This year I enjoyed some amazing new music from artists including Barry Manilow, Billy Idol, Neil Diamond, and Dionne Warwick, among others. But 2015 is shaping up to be even better based on what I’m listening to right now, which is Only to Rise by Sweet & Lynch.
Sammy Hagar is one of my favorite musicians. I adore his solo material as well as the tremendous body of work he produced with Van Halen. I was fortunate enough to see him live when he reunited with Van Halen in 2004, and I’ve followed his career ever since. I just finished his autobiography, Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock, and it was a fascinating read.
While the book was slow to start, it kicked into gear when Hagar started discussing his time in Montrose. As one would expect, the bulk of the book is dedicated to Van Halen, and it doesn’t disappoint. Hearing how Hagar joined the band, what drove them apart and what the short-lived reunion was like was fascinating.
Beyond the music, I was blown away by the multitude of entrepreneurial endeavors Hagar has engaged in over the years. He’s invested in real estate, mountain bikes, fire sprinklers, and, of course, tequila. Speaking of which, Hagar sold his tequila brand, Cabo Wabo, to another company in 2010 for nearly $100 million. This is proof positive that the Red Rocker is one of the savviest musicians out there, which makes me respect him even more.
This book was highly entertaining and it felt like I was having a cup of coffee with the author. If you’re a fan of Hagar, Van Halen or classic rock, you should pick it up; I highly recommend it.
For your viewing pleasure, below are two videos: The first one is Sammy Hagar and Eddie Van Halen performing together for the first time, in 1985, at Farm Aid. The second video showcases one of my favorite Sammy Hagar songs, “Little Bit More.” It’s a gorgeous, soulful number from Ten 13.