Read Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock by Sammy Hagar Online

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Sammy Hagar—legendary lead singer of Van Halen, founder of the Cabo Wabo Tequila brand, and one of rock music’s most notoriously successful performers—tells his unforgettable story in this one-of-a-kind autobiography of a life at the top of the charts. From his decade-long journey alongside Eddie Van Halen to his raucous solo career with Chickenfoot and everything in betweSammy Hagar—legendary lead singer of Van Halen, founder of the Cabo Wabo Tequila brand, and one of rock music’s most notoriously successful performers—tells his unforgettable story in this one-of-a-kind autobiography of a life at the top of the charts. From his decade-long journey alongside Eddie Van Halen to his raucous solo career with Chickenfoot and everything in between—the drugs, groupies, and excesses of fame, the outrageous stadium tours, and the thrill of musical innovation—Hagar reveals all in this treasure trove of rock-and-roll war stories. Red is a life-changing look at one of music’s biggest talents—an essential read for music fans and anyone dreaming of becoming rock’s next number one star....

Title : Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062009296
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 249 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock Reviews

  • Perry
    2019-05-11 03:43

    " Music is the outburst of the soul. "Frederick DeliusThis is the most candid autobiography of a rock star I've read--back in 2011. Jaw-dropping at times. I loved it. Sammy Hagar brings to mind the quote above from Delius. Listening to some rock songs, particularly when Hagar is lead vocal, makes my soul seek to soar.

  • Matt
    2019-05-20 03:46

    Most rock star autobiographies are pretty much the same. Guy grows up in a dysfunctional house in bad neighborhood (The father in this story was the town drunk and the city is Fontana, CA, known to some as Felony Flats), guys falls in love, gets married, has a kid all the while struggling to keep a career as a musician going. Guy has limited success for awhile. There are ups. There are downs. Finally guy hits it big. Joins an existing successful rock band and makes it even bigger. Now either the author or someone close to the author has substance abuse problems which threaten the success of the band that has made it. Okay, so in this case Sammy Hagar does have a remarkable story to tell: He was the guy who was crazy enough, in a controversial move, to replace David Lee Roth as the lead singer in Van Halen back in the mid-80's, and at the same time turn his back on a highly successful solo career. As a sophomore in high school, I remember the release of "5150" with nervous anticipation. I wanted to project to work, but the newly released single, "Why Can't This Be Love" wasn't my cup of tea. Needless to say, even if the album wasn't perfect, the record was pretty good. What makes Hagar's book so intriguing is his story telling style. He's very honest and matter-of-factly. There are several amusing anecdotes throughout the book but sadly the book does deal with the drinking problems of band mate Eddie Van Halen and the fall out that took place ten years into Hagar's tenure as Van Halen singer. Die hard fans of Van Halen will probably be familiar with a lot of the drama written about here, but it's presented tastefully, not in a "I'm good, they're bad" kind of style. As a fan of Van Halen since the days of DLR, I would really like to read a autobiography written by Michael Anthony, Van's Halen's bassist who was quiet during Roth split 1, Roth split 2, and Hagar split 1 as well as the coming and going of Gary Cherone. There would be a book for VH fans. Well, that and of course one from Edward himself.

  • Mark
    2019-05-06 02:45

    Reading this book is akin to sitting in a room with a highly energetic, slightly ADD, person who is telling you their life story. The structure is a rambling mess at times and makes you double-check what part of his history you're reading. His co-author is a well-respected writer, so I'm surprised that this went to print the way it is. It almost reads like a direct transcription of the interview tapes and left as-is.I certainly appreciate the evidence of his strong work ethic. Sammy Hagar is basically a true entrepreneur who happens to be a musician. I think he would have found success in any career field he went into. I did enjoy understanding the environment in which a musician finds himself, both personally and business-wise, to be successful in that field. It definitely makes me glad I pursued a more "normal" life than one in popular music. The part I found troubling, and somewhat disgusting, was his inconsistent position on drugs. He says numerous times in the book that he doesn't really do drugs, but then repeatedly brings up smoking weed and doing cocaine. He details other musicians' behavior with drugs, but minimizes his own. His drug use isn't even contained to a period of his life. He still mentions cocaine use within the last few years. Granted, he doesn't really moralize the use of drugs by anyone. He's just telling his story, but then he shouldn't use statements like "from that point on I didn't do drugs" when it's obvious he never quit them.

  • Donna
    2019-05-01 19:35

    I thought I would love this because this is my kind of music. But unfortunately, I just have one word for this autobiography......UGHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I can't even write a review on this because I would have to break every rule of mine regarding autobiographies/memoirs. I love reading them, but this was painful.

  • Kinksrock
    2019-05-09 22:18

    I'm not a Sammy Hagar fan. As competent as he is as a singer, I always found his voice annoying. Nor am I much of a fan of Van Halen with Sammy Hagar. There is no question that Hagar is a better singer than David Lee Roth, but Roth's voice was the voice of Van Halen. (Not to get too much away from the subject, but this reminds me of Ratt, another band fronted by a singer with limited abilities, but, nonetheless, without Stephen Pearcy, it's just not Ratt.)So why did I read this book? Well, I find the story of Van Halen interesting, and, for me, this is the next natural progression for me to read the story of Van Halen. I read Van Halen Rising: How a Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal, about their beginnings as a band, and Runnin' with the Devil: A Backstage Pass to the Wild Times, Loud Rock, and the Down and Dirty Truth Behind the Making of Van Halen, about the years with David Lee Roth. Sammy Hagar's book was the next place to go.And when Hagar talked about Van Halen, I was interested. But this book is not just about Van Halen. It's Hagar's stories, and you get the biographical information about his poverty-stricken youth, his struggles as a young singer, his time in Montrose, and his solo years. Later, you get to hear about his success with his Cabo Wabo club and tequila brand. If you are a Hagar fan, you will be interested. I lost interest when he wasn't talking about Van Halen. Aside from that, whether you are interested in the whole story or not, this book is flawed. It's one of the more poorly written autobiographies I've ever read (and I've read autobiographies by Steven Tyler and Ozzy Osbourne!). Hagar had a co-author. Where was he? The writing is clunky and disjointed, sometimes hard to follow. Hagar goes off on his love of numerology, and it's incomprehensible. Also, I am not a prude, but Hagar curses too much, to a ridiculous extent. Maybe it was to make the reader feel like you were having a personal conversation with the real Sammy Hagar and getting to know him, but it was overdone.A plus about his book is that Hagar is, in my view, very honest. He lays it all out, whether it makes him look good or not (and he often doesn't). Some of what he says is laugh-out-loud funny, like how he says that David Lee Roth thinks he's so great but is not a great singer and looks "gay".As for the Van Halen stuff, it's fascinating and quite consistent with what I've read before. The Van Halen brothers were extreme alcholics, to the point that it was damaging Edward Van Halen's ability to play (this I didn't know before) and his health (including missing teeth). The descriptions of their cruelty to Michael Anthony are consistent with what I read in Runnin' with the Devil: A Backstage Pass to the Wild Times, Loud Rock, and the Down and Dirty Truth Behind the Making of Van Halen.So this review is not a great endorsement of this book. There are pluses and minuses. If you love Hagar, it's worth your time. If you just want to learn more about Van Halen, I'd say this might be a good third book to read as it was for me, but check out the other two first.

