1991, when Van Halen went out on the road to promote For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and Alice in Chains had released their debut, Facelift, the year before and the single "Man in the Box" was gaining traction on the radio.

"When grunge came along," he said, "that was freaky, man! Because I'm looking at these guys, and we were sort of the glam rock, we're all dressed up and dressing like girls and stuff. ... They were like down and dirty and funky, they made me nervous. I thought, 'These guys are gonna disrespect us.' You know they're gonna look at us like, 'Your shit's done, buddy.'"

"That's how insecure I was," he continued. "I said, 'Let's get 'em on the damn show, that way their fans will know that we're cool!' ... It came out of fear a little bit. Not bad fear, but nervousness."

Hagar added that the tour went well, and that he's been good friends with Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell ever since, noting that he regularly attends Hagar's annual birthday party in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

On May 10, Hagar will release a new album, Space Between, with his band the Circle. Last week, he unveiled the second single, "Can't Hang," which was inspired by John Bonham's drumming on Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks."

 

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