Book Review: Sammy Hagar “Red”

Sammy Hagar, is such a hero to me. He’s an inspiration. Why?

For one, I’ve admired him ever since I was a child. When I was a young child, I couldn’t stop singing, “I Can’t Drive 55”, after I saw that cool video for the first time, back in the day when MTV used to be good. I think that was the first time I first got into music. It was also the first time I got into “rock” music over all. Then I would just listen to Sammy’s “V.O.A.” album from my family’s vinyl collection back in the day and I would play that album to death. I could play that album over and over again, would never get tired of it. “I Can’t Drive 55” is such a badass rock song. It’s one of the best radio rock hits from the 80’s at that time. It also had a very cool music video. Sammy’s “V.O.A.” album also had one of the best album covers I’ve ever seen. Sammy dressed in Red coming down on a parachute in front of the Capital building in Washington D.C., with guitar in right hand. His left hand clenched into a fist.

In Sammy Hagar’s autobiography book, “Red”, is about the life of the legendary, Red Rocker. It starts from his childhood to where he is now. It’s not a very long book. A little over 200 pages, but I read it in a very quick 3 days. Everything about Sammy Hagar’s life & career is all there. How he got into music, his marriages, alcoholism, sex, drugs, rock n’ roll, playing in different bands, etc. A lot of people accused Sammy of being “whacky” and “crazy”, but honestly, I don’t think so. Sammy is actually one of the most honest and intelligent musicians out there. He’s more professional, and real than other famous rock stars. He has personality. He’s been playing arena rock shows since the 1970’s and still playing arenas to this day. He started with his first band, the Montrose, then he went on to a successful solo career in the 80’s. He then joined Van Halen in the 90’s.

He also talked a lot about family life, being a parent. He talked about being a business man. He used to own a chain of bike shops because he liked to ride mountain bikes. After he gave up that, he then opened his own club called the “Cabo Wabo Cantina” which is still in business today.

What I find most interesting about the book is all the stuff that he was open about Eddie Van Halen. Most people mistakenly look at Eddie Van Halen as a successful rich guy who is nice and friendly, but in reality, Eddie V.H., is a pathetic loser and an asshole. All those stories Sammy told about Eddie were interesting, some of it was even funny too. Of course, Sammy talked about how he formed the supergroup, Chickenfoot. I really didn’t care for Chickenfoot’s music at first but after listening to their stuff again, makes me want to get their album.

Sammy is a gifted & talented man who deserves all the respect. All that “abducted by alien” stuff wasn’t in the book too much. He talked about aliens & UFO’s a little bit, but all that stuff is just his humor. I think he’s only joking around about that stuff.

This is a very insightful read. To those who say Sammy is crazy, do yourself a favor and read this book. After you read it, you would think that he is not crazy and he’s actually a normal dude. He’s interesting. I was surprised that he is not an ego-maniac, and he seems very cool, down to earth after reading this book. This is one of the best autobiographies by a musician that I’ve ever read. This book is a must read for all music lovers out there. Check it out.


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