Van Halen

Love ya, Sammy!!

At 60, Hagar Still Ready To Rock
Although he was laid up recovering on the day after his 60th anniversary bash on Oct. 13 at his Cabo Wabo Cantina in Mexico, Sammy Hagar’s advanced age has not slowed the Red Rocker in the slightest. In fact, he says, it’s making him work that much harder.
“There’s so much I want to do,” Hagar tells, “and there’s nothing I feel holding me back — nothing with my age or my physical health or my strength or my enthusiasm, my talent. I’m having more fun that I’ve ever had, I gotta tell ya.”
Hagar, who’s currently on the road with former Van Halen bandmate Michael Anthony as his special guest, has a number of projects in the works. First among them is a new album, the follow-up to last year’s “Livin’ It Up.” Hagar says he’s about “halfway through” with it and plans to finish recording in December and January for an expected second quarter of 2008 release.
“It’s quirky music,” Hagar says. “It’s a little bit more worldbeat and kinda harder rock, more like going back to (1981’s) ‘Standing Hampton’ or (1984’s) ‘VOA’ or something. Those records were very ’80s, with a little bit of influence of Peter Gabriel and people like that. Now I think it’s more Peter Gabriel-influenced with a hard rock edge on it.”
Hagar will support the album with a summer festival tour, for which he plans an “anthology” tour that will feature the original Montrose lineup, his original Sammy Hagar Band, his current group, the Wabos, and a “superstar guitarist” that will join him and Anthony to play Van Halen material.
“I have some people in mind,” Hagar reports, “but I haven’t made the call yet.” Hagar adds there will also be “a big, all-star jam at the end” of the show.
Hagar, who still retains a 20 percent ownership in his Cabo Wabo tequila brand, has also launched Cabo Wabo Radio, an Internet station that will offer varying levels of free and subscription services — with an evening program broadcast live from Cabo Wabo.
One thing Hagar won’t be doing, however, is Chickenfoot, the “supergroup” he talked about forming with Anthony and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. The trio has jammed before, including at Hagar’s birthday bashes, but for now, he says, the project isn’t practical.
“I just can’t do it,” Hagar says. “There’s no room in my life for another band, so that’s not gonna happen.”