BIG Music News: Van Halen, John Mellencamp

VAN HALEN:  Sammy Hagar is open to a Van Halen tour (with one condition)

Sammy Hagar was asked again, this time by the San Francisco Chronicle, about whether there's a possibility of a Van Halen reunion that includes him anytime soon -- and his answer was more positive than negative.

Hagar replied, "That whole Van Halen thing lurking in the woods out there, I feel there’s a sniper out there — any minute the bullet is going to come flying in that says 'VH' on it, 'You’re it!' We’ll see what happens. I don’t understand them. I haven’t understood them in a long time. I would only do it with Sam and Dave anyway. I’d rather Dave (David Lee Roth) go out and sing his own songs. I’ll sing my songs. That would be the ultimate show, I think. If we could do it that way, I would suck it up. It would be fun."

Hagar and James Hetfield’s fourth annual Acoustic-4-A-Cure benefit for the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital is this Monday at the Fillmore in San Francisco -- only Hetfield can't be there. The bill features Hagar, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Don Felder, Mick Fleetwood, Vic Johnson, Sarah McLachlan, Steve Vai and Bob Weir. Dave Grohl is subbing for Hetfield, who's on tour with Metallica.

JOHN MELLENCAMP:  New album had a strong debut

It cracked the Billboard 200 at number-11 after moving 35,000 copies its first week out. It was his biggest chart week for any album since 2008's Life, Death, Love and Freedom, which moved 56,000 units.

The album had an even better debut on the Billboard Top Americana Albums chart, landing at number-one. On Billboard's Rock Album chart it's at number-three, while on the Top Album Sales chart it's number-five.

Sad Clowns and Hillbillies is Mellencamp's 23rd studio album and it features prominently Carlene Carter -- the daughter of June Carter Cash and stepdaughter of Johnny Cash.

John Mellencamp on the goal he had for him and Carlene Carter when recording Sad Clowns & Hillbillies:  "The original idea was 'let's make an old time religious records, but with some new songs. You know, you write a few, I'll write a few and we'll see how it goes.' But when the writing started of course I didn't write any religious songs."

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