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Sammy Hagar

After spending several years as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the mid-'70s hard rock band Montrose, Sammy Hagar began a solo career that produced several hits and made him an album rock favorite. Hagar became a true star once he joined Van Halen in 1985, but he was a popular hard rocker ever since his first album with Montrose.

After giving up a boxing career, Hagar began singing in the late '60s, performing with various California bands including Skinny, the Fabulous Catillas, Justice Brothers, and Dust Cloud. During this time, he built up a solid reputation in the California hard rock scene. Former Edgar Winter guitarist Ronnie Montrose asked Hagar to join his band, Montrose, in 1973. Hagar recorded two albums with Montrose before going solo in 1976, taking the group's bassist, Bill Church. Montrose's drummer Denny Carmassi later joined Hagar's band, along with keyboardist Geoff Workman.

Hagar's self-titled "red album" was his first chart entry; it eventually went gold. In 1979, he created a new supporting band featuring Workman, Church, guitarist Gary Pihl, and drummer Chuck Ruff. This lineup played on Hagar's most popular solo album, 1981's platinum Standing Hampton, plus 1982's gold Three Lock Box with only one member missing -- drummer Ruff was replaced by David Lauser. After Three Lock Box and its number 13 hit single "Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy," Hagar played several shows with guitarist Neal Schon, bassist Kenny Aaronson, and drummer Mike Shrieve; the group recorded a live album under the name Hagar Schon Aaronson Shrieve (HSAS), as well as a studio version of Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale." His 1984 album VOA contained the hit single "I Can't Drive 55," which peaked at number 26.

In 1985, Hagar replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen; his first album with the group was 1986's 5150. Hagar released his last solo album in 1987; the record was coined I Never Said Goodbye in an MTV contest. Hagar stayed with Van Halen through the remainder of the '80s and half of the '90s. During that time, the band had four other multi-platinum albums -- OU812 (1988), For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991), Live: Right Here, Right Now (1993), Balance (1995) -- before tensions began to surface between Hagar and the rest of the band.

In the summer of 1996, Hagar either quit Van Halen or was fired; the band had Roth return to sing two tracks on Best of Van Halen, Vol. 1 before hiring former Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone as Hagar's replacement. The entire incident became a media sensation, ensuring that Hagar's 1997 solo album Marching to Mars -- his first in ten years -- would be greeted with much media-generated fanfare. It sold surprisingly well, peaking in the Top 20 and re-establishing Hagar as a viable solo act. With a backing band called the Waboritas in tow (consisting of guitarist Vic Johnson, keyboardist Jesse Harms, bassist Mona, and drummer David Lauser), Hagar followed the success with Red Voodoo two years later; it too sold very respectably on the strength of the single "Mas Tequila," just missing the Top 20.

