by Ross CAT

Sammy Hagar Interview Part 1
by Ross Cat.
  *This will be the first slice of a 2 part series of interviews  with SAMMY HAGAR as we will be “LIVIN IT UP” with the Red Rocker setting sail for Cabo San Lucas.  We will be featuring everything SAMMY taking you right up to the July 7th extravaganza at the Darien Lake PAC.
    REELING IN THE RED ROCKER….. We will have the palatable pleasure of being part of the 1st Annual “Are We Having Fun Yet” Cabo Wabo Cruise with the Red Rocker himself SAMMY HAGAR.  We had the chance to speak with SAMMY as he prepares for the CABO WABO cruise with 850 faithful redheads, as well as gearing up for what promises to be one of the first-class concerts of the summer.
    The Carnival Pride cruise which is sponsored by Rosetours ( out of Philadelphia will set sail for eight sunny days and more importantly seven nights of rock and roll recreation.  As the ship reaches it’s destination in Cabo San Lucas the redheads will find themselves “Face Down, Kissing the Ground” as SAMMY will be there to greet the ship at the pier and take us to his world famous CABO WABO CANTINA.

  R.Cat.- SAMMY thanks so much for taking some time to preview the busy summer you have planned for your fans; how are things shaping up?

  SAMMY- No, Thank you, not a problem at all, I’m doing great man. The band and I just finished up rehearsals for the tour; we went through the entire set list and I have a blistering singing headache but you know what I’m still having the time of my life.

  R.Cat.- How did you come up with the idea of having a cruise to kick off your upcoming tour and the release of your new record “Livin It Up”?

  SAMMY- Let me tell you Ross, I’m so looking forward to this tour. For the first time in my life I’ve done something this unique, this exciting, and especially this creative. At this point in my life the only thing that gets me off anymore is creativity; fame and fortune aren’t my goals anymore and haven’t been for a longtime. I’m really into coming up with fresh ideas and seeing them through, getting it done, to me that’s what really gets me off. That’s what putting together this tour and cruise is all about it for me, with the help of management of course. My creative juices are over flowing I’m so up for this summer I can’t even tell you.

  R.Cat.- Let’s talk about the actual cruise. You yourself won’t actually be on the cruise to Cabo but your band the Wabos will be taking the trek over the Pacific Ocean to paradise. As you’ve often said since your original  departure from VAN HALEN 1995,  David Lauser on drums, Vic Johnson on guitar, and Mona on bass are your primary band and everything else is just a side project. What kind of surprises can we expect from the WABOS on the ship?

  SAMMY- That’s right the Wabos will be on board getting everybody primed, they’re not only great musicians they are great human beings. They just get it; music and life are all about having fun. The Wabos will be playing shows throughout the week and will be joined by my son Aaron who is a really great singer in is own right, he will be singing some of my songs during the set. While he’s not doing the music thing Aaron also does and outstanding job managing the Tahoe Wabo in Lake Tahoe, NV. That’s where the “Livin it Up” tour will kick off with six shows at Harrah’s South Shore Room beginning May 5th.

  R.Cat.- The cruise itself sounds amazing even without the top-notch entertainment.  I see that the deal gets even sweeter as Mr. “Rock Candy” himself Ronnie Montrose will be on board as well, any other treats you want to fill us in on.

