Although I was a moderate fan of Sammy Hagar over the years, reading his autobiography transformed me into a full-fledged red head. I write this while drinking his latest brand of rum and humming along to his excellent Chickenfoot recordings. I have drunk the red Kool-Aid folks, and it is sweet.
This is the rocker autobiography to set the bar for all the others being rushed to print these days, many by Hagar's publisher, It Books. He was smart enough to know that as good a singer and songwriter as he is, an outside writer was required to keep things organized and readable (a tip it seems Tony Iommi could have taken) and the quality work of Joel Selvin shines over Hagar's words. Hagar speaks to the reader in the personal way that almost feels as if we are tolerated voyers and we feel privileged, if not awkward, by the often embarrassing truth of his life. Visits from aliens, visions from the great unknown in red, sex-tents under the Van Halen stage--if it happened, he talks about it.
Van Halen fans are well served by the quantity of behind-the-scenes accounts Hagar offers regarding the difficult times making the music and navigating around the emotional and drunken tantrums of the "brothers Van Halen." Hagar's admission that all the tracks to their live album were re-recorded after the fact is a harsh reminder that even a classic "rock" band is not above using technology to make a pretty lady out of what was a sassy street walker. This is just one of the dozens of music industry tales Hagar shares, but they usually come from a place of wise acceptance rather than bitterness. This is a man who has rocked his way through Montrose, solo-album monster hits, world-conquering years with Van Halen, super-group exploits in Chickenfoot, and multi-million dollar deals in businesses involving booze, clothes, mountain bikes, restaurants, and the travel industry--and his book does it all justice. Get it. Read it. Drink the (red) rum!
Check it out from your local library or purchase a copy through the link below.