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Hot for Tequila

Group members say Cabo club was responsible for Van Halen's end.

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Did tequila and hot sauce destroy Van Halen? That’s Sammy Hagar (lead vocals, 1985 to 1996) and Michael Anthony’s (bass, 1974 to 2004) theory. Anthony says that the rift between Hagar and guitarist Eddie Van Halen began because Hagar started a club in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and a tequila brand named Cabo Wabo, after the band’s 1988 song. “I think the club rubbed [Eddie] and his brother, [the drummer] Alex, the wrong way,” says Anthony. During a brief reunion in 2004, Anthony hypothesizes, “it was still the same. They did not like Sammy doing the tequila thing.” Also in 2004, Anthony says, “I came out with a hot sauce. It was called Mad Anthony’s Hot Sauce, and at the Chile Pepper magazine contest in Texas, it placed second out of 150 hot sauces, and my mustard played first. But the Van Halens were not okay with my hot sauce.” If a reunion never happens, Hagar says, “I don’t care. I don’t need the money. The tequila is more than I ever expected from rock and roll.”

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