  • Chip'sBookBinge
    2019-05-04 23:42

    I'm a huge fan of Sammy Hagar. Now, if you had ask me during the Van Halen days when Roth and the boys were at their Apex if I would ever accept anyone, let alone Sammy as the new lead singer I would have told you to "fuck off". Come to think of it, that's exactly what I did say.But ever since 5150 dropped, I have been a fan of his. The guy just brings so much raw energy to whatever he does and on top of that he gives some of the best interviews out there and is a likable guy. After reading the excerpt of Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine a few months ago, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. Reading those few pages about his time with the Van Halen brothers had me convinced this was going to be the greatest Rock Bio of all time.That was not the case here. The book is a very good and easy read. But it's far from perfect. It starts off rather slow. It's not until we get into his Montrose days does the book kick it up a notch. But once it gets into the Van Halen years or more to the point of when Sammy dishes on all things Eddie and Alex does this book go to a completely different level. You will find yourself turning pages as fast as you can. This is the fastest I have ever read any book. Less than a day. Sheesh!Me and my buddy Rich (should I have phrased it like that? It sounds like I'm talking about a drummer. Haha.) have been talking about Van Halen and all the fucked up things in and out of this band for years. So this book is like reading what we have always been talking about for the last 10 years. This is good stuff right here and will have you looking at Eddie in a completely different light.Unfortunately these are the only high points of the book. There's plenty here to keep you busy. But I was disappointed that there wasn't more to the story about his tour with David Lee Roth. I knew there was some bad blood between the two out on the road and I was hopeful that we would get all the dirt once and for all. Sadly, that doesn't happen here.After such a huge, thrilling ride for pretty much the entire book, it goes flat at the end. Not a whole lot was said about Chickenfoot at all to close it out which is kind of disappointing. Having said that, I can absolutely recommend this book if your wanting to hear some juicy details about the VH boys.You can find more of my Book, DVD, TV and Movie reviews at my Forum (Penny Can) at... http://pennycan.createaforum.com/inde... Feel free to stop by and contribute your 2 cents.

  • Scott
    2019-05-21 22:31

    This was a pretty good read. I've been a Sammy fan since Standing Hampton came out. I saw him on a midwest tour when I was in 8th Grade and he put on an amazing show. The only person I've seen put on as energetic a show was Lenny Kravitz when he opened for the Cult at Hampton Coliseum.This book managed to capture his energy. It's not always a coherent account, but it flows well. I read it in one sitting and it was like spending a night sitting there listening to him tell the story of his life.If it was anybody but Sammy, it might come across as a little bitchy and gossipy. His reputation as a straight shooter lends a credibility to the narrative that appealed to me. He manages to avoid sounding bitter about situations where he was treated poorly. His attitude is amazing. He wanted to be a rock star and he made it happen. I like the guy even more after reading Red.The two high points of the book for me personally were when he mentioned jamming with Lemmy from Motorhead and Lemmy wanted to play "Rock Candy" with him. Pretty freaking cool! The other was when he described meeting his second wife. This was cool to me because I was at that Van Halen show at Hampton Coliseum when she came to see him. Alice in Chains opened and they were pretty good, but no one can match Sammy's energy on stage.There are two reasons I couldn't give it 5 stars. It's very conversational in tone, like it was a transcription of a conversation. It rambles a bit, which both adds to the feeling that he's telling the story, and detracts from the narrative flow. The other reason is that it just wasn't as good as Alice Cooper: Golf Monster which I did give 5 stars.If you like Sammy or are curious about the Van Halen/Hagar split you should read this book.

  • That70sheidi
    2019-05-02 03:21

    Everyone knew that the Van Halen brothers were repugnant, alcoholic psychos, but the stories in the book are awesome and drive home how crazy they really are. Musical talent doesn't remotely make up for the utter contempt I have always had for them (and Roth... what a freak).I loved the first part of the book because I'd been a fan of Hagar long before VH ever entered my radar. It was great hearing about his life and where he got his work ethic (mom) and it was astounding hearing how diverse his financial portfolio is, from a sprinkler system business to mountain bikes. Good on him. I was disappointed in how things ended with Betsy, because it seems like he really never tried to understand mental illness or what he could/couldn't do to help her and just threw in the towel. What he did when she and the kiddo were coming for a surprise Christmas is fucking low, too. Hearing about the birth of the cantina and the ridiculous interactions with David Lee Roth were interesting. Why anyone would come within 20 feet of Roth, either professionally or personally, is a mystery to me. As for the Van Halen boys? I guess you reap what you sow - cancerous tongue and divorces. Enjoy your "fame."

