My Uncensored Life In Rock
By Sammy Hagar with Joel Selvin
The book opens with a foreward by Michael Anthony, former bassist for Van Halen, and now bass in Chickenfoot, Sammy’s newest band. His testimony to the artist, the man, the vocal powerhouse that is Sammy Hagar, is nothing short of pure respect and awe. From there we move through the tough childhood into his first musical forays. Sammy Hagar is candid throughout the book and there are genuine pieces of his heart and soul woven into the fabric of the pages. His uncompromising integrity is unmatched. His drive and ambition second to none. From Montrose to Solo, to Van Halen, and now Chickenfoot, his knack at weaving vocal tales of teen angst, love, hate, and everything in between are never in doubt.
The sacrifice and negativity that follows fame like a shadow is cast into the light by Sammy himself in this book. One part talks of his divorce and how it was terribly hard on his children, mostly his youngest. It is a heartfelt commentary on a man who loves his family as much as he loves his music. Here is a man who put everything on the line to bring you classic hits like “Red”, “I’ll Fall In Love Again”, “Heavy Metal”, “I can’t Drive 55”.
Then he joins the biggest band in the world, Van Halen, and we are taken for a rocket ride around the world with them. He reveals the scariest thing of all. That the band and its members are human beings after all. I don’t feel he bashes them in the book at all. Rather it is a simple call for them to wake up and get over themselves. Which they seemed to have done.
I have always been a fan of Sammy Hagar. Once when the band Krokus didn’t show up to open for him on the “I can’t Drive 55 tour”. He simply walked out early, sat down on the edge of the stage and explained what happened. He said, “ You paid to see two bands so i’m gonna play two band’s worth of material.” And he did. He played songs I never heard of and he played all his hits. One of the best concerts I ever saw and his work ethic and consideration for the fans is something I carry with me today.
This book is full of passion, energy,tales of excess and tales of sacrifice. It is not a “tell all to the tabloids” type of book like has been thought. Rather this book is a testament to a man who was destined by fate to become the world’s most famous rock vocalist. You know the fame, you understand the lofty height of it all, but what you don’t expect is to feel like he could be hanging out with you at the bar like a regular person. Telling his stories, slapping you on the back, and shooting back those Tequilla shots.