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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, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Plain Jane, Red, Trans Am Wonderland, ?
Saw Sammy last night in Detroit on his History of Rock tour. What an amazing show again! Played some Zepplin, changed up some of his own stuff from the playlist, and played O Yeah from Chickenfoot. He's moving and sounding like he did when I first saw him many years ago. He looks energized again, ready to rock on for a lot longer, wether it's solo, Wabos, Chickenfoot or whatever. I'll be there no matter what!!
Rock on red rocker i can drive 65!!!lol
Call it heavy metal noise!!"!
I had no idea that he wrote this song. I thought rick did.
Sammy is a class act 15 concerts and counting
Creating Chickenfoot was one of best moves Sammy could have done! Yeah, he got to work with Eddie but he did the smartest thing was to ask Joe Satriani to play guitar.
cheesing my balls off!!!
kvogel911
One of my favorite songs is "Dick in the dirt" off VOA.
bonita you have very good taste in rock an roll I like ice man by Sammy probably one of his best of course that's my op
I love Sammy Hagar!!! I love to speed skate to When Eagles Fly Awesome 80's Rock!!
I am going to the Cabo Wabo for my 50th birthday and I want Sammy there March 20, 2014!!!!
Love Sammy ! He rocks !
lorenh29
Has been rocking me since I was 9, I'm 49 and he still is my Favorite Rocker!!
lotida2
Best album ever!!
cmhoffman16
I liked the original version but I LOVE Sammy's version.
578869963
Rock solid. Just one thing your missing, a tko on obummer!
good music from the 80s kicks a**
Sammy Rocks!Gotta love The Red Rocker!
ddn28
Your Rock Candy Baby... Your Hot Sweet and Sticky ! Pure rock porn at it's best and Sammy gave us the Money-Shot w/ Montrose. AND he was only 17 ?!!! Absolutely the best lead man in the business.
LOVE THIS SONG !!! SAMMY IS A GREAT SINGER & BAND.
long live Sammy!!!!!
Hey Pandora! How about Trans Am, Plain Jane, or Baby on Fire
SAMMY HAGAR IS THE MAN!!!!!!!
sammy is one of the best
Sammy Rox !! but I am not a RUM loving man .... Mas Tequila .....
How bout the red can trans am!!!!!!
Sammy is a blonde rock god that I would NOT KICK OUT OF BED!
I love Sammy
Need the Whole 'Three Lock Box' disc on Pandora!
milosdad
When I was around 15, I bought tix for a Joe Cocker, REO Speedwagon and BeBop Deluxe show. REO cancelled and was replaced by someone named Sammy Hagar. Although I'd seen Montrose before I was unaware of Hagar. Holy s**t! He blew the doors down. I've been a fan since
Latest VH album is off the hook! I do miss the Sammy era, though I don't miss all of the synthesizer stuff.
if you like him follow me
sammy is amazing he was great with van halen to
Beats Diamond Dave in a solo career by a long shot.
Pre Halen Sammy is my favorite, saw him back in the 70's when he drove his red Trans Am out on stage, pretty cool
Love this song!!!!!
spark it up sparky !
Sammy - always a favorite !!
Use to favor DLR Van Halen, but Van Hagar and Sammy are really amazing. 5150, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, OU812, Sammy solo... Just GREAT rock and roll music.
Sammy announced that he's planning a major tour next year playing everything from Montrose to Van Hagar to all solo stuff. Cant wait !!!
noworries105 9
Sammy still throws down a hell of a show and sounds great live. Hard to believe in his mid '60's and still rockin. He is a good businees man as well. The Bday bash in Cabo is the BEST show(s) I have ever seen - bar none.
j wheeler, check out the latest Van halen, A different kind of truth, it flippin rocks !!!
Hey dogtownthx, be sure to hang on tight to those because almost all of his early solo stuff is out of print.
I got a whole slew of Hagar albums not shown! Rock on Sam!
Sammy f**king rocks!!!
You would be hard pressed to find a better vocalist than Sammy!!!
ac/dc
I love sammy solo and with Chickenfoot but with VH, it didn't do anything for me. Except 5150 - but that took awile to sink in.
Van -Who has Van halen even released an album after the Divorce?
I didn't think so...
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