  • Book Him Danno
    2019-05-15 03:37

    I was in High School when 1984 came out and when the Roth/Hagar switch took place. While I loved early Van Halen, and had all their albums (well, cassettes in my day), I really liked the Hagar version more. The album 5150 was phenomenal, way beyond anything that had come before. So I really wanted to read this book as soon as I heard about it; to get the inside scoop on what took place within the band over the years, and to see if Sammy really was that nice of a guy.Typically in a memoir I judge whether someone is a nice person based on how much they portray themselves as being totally awesome. If they do not admit some faults, come across as very self depreciating, avoid attacking others out of hand, and just give a balanced retelling of their experiences. If they do any of the above I generally write them off as an asshat.Reading about Sammy’s story you come away realizing he is far from perfect, but sincerely a good guy who really cares about the people in his life, and about his passions like his music and tequila. You rejoice in his successes, such as his Cabo Wabo Cantina, and the incredible achievement of his Cabo Wabo tequila (which, spoiler, he sold 80 million dollars).With financial security came some freedoms, such as playing music he wanted to play with people he wants to play with, and several insights. The one I thought about the most was his observation that as a busty person he always had a hard time just relaxing. He always found himself crawling the walls looking for anything to do. Without any pressures he learned how to find new levels of relaxation; deeper levels.That makes me think of any endeavor in life. Whatever you achieve or learn initially is nowhere near what we can accomplish if we just stick with it. Push for new levels. That can be scholarly work, self reflection, or regular job, or just plain relaxation. You must work at anything if you really want to master it. Much like Malcolm Gladwell points out, 10,000 hours is the currency of the greatest. Typically I think we spend a few hundred for some knock-off and convince ourselves it is just as good.Of course the elephant in the room is Van Halen. Whether you chose to believe Sammy’s quite reasonable account of what took place, I think we can all agree about two things. First Eddie is a great guitarist. Second Eddie has an ongoing terrible substance abuse problem that has hampered not only his career, but his whole life. To paraphrase Kathi Griffin (speaking about Whitney Houston), I look at Eddie and still hope the genius within can come back to us.In the end you learn that Sammy is a great guy who is doing all he can to live a happy life, be a good friend, and just make some great music.

  • Richard
    2019-05-05 20:39

    Listened to this on audio book read by Scott Shepherd, who does a great California dude accent. Hagar doesn't achieve the heights of debauchery witnessed in The Dirt (the high water mark for dumb rocker biographies), but he exhibits a unique craziness which had me either cringing or laughing out loud. Hagar is pretty compelling as an unreliable narrator. The obvious consequences of his shitty behavior are never his fault (when he leaves his long suffering wife and 5 year old at Christmas she is somehow responsible since she is crazy). The book really picks up steam once Hagar joins Van Halen as he is totally willing to dish the petty dirt. He really hates David Lee Roth (looks gay, can't sing, wears platform boots). The reader also gets info on Eddie Van Halen (was mean to Kenny Chesney, doesn't know how to play Sound of Silence, is a drunk), Alex Van Halen (can't play sober, serial divorcee), Miles Davis (dresses like a woman, doesn't know who Sammy Hagar is), Bob Weir (doesn't know how to drive when totally trashed) and various other jealous dummies. Insight is offered into life on the road (sex tents beneath the stage) and song writing practice (he totally got the idea for I Can't Drive 55 after telling a cop "I can't drive 55," Eddie wanted to make some dumb song grunge by giving it a "real bad attitude," Hagar wanted it to be a love song to Kurt Cobain, but now about them like doing it or whatever). I'm making Hagar out to be a jerk in this review, which he probably is, but he's good company for the length of this book and I like him more after reading it. I'm not sure why I put so many parenthesis in this review (here's one last one with an inspiring Hagar quote "I believe in god and even if I didn't I'd still believe you should.").

  • Craig Machen
    2019-05-25 20:26

    Have just started, and already I fear this will send me on another rock star memoir bender. Please pray for me!UPDATEI have seen Sammy Hagar up close and I probably liked him better from a little further back.He definitely has admirable qualities. It's hard not to like a guy from a poor, abusive home who makes something of himself against all odds. He is, in my opinion, a total over-achiever. Not really a freakish talent or an especially magnetic performer, and yet, 40 years later he's still here - and thriving, apparently.The stuff about the Van Halen brothers is why I wanted to read this book, and it's fascinating, but also sort of disappointing. Still love the band, kind of wish I didn't know so much about them. It's not romantic. The Van Halens basically seem like single-minded, alcoholic work-aholics. They care about each other, but if Sammy is to be believed, they are not particularly deep people, nor are they especially likable.Sammy probably spends too much time in the end explaining the opening of bars and restaurants, talking of his love for the second wife, and detailing his tours with his back-up band, that he "pays like a big-time band" even when he's touring with Chickenfoot or doing a Van Halen reunion. And it's basically answering a question that no one is asking. (Which means the final 40 or 50 pages is a slog.)"Red" is worth a look if you're curious about Van Halen, Montrose, or the guy who wrote "I Can't Drive 55." In the end, though, it's like learning all there is to know about a cheeseburger. Tasty, but not terrifically complex.

  • Charles
    2019-05-26 22:26

    I was never a huge Sammy Hagar fan, not even when he was in Van Halen. But I always thought he was a decent fellow and played good, solid music. This was interesting reading. There was a lot of business stuff in here as well as music, but it did give us a pretty good look at his Van Halen years, and after. If you like rock autobiographies then you'll probably like this one.

