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History & Biography


Is this the new Jimmy Buffet album? It couldn’t be because.. this is a new album from a post-Van Halen (again) Sammy Hagar. Now he might mention the phrases 'red rocker' and 'heavy metal' on the first track, Sam I Am, but a much better indicator of this album’s tone and mood are the photograph of a bare-footed Sammy sitting on a beach with his guitar. This is not exactly heavy metal, folks.
Sammy And The Wabos is essentially long hand for the relaxed and smooth side of the man. Lacking any real hard rockers, the album takes a sip of soft rock, another of blues, yet another of bluegrass and even takes a shot of barroom boogie. Topics discussed range from women to bars to drinks and to the beach or likely all those together. The lines might be hackneyed at best, “when we party, we partayyyyyyy”, but Hagar is as confident leaning at the bar as he is with his tunes. A couple of covers aside, the best songs here are probably the aforementioned Sam I Am and Mexico. The album is in cruise control for what it does, which is fine if one is into country music, but never mind anything in this review should one be a hard rock fan. - Ali “The Metallian”

Sammy Hagar plus his band The Wabos are accompanied, for some songs, by Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony for this, almost, two-hour party and show performed outdoors. Songs like I Can't Drive 55 and Van Halen era Finish What You Started and Right Here, Right Now are included on a stage overflowing with women, booze and confetti. Much like the heady days of the '80s the aim and effort is to create a party atmosphere and the self proclaimed RedRocker mostly succeeds in achieving that. Bonus material features interviews, 'making of' footage, various video tours and video clips for Sam I Am and Tropic Of Capricorn. - Anna Tergel

"What a fruitcake"
That is Sammy Hagar's opinion of Eddie Van Halen. It made me laugh and be glad when I read it. It made me laugh because it is funny and frank and it made me glad because more recently with the guitarist's death Hagar has said he regrets writing this and other similar attributes about the legendary guitarist. I want to read an honest ("uncensored") and forthright book. Who wants to read a corporate watered down story? Exactly.
Ironically, Sammy Hagar (solo artist and businessman, formerly of Van Halen and Montrose) emphasizes that he is candid and does not mince word and such. The foreword by former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony makes the same assertion. Then how does that square with the regrets?
This reader/reviewer is not a Sammy Hagar fan. Nothing against him really, but his voice and music are unappealing to my ears. Van Halen too has had a couple of moments since its unparalleled and virtuoso debut, but otherwise, it has been the same old case of a band with a good debut going downhill. So why read this book? The genre is interesting, the man's life seems colourful and, yes, there is that Van Halen debut, which featured singer David Lee Roth.
Red - My Uncensored Life In Rock moves in an easy to digest chronological order from Sammy Hagar's childhood in California to his teenage years, early bands, on to Montrose, a solo career, Van Halen and beyond. There is as much in there about Hagar's business concerns, of which there are many, as there is about music and as there is about his personal life. He is not PC and likely writes as he speaks. Good for him. There is much to learn about and much we would only learn by reading a book like this. There are several curiosities in there too. He repeatedly explains that he doesn't do drugs "drugs kill people," including alcohol, but the next page narrates a story about his accepting beer or doing blow. He was even a drug dealer at one point! His pride and joy, after his children, is his tequila business and pubs, which is ironic given how his father and childhood were victims of alcohol. Heck, he even explains the Van Halens were ruined because of their alcohol habits. Psychologists often explain that even people who feel uncomfortable or downright hostile towards their parents end up being like them and repeating identical patterns. Past that, the book taught me how big the man was with and without Van Halen. It was news to me. It speaks frankly about cheating and groupies, his superstitions and a whole lot about his amazing work ethic and impressive toil. That is how one gets rich. The book explains how the ‘Red' element came about (there was an early song and a Seattle article), how he met the Van Halens (his car mechanic gave them the tip and exchanged numbers), and what a duplicitous character David Lee Roth was and offers many cool anecdotes. For example, Hagar bought a used E-Jag only to find the seat pulled forward too much. Well, it previously belonged to Ronnie James Dio. Eddie Van Halen was not familiar with the song Sound Of Silence and could not learn it from Paul Simon either. Most of the time the Van Halen brothers were drunk and disheveled and had even lost the ability to play straight or even play their own tunes. Unfortunately, a few tidbits are left behind. What happened to the $40,000 the singer from Humble Pie stole or which Seattle newspaper gave him the nickname? Nonetheless, the most interesting sections are those of the Van Halens and their lifestyles and habits, which simply were quite a mess.
The book features multiple pages of photographs. It is fore-worded and endorsed by Michael Anthony, but also features supporting blurbs by Ted Nugent (shame), Toby Keith and a fan called… Whoopi Goldberg! - Ali "The Metallian"


Sammy Hagar