Hagar's resurgence continued with 2000's Ten 13. Not 4 Sale arrived in 2003, followed by his first live album in 20 years, Live: Hallelujah. Livin' It Up! was released in 2006, while VOA was reissued the following year in deluxe format, courtesy of the newly launched American Beat Records. In 2008 Hagar released Cosmic Universal Fashion, his 11th solo album and first for Roadrunner imprint Loud & Proud Records. That same year, he debuted a new band, Chickenfoot, after jamming with Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, guitarist Joe Satriani, and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. The supergroup released its self-titled debut album in 2009. The debut went gold, which was good enough to guarantee a 2011 sequel called Chickenfoot III (despite its joking title, this was indeed their sophomore set). Hagar didn't abandon his Chickenfoot brothers for the 2013 album Sammy Hagar & Friends; each member, along with several other kindred spirits, showed up on this party-hearty 2013 LP. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Sammy Hagar's Rock N' Roll Road Trip on AXS TV next month!?!
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Sammy Hagar is a true rock and roll hero
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Agreed John K Mueller.. F**kin Fact!
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I Definitely Can't Drive 55.. Saw Sammy b4 he went with VH he put on a 3 hr concert after Krokus opened 4 him. He def tore up the stage, but in a bright yellow spandex jumpsuit that was a lil 2 much. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Once Sammy joined van halen it should have been called van Hagar
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Nothing but respect for the Sam the Man!
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There's only one way to rock and his name is Sammy Hagar!
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dcurtis166
Rematch album is awesome!! Saw Sammy in 1980 with Ted Nugent. Sammy rocked. Still one of the best voices in rock ever.
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I SO disagree with the statement that he became a true rock star once he joined Van Halen. Sammy earned his rock star status long before he joined VH. He is an amazing song writer and musician an when he joined VH back in the 80s (as far as I'm concerned) saved the band. He brought an element of energy the band previously didn't have and both parties benefited from it. I saw them @ Alpine Valley and they rocked the house. Sammy continues to amaze me including the last time I saw him.
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There's only one way to rock and his name is the red Rocker!!!
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bradfalls72
There is not an entertainer out there that has more fun than the Red Rocker. Despite anyone that says otherwise, no one could have pulled off 5150 better after Van Halen's 1984. I still go back and watch Live Without A Net. That was 4 guys having a blast! At 68, Sammy can bring it any night if the week.
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whatever happened to 2 sides of love ? one of sammys best !
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Two Sides Of Luv...Great song. Luv Sammy, he put on a great concert solo, an with Van Hallen. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Standing Hampton a very underrated album
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Listening to I don't need love by Sammy Hagar. What a kick a** song and so much fun to play on the guitar!!!
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I can't drive 65 bring back 75 California!! !
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Looks like the closest he gets to my neck of the woods this year is in Nevada....Hm m m m . . . S a m m y , gambling and drinking all at the same time sounds good to me! Thanks jaxdawg7
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jaxdawg7
gs500e98 - saw him in Clearwater, FL last night and can confirm that still ROCKS. Awesome show to a packed house. Very cool, too - great audience interaction and the show went around 2 hours. Sammy come back to Clearwater soon, man!!!!!!!
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Holy Cow!! Sammy turns 68 this year! And he still rocks out loud..I got to get myself to Cabo...
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I saw Sam at his birthday bash in cab twice , go there once and you'll be there twice , the man is a god
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going to cabo wabo to party with Sammy is on my bucket list. might have to be soon while I can still keep up!
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I CANT DRIVE 55!!!
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there is just something about this guy that draws you in. i use to hate van Halen without Roth but it grows on you. now i everything i can get a hold of Hagars.
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Sammy definitly rocks
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Ok lets party
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Love you Sami
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mfijut0
Sammy is a bad a** motherf**ker
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Red rocker oh yeah
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This is my all time Sammy song. Reminds of just being stoned on a beach with no worries
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Brett is brilliant!!! ! Sammy knows there is only one way to rock too!!!
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There's only one way to rock just ask Tina!
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Ready to go face down in Cabo! ��
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When you going to be in Chattanooga? Let's get s**t face drunk,got shine!
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You go! Red match my neck MF! Kinda hillbilly I am. Keep your pen close Sammy#13!
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There is only one way to rock it's called Sammy Hagar!!!
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Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy great song. Saw Sammy solo in 83 Krokus opened and then saw him with Van Hallen in 04 great both times. He does put on a great concert. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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I Really Do Luv Sammy Hagar!!! Even Though It's Been Awhile Since I've Seen Him Live, I Would Do It All Again!! I Luv All His Songs And KNOW He Truly Rocks.
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MasTaquela! My Baby is on Fire! 1980 something Fresno Ca Seland Arena!!! OMG!!!! The noise. The smell of w����D with my girl friend at the time OMG!!!! Marry. That was so long ago.....!
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Saw Sammy last year at our fair this dude still kicks a** for an old guy!
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shippy29
YOU R CUTE WOULD LIKE TO PARTY W YOU
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Love the red rocker
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Like ckickenfoot awsome band
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Red rocker;-);-)
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There's only one way to.rock its called Sammy!
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I have seen every show Sammy has put on since Sammy went solo after Montrose!!! Through Chickenfoot! ! !
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Sammy is the Best Live Show you will see. (Period) Yeah Chickenfoot will soon be back on tour; with Jason Bonham on drums!!! John Bonham's (Led Zeppelins Drummer) son!!! Yeah
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Old song still rocks!!!
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bigbear1957
First time I seen Sammy was was Standing Hampton he rocked out, I never heard of him before but I was impressed and seen him several times since and he's always impressive, The man comes to rock, rock on Sammy your the man!!!!
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I can't think of one song that I don't like from Sammy...hell I even named my dog after him...(no joke)! Loved since the Montrose days!!!!!!!! ! !
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If you've never been to Cabo Wobo in Mexico you probably won't get this song.
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