Sammy Hagar, one of rock music’s most successful and notorious singers, tells the story of his life in music for the first time in RED: My Uncensored Life in Rock (It Books; March 15, 2011; $26.99). Written with rock journalist Joel Selvin, with a foreword by Hagar's fellow ex-Van Halen and current Chickenfoot bandmate, Michael Anthony, RED traces Hagar’s raucous solo career to his decade-long journey as lead singer for Van Halen and everything in between.
In RED, Sammy tells the outrageous and unbelievable story of his tear through the rock n’ roll world, detailing the backstage antics and nonstop touring that made his voice instantly recognizable all over the world. Beginning with his musical coming of age, Sammy traces his rough and determined rise to fame, working harder than anyone else and writing songs about the things he loved—fast cars, loud parties, and lots of good times.
But solo success was just the start, a prelude to his raucous and notorious decade as the frontman for Van Halen, one of the biggest-selling rock groups in history. Opening up about joining Van Halen after their already successful run with David Lee Roth at the helm, Hagar gives never-before-heard insights into the chemistry of a brother-run band and how he helped lead them to a string of #1 albums that made them bigger than they’d ever been with Roth. Here Hagar sets the record straight on his time with the band, detailing their years of hits together, the tensions with Eddie Van Halen, and how it all culminated in Sammy’s messy exit from the band in 1996.
Competitive by nature, Sammy emerges determined to create, produce and perform better music than ever before – to “show those motherfuckers that they made the biggest mistake of their lives,” he writes. And show them he does, playing music for the love of it and creating Cabo Wabo, a tequila company that Sammy almost singlehandedly built into one of the biggest in the world.
In the end, RED sets the record straight about Sammy’s life and his career in music, discussing:
*Eddie Van Halen Uncensored: From the day he first met Eddie Van Halen in his Malibu recording studio in 1985– disheveled, wearing wrinkled pants he’d pulled from the suitcase he was living out of, up all night from a bender – to the final time they spoke on Sammy’s 2004 reunion tour with the band, Hagar gives readers an honest and raw look at the troubled guitarist whose demanding needs drove a great band to the edge.
*A Backstage Pass to Van Halen: Sammy dishes on the parties, the tensions within the band, and Van Halen world tours – from the “sex tents” set up beneath the stages during the band’s For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge tour to the drunken antics of the Van Halen brothers.
*Van Halen—The Split: Unceremoniously fired in 1996, Hagar opens up in RED and shares the real story – for the first time – of how it happened and why.
*David Lee Roth—The Truth: Sammy reveals his true feelings about David Lee Roth, the tour they went on together and what really happened off stage (hint—it’s not pretty).
*Building Cabo Wabo: How Sammy took a sleepy Mexican town, turned it into a vacation destination, and started one of the world’s biggest Tequila companies. Notorious for parties and celebrities, Sammy dishes on how he came to found the party that never stops and his celebrity friends who’ve made his birthday down there an annual rite of passage.
*Behind the Scenes on the Van Halen Reunion: The truth about the Van Halen reunion tour which proved a box office success, but left Hagar with a bitter taste for all things VH. During the tour, Eddie could barely stand up on stage, toothless and missing a chunk of his tongue from cancer, and bungled through his own guitar solos.
*His Blue Collar Rise to Fame: One of the hardest working men in the music business, Sammy details his difficult and tumultuous early years—from growing up dirt poor with an alcoholic and abusive father, to how Sammy’s nonstop touring made him into one of the biggest rock arena draws in the country.
From the decadence of one of the world’s biggest rock acts at its peak to the struggles of egos to the making of some of rock’s biggest anthems, Hagar’s account spares no one, least of all himself. In RED, his fans will meet a remarkably human man behind the bleached hair and scraggly beard, up close and personal, a man who has stayed true to his working class values throughout his rocket ship ride to the top of the world of rock music.
Sammy Hagar is the multi-platinum Red Rocker, the outgoing, bombastic front man of hard rock champions Van Halen, the man who won’t drive 55, has recently embarked on his fourth platinum career with his supergroup, Chickenfoot. In addition to his legendary status among rock stars, he is the masterful entrepreneur behind Cabo Wabo tequila—the most successful new tequila brand in the liquor business for years. When he’s not on the road with Chickenfoot, he’s living at his home in Northern California. Online: http://www.redrocker.com/
RED: My Uncensored Life in Rock
By Sammy Hagar with Joel Selvin
Publication Date: March 15, 2011
Hardcover / $26.99 / ISBN: 9780062009289 / Two 16-page color photo inserts / 242 Pages
AUTHOR BOOK SIGNING EVENTS FOR RED:
March 15, 1pm—BOOKENDS (Ridgewood, NJ)
March 15, 7pm—BORDERS Columbus Circle (NY, NY)
March 16, 7pm—BOOK REVUE (Huntington, NY)
March 17, 6pm—HARRAH'S HOTEL AND CASINO, Sammy’s Beach Bar & Grill (St. Louis, MO)
March 18, 6pm—LEFT BANK BOOKS, Downtown Store (St. Louis, MO)
March 20, 5pm—BOOK SOUP (Los Angeles, CA)
March 21, 7pm—BARNES AND NOBLE (Huntington Beach, CA)
March 24, 7pm—BARNES AND NOBLE, Creekside Town Center (Sacramento, CA)
March 25, 7pm—BOOKS INC IN THE MARINA (San Francisco, CA)
March 26, 7pm—COPPERFIELD'S BOOKS (Petaluma, CA)