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Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock Paperback – March 13, 2012
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“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’ rollmy 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 manSammy 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
For almost forty years, Sammy Hagar has beena fixture in rock music. From breaking intothe industry with the band Montrose to hismultiplatinum solo career to his ride as thefront man of Van Halen, Sammy's powerful andunforgettable voice has set the tone for some ofthe greatest rock anthems ever written—songslike "I Can't Drive 55," "Right Now," and "WhyCan't This Be Love."
In Red, Sammy tells the outrageous story ofhis tear through rock 'n' roll. From the decadenceof being one of the world's biggest rock stars tothe unfiltered story of being forced out of VanHalen, Sammy's account spares no one, leastof all himself. His is a tale of a true rock 'n'roller—someone who's spent decades bringingthe party with him wherever he goes but alwaysheadin' back to Cabo for más tequila.
Top Customer Reviews
Okay, so in this case Sammy Hagar does have a remarkable story to tell: He was the guy who was crazy enough, in a controversial move, to replace David Lee Roth as the lead singer in Van Halen back in the mid-80's, and at the same time turn his back on a highly successful solo career. As a sophomore in high school, I remember the release of "5150" with nervous anticipation. I wanted to project to work, but the newly released single, "Why Can't This Be Love" wasn't my cup of tea. Needless to say, even if the album wasn't perfect, the record was pretty good.
What makes Hagar's book so intriguing is his story telling style. He's very honest and matter-of-factly. There are several amusing anecdotes throughout the book but sadly the book does deal with the drinking problems of band mate Eddie Van Halen and the fall out that took place ten years into Hagar's tenure as Van Halen singer. Die hard fans of Van Halen will probably be familiar with a lot of the drama written about here, but it's presented tastefully, not in a "I'm good, they're bad" kind of style.Read more ›
It's true that this book seems remarkably candid, so much so that I think some passages reveal more than Sammy may have ever intended. Particularly his attitude toward his first wife, Betsy. My jaw hit the floor when, after her mental breakdown during the recording of "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" and his taking a year off to care for her, he basically came out and said he felt like he'd finally done enough to justify leaving her.
As his fame grew, he'd first subscribed to the Bill Clinton definition of cheating while on the road, but eventually succumbed to full-frontal temptation. All the while claiming sex with his wife was still great. I know, we expect this kind of behavior from rock stars, but the first Mrs. Hagar married the guy before he was famous and probably didn't know what she was walking into. His characterization of her as mentally unstable and "weak" also shocked me.
Meanwhile, his current wife is carrying on w/ him knowing full well he's married to No. 1.
Describing the birth of his first child with wife No. 2 as more meaningful than that of a child with his first wife also was a stunning admission. I give him points for candor, but he sure comes off as something of a dirtbag. (I also wonder how friend and foreword-writer Michael Anthony feels about being called a "loyal dog.")
Finally, unrelated to personal ethics, his descriptions of EVH as, at best, a drunk and, at worst, completely certifiable, made me wonder how the heck the band was ever able to craft some of those classic songs. If Eddie can barely stand, how is he able to even understand verse/chorus/bridge structure?Read more ›
There's alot to admire about Sammy: his work ethic, refusal to quit, love of family, business acumen. However, he's not perfect, with his infidelities, drug use etc. All in all, he comes across as well grounded despite his substanital wealth and fame. He's mostly objective, but no autobiography can be 100% so. Bottom line: easy read, some fun stories, but it's not going to win any awards.
I was actually shocked at the end to find he had the assistance of a journalist to write this, because the book is rife with editing and continuity mistakes that would be understandable if this were just Sammy's take with no other involvement. But in one chapter Sammy says "I never had to work again" and in the very next chapter is scraping away in a mundane job. While these examples seem minor at face value, they leave the reader going back in several instances to re-read paragraphs and even entire pages that just don't make sense. I would not want this reporter handling my story, that's for sure.
As for the content, the best parts are those up through his joining Van Halen, as Sammy has a lot of great things to say about his ascent to stardom and offers advice to those who might want to follow. But after the 5150 section, there is a cynicism and defensiveness that belies Sammy's insecurity about all that surrounded his time in that band. Some of it he admits to, but much of it comes off as sour grapes ("I didn't want to be in a cover band" as an excuse for not singing Jump for instance). But it really gets bad when he starts to criticize David Lee Roth's lyrics: I'm sorry, but line any Roth-era song up against Good Enough or Source of Infection and they'll do just fine. And then the eventual post-VH decline kicks in, and you sense that though Sammy says he's happy with where he is, he still longs for the top.
Overall, I've always liked Sammy and felt he was better for VH than they were for him. Its nice to see a good guy do well for himself from such humble beginnings. Just too bad he couldn't have had a better co-author to help make sense of it all.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I liked this book. My daughter said, "Mother, you will hate this. Hagar is the wildest of the rockers! ". So I began this with reservations. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Barbara Witt
I could hardly get through it. Honestly, I kind of wish I hadn't read it. I respected Sammy more before reading it. I still like his early music, and Montrose. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Robert Guth
Sammy sounds like a great guy. It was refreshing to read more about his successes than all the sex & drugsPublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
Excellent book. It definitely shows the "decadent and dirty" side of the Rock n' Roll lifestyle, but unlike so many other bands/artists of the same genre/era, Hagar... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Huge fan of Sammy Hagar. Really enjoyed this book. You'll read about him growing up with an abusive father, his ups and downs with his first wife and her mental breakdown issues,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Special B