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  • Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock

    red coverRed: My Uncensored Life In Rock
    Author: Sammy Hagar
    Publisher: Harper Collins
    Reviewed: March, 2011

    Say the name, Sammy Hagar, and many of you will immediately think of his work with the 70’s band, Montrose, or his huge signature solo hit, I Can’t Drive 55. Then, again, you might think of his 11 year rocket ride with the Van Halen brothers. For those of you who just recently heard of Hagar, you may be thinking he’s one of the dudes from the new rock group, Chicken Foot.

    Perhaps you’ve ridden one of his world class mountain bikes or drank his premium tequila or partied at his cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Regardless of which point of his career you became aware of him, you already know that Sammy Hagar is a monster talent and a master showman. Now, you can say that he’s a prolific writer after you’ve read his autobiography, Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock.

    I didn’t know what to expect when I received the tome from the publisher. I read David Lee Roth’s autobiography, Crazy From The Heat, a few years ago and I expected much of the same kind of chatter.

    I was wrong.

    Obviously, it’s a tale of sex, drugs and rock and roll. It wouldn’t be a rock and roll book without it. But the book is much, much more than that. While I was very familiar with Hagar’s body of work, I realized early in the book that I didn’t know jack about his personal life and multiple business enterprises. The big surprise that I got out of the book is just how successful of an entrepreneur Sammy has been. Reading about his various business exploits got my inner business geek jonesing more with each turning page.

    I’m not going to ruin the surprises that are in the book but I will say that Hagar’s story is an inspiring one in which he pulled himself out of a life of poverty and hardship and used that pressure to drive him to be successful at virtually everything that he put his hands – and voice – to. There’s no doubt in my mind that, if Sammy hadn’t followed the path of rock and roll, we would be reading about him anyway because of his various, successful business endeavors.

    For those of you who’s eyes glaze over in hearing about the business end of things, you’ll enjoy the stories behind Hagar’s iconic hits. You’ll read about the good, the bad, and the ugly in the rough and tumble world of rock and roll. You’ll learn just how intimidated and childish some very big stars can be.

    However, by the end of the book, Sammy wraps up his story, as it stands now, with a positive, content outlook on life. He comes across as having his head screwed on straight and looking forward to enjoying the rest of his life as well as the fruits of all of his labor.

    I’m convinced that Red will be a successful book, putting Hagar further in the black (Sorry, I couldn’t resist).

  • Tokyo Dome Live In Concert

         

    Tokyo Dome Live In Concert
    Van Halen
    Studio: Rhino Records
    Release Date: March 31, 2015
    Review Date: April 5, 2015

     

    “Tokyo Dome Live In Concert” is the second live album by Van Halen, the first with the band’s original lead singer, David Lee Roth. The 2CD set encapsulates twenty-five (yes, 2-5) songs from every Van Halen album that DLR sang on, including their last studio album from 2012, “A Different Kind Of Truth.”

    Already, the Roth/Hagar fans are duking it out as to whether it’s a good/great/horrible album.  Nothing that I say in this review will change anyone’s mind so I’m not even going to try.   However, what I will say is that Eddie’s guitar playing is as spot on and lightning fast as it ever was; Alex’s beating of the skins is its usual thunderous self and Wolfie steps up on his bass duties, thus giving the band a third set of VH initials to the band’s line-up.

    Some have dissed Roth’s voice, saying that he’s just not the same as he was in the early days. To that I say, who DOES sound like they did thirty-something years ago?  That said, I’d suggest that you listen to “Tokyo Dome” without watching any video of the band performing and see if you really think that David is very far off the mark from his original vocals.

    I did exactly that, focusing on “Running With The Devil,” “Tattoo,” and “Panama.”  I’m of the opinion that, though his stage presence might be a bit reserved compared to his “Diamond Dave” days, he’s as strong, vocally, as he’s ever been. 

    What it comes down to is that DLR haters won’t buy it while his supporters will. I also suspect that hard core Van Halen fans will buy it regardless. 

    After all, it’s only rock and roll.