  • G. Branden
    2019-05-14 19:23

    Red is primarily a narrative memoir about Hagar's rags-to-riches life story, padded out with vague tales of debauchery involving sex and drugs, and moderately detailed accounts of conflicts with agents, managers, record company staff, bandmates, and--on one occasion--a hostile Kiss audience in New York City.Sammy's kind of a mystic, which detracts from the book. There are improbable tales of fortune tellers and semi-precognitive dreams, and a loopy preoccupation with extraterrestrials who lurk clandestinely among us (a credulity to which he fortunately gives vent only a few times). Further, he writes of his embarrassingly childlike fascination with the number nine, and he recounts his discovery, wide-eyed, of certain properties it manifests (in the decimal or base-10 number system). The sad thing about this isn't that he noticed or talks about it--indeed, it shows that he can be observant and thoughtful--but that in his sixty-three years of life, apparently neither he nor anyone around him has thought to capitalize on his insight by exposing him to number theory and other areas of mathematics. He talks of being an excellent student in school, up to the point when "pussy and rock-and-roll" became permanent distractions. (And yet, he did actually graduate high school.)He also harps on how he "doesn't drink or do drugs" when within a page of making this claim he'll relate some story about snorting cocaine. Now, to be fair, he seems to have experimented with just about everything without getting hooked, whereas the Van Halen brothers are (according to public reports) serious alcoholics with big health problems as a consequence. But, still--this incongruity implies that he's either mindlessly inconsistent or has a "philosophy" or "strategy" of recreational drug use that he doesn't bother to explain in the book.Relatedly, he tells a story of one hardscrabble job he had when still a teenager, and when the opportunity came up, he quit that job and "never worked another day in his life." Except for a few pages later, still not having broken out as a professional musician, he had--guess what?--another hardscrabble job.Hagar's work ethic is admirable--even if we hear little to nothing about how that work ethic manifests in woodshedding, or his training of his ears and voice--but his reliability as a narrator doesn't measure up.He appears to have had one hell of a good business manager with a nose for good investments, which more than his music career explains why he's wealthy today. Hagar only glances off this insight when a more helpful approach would be to emphasize to young musicians that you ain't gonna get rich doing this job. Sammy's music career has been an avocation, and he's largely lived off of interest, dividends, and capital gains. (One has to infer this from vague descriptions of his businesses and some mentions of gross revenues and staffing levels; the persona that Hagar presents could not possibly read a balance sheet or P&L statement, but I'm betting that Sammy Hagar the man can do so, or he would have been milked dry by his business associates as so many other musicians have been.)There is almost nothing in this book about the craft of songwriting, and nothing at all about music theory (granted, some great musicians never learn that) or even vocal exercises or the development of his guitar technique. (Sammy is no slouch as a guitarist; on Live without a Net, you can see him performing one of Eddie Van Halen's guitar solos--one of his less-demanding ones, which still ain't a cake walk--while Eddie plays keyboards. These days you could try to claim he mimed it, but by multiple accounts the Van Halen brothers played so drunk back in '85 that keeping time with a recording would be a shaky proposition.)Hagar talks about his cars, too, but again, seldom in details beyond a make, model, and (once or twice, a) year. Does he maintain any of his own vehicles? What does he like about the cars he loves? We don't know. There's nothing about handling characteristics, and not even anything about performance apart from an anecdote about outrunning California Highway Patrol Mustangs which couldn't manage more than 140mph. Hagar presumes that his audience is unsophisticated with respect to every topic he raises.The book flows well and is a stupidly fast read. (You won't learn any new words, that's for sure.) Thus you will make short work of it even if you're as underwhelmed as I was. The authorial voice sounds like it was drawn from tape-recorded interviews with the subject, which were then cut and pasted together into a mostly coherent narrative by Hagar's co-author (whose background is in journalism).I picked up this title mostly to check my uninformed opinions about the Van Halen brothers and Ray Danniels. There's a sad story there about the death of their previous manager, Ed Leffler, which somewhat parallels the Beatles' tale of disintegration after Brian Epstein died. Sammy's story mostly supported my prejudices, and while one can certainly argue that his perspective is inescapably self-serving, the many bad decisions the Van Halens have made without Sammy's interference or involvement are consistent with his account.In a brief afterword, Hagar waxes rhapsodic about the initial release of his book having gone to #1 on a bestseller list. He speaks in terms of gratitude, but I'm not sure he should have been surprised, if in fact he was. As his memoir reveals, he's spent his entire life looking out for number one.

  • Brian
    2019-05-03 02:44

    I am a sucker for rock memoirs--not only of rock and roll stars who I am a fan of (like Hagar) but nearly anyone in the rock world. I dunno...call it a guilty pleasure. Or maybe it's something to do with my love of rock music and I am always looking to know and learn more. Especially since I am no musician and have no musical ability whatsoever--I figure I need to appreciate the music in SOME way!Sammy Hagar's memoir interested me. I remember being 12 years old and hearing that "SAMMY HAGAR JOINED VAN HALEN!" and feeling very excited. At 10 years old I was already a die hard fan of Van Halen and felt gypped when I Diamond Dave left/fired from the band before I was old enough to see them live. (I later saw David Lee Roth live in 1986 on the "Eat 'Em and Smile" tour, so all was good!) And I knew several Hagar solo songs by that point like "Heavy Metal," "Only One Way to Rock," and, of course, "I Can't Drive 55" were big staple songs on the local rock radio stations. So to say I was anxious for this joining of the minds and the new inception of this band, would be an understatement. Hagar had always been older than the rest of the band. He had been in the business far longer and had that experience behind him. Already you can see this when he joins the band--bringing his tighter work-ethic and impatience for "jerking around." The results were immediately apparent. Everyone heard the change and saw it too. Although the Van Halen brothers, Ed and Al, would continue their battles with alcoholism and be in and out of rehab, there was still a crap-ton of talent there where they could be simply coasting along and still be better than 80% of the rock bands around at the time. Most of us who paid attention to the rock music world saw most of these battles and these stories. There really wasn't anything new in this memoir. I appreciate Hagar's honesty and no-BS approach. But he simply is not as interesting of a writer as Keith Richards or Steven Tyler. His writing is tight, to the point, and no messing around--like his songwriting. But that being said, it also isn't always that consisting in keeping my interest. Much like his music. Some stories are brilliant and interesting. Others simply were boring and I found myself looking ahead to see how far away was the end of the chapter. But I give the Red Rocker credit: he writes about what interests him--whether it is music, tequila, his home, the finer things in life like wine and good food, or his family. He wrote about what he loves and THAT in itself says a lot about him different than some other rock memoirs. There was no whining and no major regrets. And, thank God, no long winded apologies!

  • Reese Copeland
    2019-05-09 19:29

    I loved this book. I've been a Sammy Hagar fan for 20 years at least. It was great to see how he got started, where he came from and his musical journey. I always felt he'd been screwed by Van Halen, and given the number of albums they've put out since he left versus how many he's put out since he left, I'd say Van Halen were the losers in his leaving. It was interesting to see the whole story with the Van Halen's regarding the break-up. I didn't buy their version of the story when it first surfaced, and I have a better understanding of it now. Loved the book, and it's nice to see that when someone works their butt off, they are successful!

  • Chris
    2019-04-30 02:46

    I give this one a 5 because I couldn't put it down. I didn't know anything about Sammy Hagar except he replaced David Lee Roth, in Van Halen. He had a bad childhood, with an alcoholic and abusive parent, started petty crimes, and did drugs, and somehow found a mentor, who got him interested in the guitar, and he gave up the drugs, and turned to music, and never looked back, so to speak. If you love Van Halen, this is not the book for you, because Sammy doesn't mince words about the two brothers. I really enjoyed all the behind-the-scenes stories about the world of touring, etc.

