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Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock [Hardcover]

Sammy Hagar
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 1 2011
Sammy Hagar—legendary lead singer of Van Halen, founder of the Cabo Wabo Tequila brand, and one of rock music’s most notoriously successful performers—tells his unforgettable story in this one-of-a-kind autobiography of a life at the top of the charts. From his decade-long journey alongside Eddie Van Halen to his raucous solo career with Chickenfoot and everything in between—the drugs, groupies, and excesses of fame, the outrageous stadium tours, and the thrill of musical innovation—Hagar reveals all in this treasure trove of rock-and-roll war stories. Red is a life-changing look at one of music’s biggest talents—an essential read for music fans and anyone dreaming of becoming rock’s next number one star.

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“Sammy’s no bullsh*tter. If Sammy says it happened, it did. There’s nobody else anywhere like him.” (Michael Anthony)

“Sammy has maintained his all-star success no matter where his Red Rocker career has taken him. He still can’t drive fifty-five, but hey, he’s the one driving the Mustang. So site back and ride.” (Toby Keith)

“Nobody had to explain the American dream to Sammy. He knew in his gut that there was a better life available to him if he refused to accept the status quo. It’s all here in Sammy’s new book.” (Ted Nugent)

“I’ll admit it: I’ve been a Sammy Hagar wannabe since I heard his voice on a Montrose album...I’m proud to call him a rock star hero, a friend, and a brother in the sun. Rock on, Red Rocker!” (Kenny Chesney)

“Sam’s the man. Tequila, fast cars, rock ‘n’ roll—my kind of guy.” (Jimmie Johnson, five-time NASCAR champion)

“There are not a lot of people I would drop whatever I’m doing to go and see, but Sammy Hagar is one of thouse people...The man rocks his ass off, and vicariously through him so do I. My man—Sammy Hagar.” (Whoopi Goldberg)

“Over the many years I’ve known Sammy, his Red Rocker passion in music has always inspired me. But it’s also his love of cooking great food and sharing a good bottle of wine that has been at the core of our friendship for so long. (Emeril Lagasse)

“There are tell-all books. And then there are tell-all books written by Sammy Hagar. The 63-year-old ex-Van Halen frontman holds back nothing -- and I mean absolutely nothing -- in his autobiography...the Red Rocker’s life look-back doesn’t skimp on the details.” (Associated Press)

From the Back Cover

Loud rock, fast cars, and Cabo.
This is the life of Sammy Hagar.

For almost forty years, Sammy Hagar has been a fixture in rock music. From breaking into the industry with the band Montrose to his multiplatinum solo career to his ride as the front man of Van Halen, Sammy's powerful and unforgettable voice has set the tone for some of the greatest rock anthems ever written—songs like "I Can't Drive 55," "Right Now," and "Why Can't This Be Love."

In Red, Sammy tells the outrageous story of his tear through rock 'n' roll, detailing the backstage antics and nonstop touring that have made his voice instantly recognizable. Beginning with his musical coming-of-age in the blue-collar towns of California, Sammy traces his rough and determined rise to fame, working harder than anyone else out there and writing songs about the things he loved—fast cars, loud parties, and lots of good times.

But solo success was just the start, a prelude to his raucous and notorious decade as the front man for Van Halen, one of the biggest-selling rock groups in history. Filled with behind-the-scenes stories from his time with the band, Red offers the Van Halen story as Sammy saw it, holding nothing back about the worldwide stadium tours, the tensions with Eddie, the messy parties, the divided friendships, and, of course, his controversial and widely disputed exit from the band.

After Van Halen, Sammy changed directions again, throwing himself headfirst into the tequila business and creating Cabo Wabo, one of the most successful tequila brands in the world. And all the while he continued to rock, touring the country with his bands the Waboritas and Chickenfoot, and eventually reuniting with Van Halen for a tour that became both a box-office smash and a personal catastrophe.

From the decadence of being one of the world's biggest rock stars to the unfiltered story of being forced out of Van Halen, Sammy's account spares no one, least of all himself. His is a tale of a true rock 'n' roller—someone who's spent decades bringing the party with him wherever he goes but always headin' back to Cabo for mas tequila.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars There's no substitute for Red! Jan. 7 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Being of a select few who enjoy Van Halen with Dave and then with Sammy, I quite enjoyed this book . The book chronicles his life through his youth and the challenges that brought. Goes through all of the stages of his career from Montrose to his solo career, the Van Halen and back to his solo career and leaving off with Chickenfoot.

Sammy comes off like he does in real life. A regular guy who loves playing music and living life.

The only drawbacks of the book are the length (242 pages) and the bitterness that Sammy towards the Van Halen brothers. I'm sure that a lot of it is warranted. As a fellow reviewer mentioned I would love for Michael Anthony to write a biography to get his view of events in both the Roth and Sammy eras.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good book May 16 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Pretty good book. The early years, the Van Halen years, and the later years were very entertaining. The book was finished in 2 readings.... good job Sammy
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3.0 out of 5 stars brutally honest May 6 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very informative, very entertaining, sort of sad, but that's rock n roll lifestyle for you. Sammy Hagar is an Honest Man, and is sober enough to know the truth. Great read,
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth According to Sammy Hagar March 12 2011
I read "Red" in a day. It's not a long book but there is never a dull moment. And, much like David Lee Roth's book "Crazy From The Heat", the best moments are when the author dishes on the brothers Van Halen.

But before I will get into that I will say that "Red" is a gorgeous book loaded with colour photos. From candid shots of Sammy and his family to great pics of the mighty Van Halen and the equally fantastic Chickenfoot, you will not be wanting for photos.

The teritory covered here is pretty much what you expect from a rock autobiography these days. Sammy talks a lot about his personal life, and in particular his difficult first marriage. He discusses his career with Montrose and as a solo artist. The genesis of Chickenfoot and the Wabos are interesting. I only wish that Sammy spent more page time on some of these subjects, in particular Chickenfoot. But even his solo career, particularly the post Van Halen part, is barely touched upon. I wish he'd talked more about these things, and in more detail. But maybe that's because there's not much drama to discuss. Certainly not as much as with Van Halen.

Sammy insists that every word in this book is true, and if that's the case, then I feel very sorry for Eddie Van Halen. We've all seen cases in rock of genius musicians reduced to pathetic characters thanks to drugs and alcohol. Eddie Van Halen's case is by far the most tragic I've ever heard of.

However the early part of Van Halen, when Sammy joined the band, is nothing less than inspiring. They were all partying and drinking back then, pass out drunk, but it hadn't gotten ugly yet. Musically they were on fire and the ideas were flowing. Sammy talks about one night, when he was living next door to Ed, hearing Ed bang on his door at 4 am.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Red Rocker is a Riviting Writer May 4 2011
A must read for any Sammy fan and/or Van Hagar fan.

Excellent book, well written and very interesting
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