Sammy Hagar & Friends
Featuring: Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham & Vic Johnson
July 30, 2014
Casino Ballroom – Hampton Beach, NH
Photos by: Jeff Palmucci
Depending on what demographic you fall into, he’s either the singer for the band Montrose, the guy with “one foot on the brake, and one on the gas” who couldn’t “Drive 55”, or the one who replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen. He’s also the co-owner of the Cabo Wabo Cantina chain and formerly the purveyor of Cabo Wabo Tequila. He’s also a philanthropist, but more about that in a moment. The Red Rocker himself, Sammy Hagar, did a round with the Sack o’ Questions before he played a “surprise” unannounced gig at the Cabo Wabo Cantina on the Las Vegas Strip at the end of July.
Okay Sammy, reach in and grab your question.
<while reaching into the Sack o’ Questions> I want to see ’em all – I think it’s rigged!
What is the most memorable point in your career? Good, bad, or both.
Oh boy, that’s tough! The first thing that comes to mind is Van Halen just because everyone was so against it, everyone said “Oh, this is not gonna work…” and we knew it would, and the whole thing was such a huge success, that’s very memorable. But if I could cheat, I gotta say that when I went into the studio in 1972 with Montrose, for my first record ever. I had never written any songs in my life but I wrote “Bad Motor Scooter”, “One Thing on My Mind”, “Make It Last” and “I Don’t Want It” – four of the songs on that record. That was so memorable. When I went into the studio with Ted Templeman, big-time producer, and we got a big record advance, and all of a sudden it was like I was a star overnight. I’ll never forget that. I was scared to death! But, it didn’t have the success of the Van Halen, so you pick whichever you want….
I think both are pretty iconic!
Quite honestly, damn near every night of my life has been pretty memorable!
Okay, now you can plug whatever you’ve got going on….
Oh, I have nothing to plug. I just wanna say that one of the biggest missions in life is to take care of kids and families that can’t take care of themselves, so that’s the only thing that I’m plugging. With my extra money, which there’s plenty of, by the way, and not bragging, it’s a good thing, we started The Hagar Family Foundation. I support children, terminally ill children, and their families who have run out of money, hocked their houses and everything, and their kids are still terminally ill. Whaddya gonna do? So, I believe that people like that – that’s my big mission.
That’s awesome! Is there a website or anything?
No, probably not. I’m not into it like that. Y’know, it’s a big deal for me, I work with Emeril Lagasse, and some of his foundations, he helps kids too. I just want to help kids have a better life, and just ensure that they even get a chance, that’s all I’m really trying to plug, because everyone should do that. I’m only plugging it because if you do it in your backyard, everyone can do that. There’s people in your hometown that need help. Don’t help some kids in Africa – not that I don’t want to! – help your neighbors first, and his neighbor, and when you get to Africa, help them too! Everyone should help in their own way. That’s my new philosophy. That’s what I’m plugging!
Side note to Sammy – I’ll come “run things”, just have your people call my people and they can take a meeting!
A super huge THANK YOU goes out to Leslie and Beth at Wicked for making this happen!
Are you or do you know a musician coming through Las Vegas that wants to give the shortest interview ever with probably the shortest interviewer ever? Forward me contact info or put them in touch with me. Do you have a query for the Sack O’ Questions? Email me at ThreeMinWith@yahoo.com. (Sorry, I can not guarantee any question to be asked to anyone specific, because it’s literally the luck of the draw, but if your question gets drawn, you’ll get props – make sure you note how you want to be thanked!)