  • John
    2019-05-15 22:41

    RED is an amusing but deeply unsatisfying look at the life and career of Sammy Hagar, a.k.a. the Red Rocker.I've always considered Hagar's voice to be one of the best in all of rock music, but I can't say I was ever a big fan of the man himself. All those stories of backstage squabbling really turned me off, and I was never into the whole Cabo Wabo, Jimmy Buffett-style beach bum image he eventually wore like a trademark.Unfortunately, RED is far more about Sammy Hagar the man than Sammy Hagar the artist. The book has all the heart and soul of a Wikipedia entry, and Hagar focuses mainly on WHAT happened, rather than HOW it happened. When explaining how a particular song came together, he generally writes things like, "Eddie showed me some really cool licks, I jotted down some lyrics, the band headed off to the studio, and we finished the song in three days." No mention of what inspired the song, no elucidation of the creative process, no mention of how Sammy now feels about the song two decades later. Just "we wrote the song and there you have it."I almost laughed at the end of the book when Sammy claimed that being in Chicken Foot was the best thing to ever happen to him since it allowed him to forget about the business side of music and simply focus on being an artist. The irony was staggering, since Sammy had just spent the majority of RED talking about ticket and record sales, concert attendance, publishing rights, music contracts, his various side businesses, etc. What he did NOT do was spend a lot of time elaborating on his art.Also, for a self-styled artist who claims to enjoy reading deeply intellectual books like Einstein's RELATIVITY: THE SPECIAL AND GENERAL THEORY, the way RED is written is as lazy as it gets. You get the sense that Sammy dictated the whole thing while lounging half-drunk on a beach, ogling bikini babes. I listened to it as an audiobook, so having it professionally narrated helped elevate it a bit; I can only imagine how off-putting it would be as actual text. His co-author, Joe Selvin, doesn't seem to have contributed much apart from organizing the material and fixing the grammar. He doesn't even bother resolving the obvious self-contradictions that pop up from time to time. Sammy says he doesn't drink or do drugs--later we see him drinking and doing drugs. Sammy says he was never a club performer--later he talks about wanting to return to being a club performer. Sammy says he "never worked again a day in his life"--later we see him working a day-labor job. Sammy says his friend Kenny Chesney only ever met Eddie Van Halen once--yet, a page later, we see them encountering each other a second time.But the biggest problem with the book is that it's passive-aggressive as hell. On the surface, Hagar is very complementary toward (almost) everyone, but his kind words are very vague and general (i.e. Eddie is one of the sweetest guys ever. Eddie is like family to me.), whereas his criticisms are often indirect but always very pointed (i.e. Eddie is a control freak. Eddie is a barely-functioning alcoholic. Eddie is crazy. Eddie always looks and dresses like crap. Eddie stinks. Eddie is low-class. Eddie has anger issues. Eddie is a showboat. Eddie is rude. Eddie is terrible with money. Eddie's house is a dump. And so on.) He portrays the Van Halen brothers as such walking disasters that I can't imagine how they even managed to tie their own shoes, let alone play some of the most difficult rock numbers of all time. Bassist Michael Anthony mostly gets a pass (He did write the book's Foreword, after all), but Sammy can't resist taking a shot at him by blaming his bass-playing style for causing him to sing off-key.The chapters on the Van Halen years are the book's highlight, though they are mostly interesting in a gossip-rag sort of way. We get a small, behind-the-scenes peek at the music business throughout, but Hagar's lasting bitterness and complete lack of maturation over the years make him an unlikable protagonist--at least to me. In RED, Hagar comes across as obnoxious, amoral, and self-absorbed--not the kind of guy I enjoy being around. Worst of all, he doesn't seem to grow from his mistakes, or even recognize that he made any, apart from trying to start a clothing line. He talks about stealing bags full of LPs, doing coke, leading cops on high-speed chases, and banging female groupies six at a time as though it were all perfectly acceptable behavior. The fact he was able to achieve so much success in so many different lines of business makes it clear that Sammy is a very savvy dude, but since he doesn't really go into the specific reasons for his successes (other than old-fashioned hard work), it sometimes seems like they were handed up on a silver platter. Certainly, he never shows any insight into what made Van Halen special. The only time he acknowledges Eddie's guitar playing skill is to refer to him once as a "virtuoso" near the end of the book, though he also informs us that Eddie ruined his talent through alcoholism (whereas, oddly enough, Alex ruined his by becoming sober). You would think from reading this book that performing with Van Halen was an act of charity.But the Van Halen stuff, ungenerous as it is, is far more entertaining than all the space Sammy devotes to describing his car collection, his private plane, his tequila business, and other non-music-related hobbies and business ventures. That stuff just doesn't interest me much. Neither does reading about various producers, managers, mixers, studio musicians, record label execs, and other behind-the-scenes people who I'd never heard of and have already forgotten. Maybe it's just me, but I can't help thinking Sammy focused on all the wrong things here. His life and career seem tailor-made for a KILLER rock memoir, potentially one of the greatest rock'n'roll books of all time. Unfortunately, what Sammy actually delivered was a big pile of "meh." Good enough for a look, but a pale shadow of what could've been.

  • Laura
    2019-05-16 22:35

    It's always a gamble reading a biography because at the end I very well might not like the person at all. In Hagar's case, I think I could be at the dinner table with him and be just fine. He's a straight shooter and loves life and has come an incredible distance from his humble beginnings. As for his book, it's certainly interesting and entertaining but the writing style is choppy. There were plenty of back-to-back 5-word sentences and with lots of repetition. I was surprised to see that he had a co-writer.

