The pandemic ground the United States economy to a halt. As of June 18, over 45 million people have filed for unemployment since the virus hit U.S. soil and began to spread rapidly in mid March.
And Van Halen guitarist Sammy Hagar is livid about it.
He’s so upset, in fact, that during a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, he claimed he’d “personally get sick and even die, if that’s what it takes” to begin playing shows again.
Like so many industries, the music industry has been shut down by concerns about virus spread. Concerts and tours have not been scheduled for months and typical in-studio recording with multiple staff on hand is unfeasible.
Hagar’s comments appeared in a Rolling Stone story that asked 14 big name musicians how their lives are affected by a concert-free existence.
While many discussed their fears and personal philosophical realizations stemming from life at home, Hagar immediately expressed his desire to get back on the road—at all costs.
“I’ll be comfortable playing a show before there’s a vaccine, if it’s declining and seems to be going away.”
“I’m going to make a radical statement here.”
“This is hard to say without stirring somebody up, but truthfully, I’d rather personally get sick and even die, if that’s what it takes.”
He then elaborated on his calculations.
“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. That’s just the way that I feel about it.”
“I’m not going to go around spreading the disease. But there may be a time where we have to sacrifice.”
He closed his contribution by conflating early death with all death.
“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.”
Twitter did not appreciate how Hagar weighed concerts against human lives.
It’s sad when people think money is more important than people.
— Steven H (@StevenH20179090) June 25, 2020
He wants to kill enough people to be able to host concerts again?!
What a good cause… 🙄
— WNB99 (@XLT1234) June 25, 2020
Didya really expect Sammy Hagar to have a nuanced, thoughtful take on the coronavirus? 🤔
— Paul Wu-Tang Clan (@PaulWuTangClan) June 25, 2020
Some comments applied Hagar’s own logic.
I wonder if @sammyhagar would be willing to let his children and grandchildren die for the economy? After all, they’ve all gotta die sometime…
— Liam Faulkner (@quinny265) June 25, 2020
That’s cool, man, ’cause I’m willing to sacrifice Sammy Hagar if it keeps my loved ones safe and healthy.
— Chip Cruze (@cruze24) June 25, 2020
And plenty highlighted the fact that suddenly they were all discussing Sammy Hagar.
Like your career?
— Wallace Best (@nomadprof) June 25, 2020
I thought Sammy Hagar was already dead.
— Saint Bart the Liberal (@BartStanley4) June 25, 2020
In all fairness he died years ago, on the inside
— Yabbatron (@bongindustryz) June 25, 2020
Saying something despicable and outrageous is the only way that washed up rocker can get his name in the news. It’s best forgotten, just like his career
— Bella Sofia (@BellaSo21180322) June 25, 2020
So if Twitter public opinion has any sway at all, Mr. Hagar will have to wait a little longer to get back on stage.