Sammy Hagar

Sammy Hagar Artistfacts

  • Oct. 13, 1947
  • Hagar had his biggest success as David Lee Roth's replacement in Van Halen from 1985-1996, but he began his musical career as a member of the '70s heavy metal band Montrose (named after its guitarist, Ronnie Montrose). Hagar left the group in 1975 because of tensions created by his wild style of guitar playing.
  • His father was a boxer, and for a short time, so was Sammy.
  • Hagar's backing band was comprised mainly of musicians from Montrose: bassist Bill Church, keyboardist Alan Fitzgerald, and drummer Dennis Carmasi. Guitarist David Lewark was also a member of the Sammy Hagar Band.
  • After leaving Van Halen, Hagar moved to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where he bought a club and produced his own brand of tequila.
  • Just before joining Van Halen, he teamed up with Neal Schon (Santana, Journey, Bad English), Kenny Aaronson and Michael Shrieve to tour under the name HSAS (Hagar Schon Aaronson Shrieve). They released an album in 1984 called Through the Fire that went to #42 in the US.
  • At the 1994 Bay Area Music Awards, Hagar not only won an award for outstanding male vocalist, but also for public service.
  • His 1987 album doesn't include a name or even title on the cover, because Hagar didn't want to detract from what he thought were wonderful pictures.
  • It is widely believed that he was born in Monterey, California, but he was actually born in Salinas, California in Monterey County. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jeanette - Salinas, CA
  • Hagar went to High School at Reno High in Reno, Nevada. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    David - Reno, NV
  • He considers himself a gourmet chef, and claims to have cooked for celebrity chefs like Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batali.
  • In the late 1990s, Hagar began selling Cabo Wabo tequila, a handmade tequila he'd commissioned from a family-owned distillery in the Mexican state of Jalisco. By 2006 it was the second-best selling premium tequila in the United States. The following year Hagar sold an 80% interest in his Cabo Wabo Tequila to Gruppo Campari for $80 million. In doing so, he made more money in a single day than in his entire music career. Three years later, Hagar sold the remaining 20% interest for another $11 million.
  • Sammy Hagar's first-ever guitar was a Sears & Roebuck guitar in a case with an amplifier. It cost $39.95 back on 1965 and the young rocker's mom paid for it.
  • Sammy Hagar is also known as The Red Rocker, referring to his 1977 track "Red." The singer told Radio.com's Ryan Castle his nickname dates back to a gig back in January 1978 where admission was $1. Hagar encountered a fan the day after he performed at the show. "I walk out of my hotel room the next morning and some guy named Big John, who's still a fan, walks up to me with a newspaper and says 'hey, can [you] sign the paper?'" he recalled. "And I go, 'hey I'm getting recognized! We just played for a dollar and I'm a star?'"

    When Hagar signed it "Sammy Hagar," Big John asked him, "can you sign it The Red Rocker?" as the newspaper had called him "The Red Rocker." It was the first time ever that Hagar had heard himself being referred to in that way.

Comments: 4

  • Dp from North CarolinaHave been a big fan since I was young. He's one of the most interesting personalities in Rock and Roll history.
    Just saw him this past year (2019) with the Circle. Was shocked at how great he still performs being over 70.
  • Jp from Kelowna, CanadaYeah tom he really is but when i found that out i didn't even beleive it
  • Eddie from Acton, MeWhile on tour opening for Kiss in the early 80's, he was kicked off for swearing on stage. (Kiss was taking into consideration their younger audience)
  • Tom from Trowbridge, EnglandIs he really 56? He could easily pass for 10 years younger!
see more comments

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