  • Frode
    2019-05-10 23:34

    I've been a true fan of Van Halen since I bought the "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" album in the spring of 1991 as a seventeen year old (Van Halen was never that big in Norway, so I never really listened to them before that). That year I used all the money I had to buy all the albums, first starting with cassettes - and then cd's when I got my first cd-player. One of the best memories of my life was when I drove 10 hours back and forth to Oslo with my two friends to see the band perform their only ever concert in Norway on Easter Saturday 1993. It was the greatest thing ever. Because I fell in love with Van Halen when Sammy Hagar was the vocalist, I never understood the David Lee Roth vs Sammy Hagar "competition". I loved them both because of the terrific songs. And always thought that Sammy was a really good guy, down to earth and always smiling and giving a lot of energy in everything he did. And I used to love watching videos of Van Halens liveshows where he and Eddie Van Halen seemed liked the best of buddies (as they were, within a compressed set of time), having fun on stage. Really, the good spirit of the band was the main reason for me going from admiration to loving this band. It inspired me and when I started fronting my own band, the smiling and the energy of Van Halen was always in the back of my head. THIS is what playing live and beeing in a band should be like. I'm sad to say that after reading "Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock", the illusion has broken. Now, I almost wish I didn't read it. I knew things wasn't great in Van Halen, but Sammy's story of all that went down make it seem like it all was a fake. That the friendships and good times were just small moments. I'm sure this isn't the case, but Sammy's focus is almost all on the bad things. And everything is everbody else's fault. That may be, but I really do not like his tone in this book. Not at all.And not just with stories from Van Halen, but with everything. He comes off as shallow, double standarded and more bitter than I think he is and intended to be in the book. He starts off by telling us that he is a straight shooter, doesn't lie, how down to earth he is and how he doesn't like drugs. The rest of the book is about one situation after the other he doesn't tell the truth, how he avoids confrontations, doing drugs with one person after the other and how he seems to feel like he's better than everybody else. And always with an excuse when things go wrong in his life, almost always it is someone else's fault. Everything here may not be written word for word like this, but the sense of it is this. There is also A LOT of bragging about the money is been making, the success of this and that, how big he is and was - with and without Van Halen (Van Halen was not the biggest band in the world, by any means in the beginning of the nineties, no matter how often you tell yourself that, Sammy) and how this and this famous person would praise him. And how humble he felt when that happened. At the end of the book I felt kind of sick of the guy. I'm sure all the shit with Eddie Van Halen and he being totally messed up happened, but it kind of takes over everything. What about the good times? The stories of friendship and great things that happened on tour? Sammy almost always focuses on the negative things with other people, unless it's about his family. That said, he is brutally honest about his upbringing and his family being pretty much f****d up. Michael Anthony, of the non-family persons, is the one that leaves the best impression here (I'm not surprised by this, he always seemed like a great person), but it has to be said that he is barely mentioned in the book, compared to the Van Halen-brothers. And I think that says a lot about "Red" as a book. For me, Sammy Hagar now seems like a very unsecure person, with a lot of resentment underneath that big smile. He ends the book telling us how he is not focused on being rich and how he just wants to make music. But all I get from this book is how important it is for him to make money and how it is disappointing to him to not sell millions of records anymore. He has worked hard and deserves everything he's got, but I also feel disappointed in him. He has a very strong wish to come off like the good guy, but with all the negativity he becomes a smaller person than I think he is. But I guess that's his personality right there, then. So it's hard to say if I'm just disappointed in the book or in the discovering that his image has more depth to it. A depth that isn't that pretty. As a biography, the book is very easy to read and is pretty much an good page turner when his career takes off. At the same time it's a bit unfocused, I think. Sometimes you go "What? When did that happen?". If you are a fan of either Van Halen or Sammy himself (or both, of course), I could recommend this book. But be beware: Your preconceived opinion of Sammy (or Eddie and Al) will most certainly fall.

  • James Jr.
    2019-04-26 02:46

    I just bought and devoured Sammy’s autobiography, Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock. It only took three evenings for me to finish that book. I grew up with the listening to man, so I was keenly interested in everything from his stint with Montrose, Van Halen, Chickenfoot and all of the solo work that he has done. I have seen him perform in the Fresno, California area four times: the For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge tour with Van Halen, the Balance tour with Van Halen, the Marching to Mars solo tour and last year at the Big Fresno Fair. I didn’t see him there, but I have had the pleasure of visiting the Cabo Wabo Cantina down in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I have nearly every album/CD of his, and where I don’t, I have all of the best cuts from iTunes.The book was an extremely fascinating read and went very quickly. I suppose many books are really simply recordings that are later transcribed and this was no exception. The writer that he worked with seemed to simply write what Sammy said and cleaned up very little, if anything. Having heard many interviews and attended many of his shows, I am extremely familiar with Sammy’s conversational style, so it did not take long to put myself in the room with the man as he recounted his life’s story.The book begins with a foreword from Michael Anthony, the long-time, but now former base player for Van Halen who became fast friends with Sammy. In it, he details how he met the brothers and then eventually Sammy, and how it all fell apart. “He is the most upbeat, positive guy in the world. He loves life. He only happens to be a singer and play music, too. And another thing-he’s no bullshitter. If Sammy says it happened, it did.” I knew before beginning the book that it was something that was only going to tick off Eddie Van Halen further, but after reading what Anthony had to say, my appetite for the book was whetted.It is hard for me to believe that Sammy does anything but tell the honest and bitter truth, whether it be the amount of partying, his life with his first wife that was so difficult for everyone, the dirty details on all of his philandering, to the relationships with all of the rock royalty that he came across over his long and continuing career. When I read those words, it seemed to me to be one of the most genuine things that I have ever encountered; he sugar-coated nothing. When he was an absolute idiot, he told us so. He details his bad decisions and seemed to give all credit where it was due.What I really loved about the book was the behind the scene moments, such as when he bumps into famous rockers like Van Morrison, Sly Stone, Miles Davis, Stephen Stills and a couple of the members of The Grateful Dead are fairly hilarious. Other things that I ate up were the moments of inspiration when a creative spark brought a song out of nowhere. “One night, on the drive home,” Sammy said. “I was listening to this tape where Eddie had written the music and noodled the verses on guitar. He was trying to show me the phrasing of the verses, but he couldn’t, because he couldn’t play the rhythm of the thing, and I started singing it in the car. We didn’t have a chorus, and I just busted out with it, “Best of Both Worlds”. It hit me hard, right when I was pulling in the garage. Bang. The chorus hit.” I would have loved to have seen more of that, but overall, Sammy does a great job of going through all of the highlights of his career.I loved the book; however, I cannot recommend it for everyone. It is definitely not for anyone under age because it was definitely uncensored. In fact, I wish it had been a bit censored. I could have done without all of the sordid rock star/groupie details! I couldn’t have also done without the rock star language, but I suppose it is what it is. If you are anything like me, and love Sammy’s music, whether it be in a band or as a solo artist, grab a copy of this book, pour yourself a Waborita and sit back and relax. You won’t be getting up for a while.Unless it’s to pour yourself another drink.

