Friday, June 09, 2006
This from Melodicrock.com and mysanantonio.com
Sammy and Mike are not "sugarcoating the facts" lately...interesting read:
By Danny Glessner / Special to the Express-News
Sammy Hagar asked the question on his 1978 live album "All Night Long" (recorded in part at Municipal Auditorium) and tonight he likely will ask it again "San Antone! Are you ready for a little rock 'n' roll weekend?!"
If the answer is yes, then get your bad motor scooter to Verizon Wireless Amphitheater tonight when Hagar transforms the grounds into a Cabo Wabo-style beach party that will serve as a festive backdrop for a night of classic hard rock and a not-so-secret guest appearance by former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony.
"It's very San Antonio-ish," Hagar says, describing his traveling village. "We've got taco stands, carne guisada, shrimp tacos, tequila booths, traveling mariachi bands, bikinis and truckloads of sand for beach volleyball courts. It's all about trying to re-create Cabo and get everybody in the mood before the music starts.
"We're not going with any chain (food); we're going for the mom-and-pop stuff and San Antonio is one market where you can get good Mexican food. When we get to Cleveland, it's gonna be tough," he says with a laugh.
The action on stage will be just as tasty. Hagar plays an initial career-spanning set with his band, the Waboritas, and following a quick break, brings out his longtime buddy Anthony for a full set of Van Halen tunes.
A hopeful boxer as a teen, Hagar turned to music and began his career as the guitarist for Montrose before going solo and on to Van Halen. Since 1996, he has performed and recorded with the Waboritas (drummer David Lauser, guitarist Vic Johnson and bassist Mona). The group is finalizing the latest Hagar album, Livin It Up.
'I built a whole new studio and went in with a lot of experimentation in mind,' Hagar says. 'We got real loose and the record kind of invented itself. It's lacking the British heavy metal past of my roots. It's more like early Mellencamp, Skynyrd and almost country like Toby Keith meets Hank Jr. meets Sammy Hagar.'
"Without blowing any surprises, we're pulling out some material we haven't done in quite a few years," Anthony says, calling from his Los Angeles-area home. "There's the classic Van Halen tunes from the Roth years and I'm singing some stuff. We've been opening the set with my bass solo and I've dusted off gear and effects I haven't used since Roth was in the band."
Roth, of course, is original showboat singer David Lee Roth who was replaced by Hagar in 1986 after scaling Van Halen to a decade of worldwide superstardom as American rock icons. Despite a second decade of even more success with Hagar, the so-called Red Rocker was reportedly dumped after falling out with the band's founding brothers, Alex & Eddie Van Halen. Former Extreme singer Gary Cherone was called in for a forgettable album and tour before Hagar returned for the much-maligned 2004 "reunion tour."
"My band has pinned this Van Halen stuff even more than Van Halen did on the last tour," Hagar laughs. "On the last Van Halen tour, sometimes I didn't even recognize the friggin' songs. It was funny because a lot of the reviews were accusing us of trying to rewrite the songs. Believe me, it wasn't intentional."
Many tour reports suggested guitar legend Eddie Van Halen was out of sorts due to a storm of recent troubles including cancer, divorce and reports of heavy drinking. Whatever the problems, the tour was not resting well with Anthony, whose loyalty to Hagar strained his relations with the Van Halen brothers.
"I've always tried to skate around these questions," Anthony says. "But the fact of the matter is when we did the tour in 2004, Ed didn't want me there because of my relationship with Sammy. I sucked it up and took less pay, because I thought if it was the last time Van Halen went out and toured, and I wasn't part of it, I would really be upset.
"To sign on to do the tour, they made me relinquish any rights and claims I had to the (Van Halen) name, the logo, whatever. At this point, there is basically nothing going on as far as Van Halen goes. It's tough to say that, but I'm not going to sugarcoat anything any more."
Hagar says he is in the same boat as Anthony when it comes to forecasting the future.
"I wish Alex was my brother and I've said that to him many times," Hagar says, regarding the Van Halen drummer. "Ed and Al are tight as hell and you ain't going to get between them. When you're with them, you're an outsider so Mike and I were always buddying up when Ed and Al would start speaking (their native) Dutch and smoking cigarettes and getting in fistfights (laughs).
"I don't have a lot of faith in another Van Halen reunion. I'd be totally willing if everything was cool, but I'll tell you straight up, everything's not cool."
Which brings us back to the so-called Other Half, namely Hagar and Anthony. What makes them such good friends?
"Both of us dig a certain lifestyle," Hagar says. "We like to grab our families, head off to the beach in a motor home and just get our feet in the sand. The less clothes, the better (laughs). We like hot Mexican food, tequila, beer. It's like we're cut from the same mold."
Outside of music, Hagar and Anthony share a love of fast cars, water sports and entrepreneurial success in the food and beverage industry. Hagar, of course, has his growing Cabo Wabo chain of cantinas and restaurants along with the clubs' highly successful namesake tequila. Anthony has his award-winning namesake hot sauces.
"What's cool about it is, it's part of what I do," Hagar says of his tequila empire. "It's not like I'm selling milk and then going and drinking tequila on stage. It's all part of the lifestyle. It's the same with Mike. He used to do shots of Tabasco before he made his own sauces (laughs). The guy can eat five habaneros!"
posted by Paul Dickinson at 9:13 AM | Email Us