Rolling Stone recently reached out to over a dozen famous names in the music industry to get their take on returning to the stage amid ongoing fears about COVID-19 and got a wide range of responses, including some saying they aren’t willing to die “for Trump” and others speaking candidly about the “disastrous” impact on the industry from the lockdowns. The most “radical” case for playing shows again, vaccine or no vaccine, was former Van Halen lead singer Sammy Hagar.
In a quote that has created some buzz online, Hagar, 72, said he’s all in for reopening concerts without a vaccine because if we don’t save the economy, we are “going to kill more people in the long run.”
“I’ll be comfortable playing a show before there’s a vaccine, if it’s declining and seems to be going away,” Hagar told Rolling Stone.
“I’m going to make a radical statement here,” he continued. “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.”
“We have to save the world and this country from this economic thing that’s going to kill more people in the long run,” he explained. “I would rather see everyone go back to work.”
“If some of us have to sacrifice on that, OK,” he added. “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. 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,” he concluded.
Creedence Clearwater Revival founder John Fogerty, 75, had a far different response, telling Rolling Stone that “coronavirus is so real and so scary and life-threatening” and that he’s “not dying for Donald Trump” or the economy.
“I don’t think any of us will really be ready until after we have a vaccine and people feel safe again,” he said. “I’m an older person, and a lot of people my age have died. Maybe some other guy thinks it’s a good idea, but I’m not dying for Donald Trump. I’m not dying for the economy.”
Crosby, Stills & Nash’s David Crosby, 78, also spoke with the magazine and got raw about how personally damaging the lockdowns have been.
“I’m not making any money from anywhere and [my house] is in jeopardy,” he said. “I’m not whining about it, though — it’s what we have to do, or we can’t beat the coronavirus. But I don’t think most people know what it’s done to the music business. It’s everyone that I know. They’re completely out of work, and a lot of them don’t make a lot of money.”
Those believing that all rockers are coasting through the crisis, he suggested, don’t understand the reality of most of their lives. “It’s a godd*mn disaster,” he said. For him personally, as an older musician, taking a year-long break is “a b*tch,” he said.
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