  • Michael
    2019-05-22 03:46

    I have no idea what I was expecting when I started reading this. Maybe a lot of dirt, a lot of drugs and alcohol maybe. What I didn't expect was Sammy being by far one of the sanest guys in rock and roll. This is a guy that made more money outside of music than he did inside. If there was money to be made he found a way to do it. You get an alcoholic father, a batshit crazy wife, and a batshit crazy guitarist named Eddie, but the problem is that Sammy comes off as a nice guy which is really unexpected. The problem is that the book truly captures Sammy's manic energy and the book often comes off incoherent. This isn't a bad biography. It's just boring. If you're a fan of Hagar this is going to be a good solid read. It really doesn't pick up until the Van Halen years or even the Geffen years. There's not a lot of detail in his dealings with Ronnie Montrose. I was expecting him to say something bad about the guy but he doesn't. These books were designed to start shit, yet Sammy truly comes off as a genuinely nice guy that never really seems affected by anything that happens to him. I wasn't a big Hagar fan and I wasn't a fan of Van Halen until 5150. As an artist his records were always a bit uneven and lacked something. It's funny that I would read Red and feel the same damn way about his book. I read this in a day just to get done with the damn thing. What you do get from the book is his dealings with David Lee Roth and of course Eddie Van Halen. That is reason enough to pick this up from your local library. Casual fans aren't going to care about Sammy's attitude toward the music business and how he became a millionaire. What's interesting is that he was actually worth more than Van Halen when he joined the band and when he did the reunion tour he did it for the fans not the cash and it quickly became one of the worst experiences of his life. He was able to take a mediocre band and inject some life into them. Van Halen was ten times better with Hagar but sadly egos clashed and the band found themselves becoming a nostalgia act while Sammy headed into the tequila business and laughed all the way to the bank. The best way to get revenge is to make money and lots of it. Sammy wins and he's able to hang out on the beach and enjoy life while most rock stars are struggling to survive.

  • Bryan
    2019-05-21 20:26

    As a music fan, my tastes typically run to heavier fare than Van Halen. I've spent time with their early albums, but was done with them by the time "Jump" came out, and then never bothered with the Hagar years. Likewise, I know a few of Sammy's solo songs, but beyond an obscure compilation called "Cruisin' and Boozin'" I've never bought any of his stuff. (Hmmm... I did have HSAS on vinyl though.)But I really liked this book, and because of it I'm now buying the Chickenfoot cd releases (and really enjoying them), and I will definitely check out Montrose. Why would I pick this to read? I'm not a Van Halen fanboy nor an EVH hater. I'm not really sure, but Sammy always seemed to be an anomaly, and that's what makes him interesting to me. Some essential contradictions characterize Sammy. Musically, he's too heavy for pop and at the same time metalheads consider him too pop to be heavy. He sings some "bad boy" songs (can't drive 55) but doesn't come across as actually bad or even posing as bad - he's nothing other than a nice down-to-earth guy who likes to have fun and enjoys real bona fide rock'n'roll. Too many hard rockers worry about their image being "tough" and would never smile for a picture... but not Sammy. He's dabbled in the lifestyle, but he's never been messed up on drugs. He has always appeared happy, clear-headed and exuberant in each segment of his career over the decades. He's been successful, but is an astute businessman, unlike many others who complain of being ripped off by managers. Sammy has made his money in rock'n'roll but he's also made money in many other ventures - a serious individual undoubtedly. I was a bit surprised that Sammy puts so much stock into mysticism, but did enjoy his take on how numbers are interesting (especially #9). So I wasn't reading this for the Eddie train wreck, but just to get to know more about this fellow who is admittedly hard to categorize in the hard rock world. And I gained a lot of respect for Sammy - a decent memoir and a compelling read that comes across as reasonable and honest. In the words to Sammy's song:"Red! I want red, there's no substitute for red. Red! Paint it red, green ain't mean compared to red."Here's hoping Chickenfoot remains viable and true to its roots as a genuine rock'n'roll band for many years to come. Go Sammy go!

  • Shawna
    2019-05-15 23:37

    I really enjoyed this book and was so excited to read it. I grew up listening to a lot of Van Halen/Sammy Hagar tapes because of my father. He loved them and cranked their music up all the time. The Van Halen story always fascinated me as I always loved Sammy Hagar with them. His voice is incredible!The book revealed a lot about Sammy's past and how he went from growing up poor to being a very successful rocker and also, businessman with his Cabo Wabo tequila and restaurant/bar. There were only two things that kept me from giving the book 5 stars. At times I had to go back and read sentences over because they weren't written in typical writer style. This book was told from the voice of Sammy so it was written how he spoke. And we all know that spoken voice differs from writing voice. But I still enjoyed it. The second reason was that this version of Sammy's tale (well the Van Halen portion) was more generalized. I say that because around 2000 (I think...), Sammy was compiling his history with VH for a book he was to write (which I think eventually evolved into this book). Many of the chapters were leaked online and the information was VERY DETAILED about what went down business and relationship wise with his wife and the Van Halen brothers. He sued the writer and I'm not sure what turned out but it was too late. The chapters were leaked and I read them. I know he didn't want them out there, but they leaked..case closed.So after reading all that very detailed juice, I was just a tad let down to read this book and receive the generalized version of everything. I understand why many of the details were cut. The leak in the early 2000's was very raw and unedited, but made for an awesome read! SO I think if I didn't read that, I would have given this book 4.5 stars for the material. Besides VH, I loved learning more about Sammy's personality and he really comes off as truly a great guy, despite what others may say about him. Next time we go back to Vegas, we're for sure hitting up his Cabo Wabo restaurant/bar. Then, hopefully sometime in the near future, we'll actually visit the original Cabo Wabo in Cabo and be lucky enough to catch him performing there.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-17 22:25

    I like to read biographies and other similar types of books in the summer, so this year I started with this one that had been on my shelf for a while. I'm not a Sammy fan, but this book got a lot of press when it was released, so I decided to check it out.Sammy has had a busy and interesting life, but the book was pretty horribly written. There is enough of a story here to keep me from giving it even fewer stars, but otherwise I would. Thank goodness it was pretty short, otherwise I may have given up halfway through.The book is almost in chronological order over the whole course of the story, but other than that, it jumped around all over the place, introducing character after character and situation after situation with no cohesion. It was like Sammy just sat down and started rambling about his life, and whatever thought came into his head, that's what got written down into the book, with no editing or cleanup afterward. I know it must be difficult to condense more than 60 years down to a coherent story, but that's what the co-writer is supposed to be for. Honestly, if this book had just Sammy's name on it, I would have a better opinion of it. After all, he's a rock star, not a writer. If I was the co-writer I would be embarrassed to put my name on this piece of garbage.I don't know for sure, but it also sounds like a majority of the stories in the book are exaggerated. How many times did he get the absolute first ever of something that was made, or the best in the world according to everyone, etc. He's definitely got a lot of drive and has been very successful in lots of different ways, so I am sure some of it is true, but it got annoying after a while. He sounded like Donald Trump, where everything he is involved with is the most successful thing ever, wonderful, beautiful, magical, and so on.The bottom line is that I would only recommend this to a diehard Sammy fan, everyone else will be disappointed.

