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Customer Review

115 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Red Rocker Shines as Autobiographer., March 15, 2011
This review is from: Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock (Hardcover)
Most rock star autobiographies are pretty much the same. Guy grows up in a dysfunctional house in bad neighborhood (The father in this story was the town drunk and the city is Fontana, CA, known to some as Felony Flats), guys falls in love, gets married, has a kid all the while struggling to keep a career as a musician going. Guy has limited success for awhile. There are ups. There are downs. Finally guy hits it big. Joins an existing successful rock band and makes it even bigger. Now either the author or someone close to the author has substance abuse problems which threaten the success of the band that has made it.

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.

As a fan of Van Halen since the days of DLR, I would really like to read a autobiography written by Michael Anthony, Van's Halen's bassist who was quiet during Roth split 1, Roth split 2, and Hagar split 1 as well as the coming and going of Gary Cherone. There would be a book for VH fans.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 16, 2011 9:50:09 AM PDT
Kirkwall says:
Thank you for your stellar review. And I agree that a autobiography written by Michael Anthony would be great.

Posted on Mar 16, 2011 12:00:26 PM PDT
Good review. I was curious after the Rolling Stone excerpt and wondered what more could be in the book. You laid it out nicely.

Posted on Mar 17, 2011 2:54:13 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 25, 2011 8:37:24 PM PST]

Posted on Mar 18, 2011 11:31:03 AM PDT
D. Freeman says:
Good review, and I agree whole-heartedly about the desirability of a book from Michael Anthony's perspective. Now THAT would be another great read.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2011 11:42:12 AM PDT
Michael, was friends with Eddie and Alex since the mid-seventies and he wasn't treated very well by the brothers. He is being cool and respectful for not telling the world his thoughts.

Posted on Apr 24, 2011 2:40:54 PM PDT
I grew up in Fontana with Sammy Hagar before it was "Felony Flats". I knew him from the time we were in 4th grade thru high school. As for his dad being the town drunk, I don't think any one drunk had that distinction. There were many in contention.

Posted on May 8, 2011 3:15:15 AM PDT
Felony Flats? Don't ya mean "FonTucky?"

Posted on May 8, 2011 3:19:02 AM PDT
And I FULLY agree that a book by Mike would probably be the MOST telling one of all, as it's pretty much gonna be coming from the "Switzerland" of the band. Anyone that knows the history of VH will understand why I say that. I would LOVE to read a WELL WRITTEN and WIDE OPEN Mike Anthony catharsis book. I'd pay good money for that, no doubt.

Posted on Jun 21, 2012 6:35:17 PM PDT
John Lea says:
To add to that, it was also an amazing insight to see that was the reason he lasted as long as he did in the world of music. For everyone who didn't read, he would have retired otherwise. Great read and good review. Highly recommended. Keep reading it to the end as well. You may find some deep respect for the man.
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Review Details



R. Short

Location: United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 522,311