  • Jake Caldwell
    2019-05-17 22:21

    I read Sammy Hagar's auto-biography, "Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock". I never thought I would enjoy an auto-biography, until I found one written by a rock star. Sammy's life was like a movie, involving a guy who grew up rough and made it big-time after going through so many obstacles. I believe Mr. Hagar wrote this book to let people know that he worked for what he has. He was definitely not born into money or fame. He did that himself. There is also a constant theme in this book. Throughout his life, Sammy encountered many situations where most people would just give up on their dream and try for something new. He never gave up on his dream of being a rocker. This story has a lot of dialogue between Sammy and the people that were around him. It is interesting because you know what the person is thinking and then what they actually say. The Red Rocker wrote this book in 1st person obviously. He also wrote about the mistakes he made, not just the good things. He made a book that was truthful and that made it interesting. I like this style of writing. I think he's proud of his life through and through. I really enjoyed reading this book and whether you are a fan or not, I would recommend it!

  • Jason
    2019-05-09 00:40

    I was surprised how good this was versus other rock autobiographies. I like Van Halen (more with Roth, but some Hagar songs were good, too) and saw the "I Can't Drive 55" about a thousand times, but I am by no means a big fan. Hagar dives deeper into the business deals he cut throughout his career, as well as the politics of the music business than most other books do. And I appreciated that, as someone who has worked in the music business in parts of my career. Even when he talked about his tequila company he spent a few paragraphs about the business, which I appreciated. Most rock autobiographies gloss over nearly everything, so they cover a lot of ground, but leave you wanting more.I've been on a bit of a rock autobiography kick over the past year. Keith Richards, Gregg Allman, Heart, Janis Ian, Patti Smith. It's a guilty pleasure thing. I listen to audiobooks while I run, so complicated books or books with intellectual prose are not as good to run to versus plot-driven books. There were no big words in here. It's not a piece of art like Patti Smith's excellent book. But Red was fun to listen to (I did the audiobook -- recommended!) and got me thinking about the 80s. ("Summer nights with my radio!")

  • Mysterium
    2019-05-04 19:29

    Of course there are 3 sides to every story, so keep that in mind when you read Sammy's book about his career in the rock business as well as the distillery end of things. I personally think that he was the boost that Van Halen needed at the time. He is a solid performer and a damn great singer. He paints a clear portrait of how drugs, booze, and greed can ruin lives and relationships.Looking at how the cards were played now, one can easily see that much of what Sammy shares is pretty accurate regarding Van Halen. The new stuff (2012) is not very easy on the ears, and Diamond Dave sure didn't age well. It sucks that a guitar god like Eddie is now in the "almost washed up" category. Addiction always wins boys and girls, no mater how good you are.Great writing style and easy to follow book. It held my attention and made me come back for more which isn't always easy. I really love how Sammy didn't forget his steel town roots back in Fontana, California. Sad how that place fell to the wayside due to drugs too. Sammy gives some great "behind the music" moments and insight into the wild world of rock and roll.This is one of the better rock bios that I have had the pleasure to read. It's hard to not like Sammy Hagar. (unless you are David Lee Roth of course)

  • Kerry
    2019-05-23 19:19

    Sammy should not quit his day job. First part of this book was atrocious. He would start to relate a story and then dive off on a tangent - constantly!! And the side comment was never relevant. I ended up skipping everything up to the point where he joined Van Halen which is why I was reading it in the first place. Not a lot surprised me about his revelations with the band since a lot of it had been in the media before. The behind the scenes look at the complete dysfunction was interesting. What a mess Eddie & Alex were. I'm confident a lot of what he wrote is true since it was pretty obvious in public that they were both on a downward spiral. This did not make me a bigger fan O's Sammy in any way. I hardly ever mentions his oldest son in the book which I find amazing since he so quick to talk about the others. I don't think he will be getting any father of the year awards from his two boys but perhaps he will fair better with his girls. Over the whole "that was rock & roll and the way it was" descriptions of drug use and marital affairs. Would be really revealing if some of these guys would acknowledge that it wasn't right.

  • Chris Mcgowan
    2019-04-29 03:46

    A quick read. I am a fan of VanHalen music with Roth and Hagar so I knew it would be enjoyable. There is the typical sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but Sammy goes into the business side of things more so than other rock biographies. One of his early managers set up a publishing company for him so he did not get "screwed over by the music business' like so many other musicians claim to have been (Skid Row comes to mind). You can see how driven and opportunisic he was. Having funds allowed him to pursue things that he wanted - nice cars, investments in properties, a restaurant, tequila, etc - good for him. I came out if this with more respect for Sammy than I did going into the book. He deserves all of the good fortune that has come way.We now have his full side of the story and it sounds with the VH breakup, reunion, and breakup again. The VH brothers don't come out of this looking too good and Sammy's version is likely more accurate than the dribbles of info we've gotten fromthe VH brothers.

  • Lisa Brandt
    2019-05-05 20:40

    I am an unapologetic, mainstream, classic rock fan. It's the music I was raised on when it was just simply "the hits". So I love rock autobiographies. Sammy Hagar cowrote this one with a journalist and its style is very conversational and rather simplistic. Hagar doesn't hold back on his judgments of former bandmates in Van Halen and lays open his own mistakes, of which there were many. I guess I just didn't live the experience of Sammy Hagar as a huge rock icon before he joined Van Halen so his account of that era seems overstated in my view, but the money and the record sales speak for themselves. Somehow his status missed my radar, I suppose.I wish he had spent a little less time bragging about his money and more time explaining the charitable causes he and his wife support. That part of his life amounted to one sentence. The behind the scenes stuff when he was with Van Halen is fascinating. What a mess those guys were! I enjoyed Red but I didn't love it. I respect Sammy but I never purchased a Hagar solo record in my life. And maybe those facts aren't mutually exclusive.