  SAMMY- Your right on about Ronnie, he and I are still great buddies, this is his first trip to my club in CABO.  He’ll basically be doing the first Montrose album with his lead singer. This entire trip is just a boat load of fun, we’ve got all kinds of surprises in store for everyone, surprises are the best thing on the planet. Let’s just put it this way; with all the stuff that’s going to happen on that boat I just hope that the concert finale at the Cabo Wabo Cantina won’t be a let down.
    This portion of the interview is just a small taste of what’s to come bringing us right up to show time here in Buffalo. Stay tuned next month for a blow by blow account of the 1st annual CABO WABO cruise, as well as our continued conversation with SAMMY about the tour, the new disc, and the future of VAN HALEN.
    ROCKING AT THE ROXX…..NIGHTLIFE Magazine took a little roady last week to check out an interesting double bill up in Barrie, Ontario at a club called THE ROXX NIGHTCLUB ( The headliner of the evening was Canadian guitar wizard DAVID WILCOX who has been a longtime friend of BUFFALO and NIGHTLIFE Magazine. The ROXX is no “Cheap Beer Joint” it is a premier concert venue and was packed to the rafters. WILCOX was “On a Roll” as he tore through his set filled with the anthems that have made him a Canadian music icon.  What made the evening even more “Too Cool” is that WILCOX added another “Bad Apple” to his band as former HEADSTONES bass player TIM WHITE is now in the mix. Whitey was all smiles as his potent performance helped “Mow “Em Down”, it’s great to see him back on stage once again.
    The opening act of the night was billed as BAD COMPANY featuring BRAIN HOWE.   HOWE took over the lead vocal duties for the band in 1986 as he joined original members SIMON KIRKE and MICK RALPHS. HOWE was responsible for helping bring BAD COMPANY back to the top of the charts throughout the next decade. The 1990 record “Holy Water” was truly one of the best written records of the year, spawning hits like the title track, as well as the powerful ballad “If You Needed Somebody”.
    The full house wasn’t quite sure what to expect until HOWE and company took the stage; from the first note it was evident that fans would be  treated to an electrifying evening of BAD COMPANY on Good Friday.  HOWE was “Fearless” with his song selection not only drawing from the four records from when he fronted the band, he also added an impressive mix of classic BAD COMPANY songs.  HOWE and his enthusiastic band which include; Dean Aicher on guitar, Miguel Gonzalez on bass, and Ricky Sanders on drums did a remarkable job on the Bad Co. classics.  HOWE’S strong vocal range has allowed him to carry on the classic catalog since joining BAD Co. as he belted out “Ready For Love”,” Good Lovin Gone Bad”, and “Rock and Roll Fantasy” to name just a few.  Any fans interested in hearing HOWE with BAD COMPANY can pick up the 1993 Live Disc “What You Hear is What You Get”, that tour made a stop right here in Buffalo at the Aud. You can also check out his website for a list of upcoming summer shows @
    NIGHTLIFE had a chance to chat with the singer backstage just prior to the show at the ROXX NIGHTCLUB:

  R.Cat.- I noticed on your website diary that you mentioned having some issues with former band members in BAD COMPANY about playing some of the material?

  B.H.- I can sing any of the songs that I want really. I was in the band for ten years there is an entire generation of fans who know me as the singer for BAD COMPANY as they were too young to have seen PAUL RODGERS. There have been three or four singers in the band over the years and there should not be any issues as to who is singing them. Ultimately it’s about bringing the music to the fans, BAD COMPANY fans want to hear those songs and I can give that to them.

  R.Cat.- You toured on numerous occasions with SIMON and MICK playing the PAUL RODGERS era songs, what is the issue that they have with it now?

  B.H.- I’ve had some unfortunate dealings with SIMON KIRKE who has tried to cause problems with myself and some of the venues that I perform at. It really is quite stupid, all he is really doing as lining the pockets of some lawyers over a moot point.

  R.Cat.- That being said; you did help bring  BAD COMPANY  back to prominence which was no small task considering you had to step in for the legendary PAUL RODGERS, what was that period of time like in the band?

  B.H.- Thank you for that I’m extremely proud of what we did especially the “Holy Water” album, although I think all the records we made together are really strong. As for PAUL I have nothing but respect for him and the music he made with the band, and no one tries harder then me to do those songs justice when I’m singing them on stage.

  R.Cat.-  Lastly, what happened to bring that decade of success with BAD COMPANY to an end?

  B.H.-  I thought the sky was the limit myself.  For me this was my first real taste of success and I was inspired by it. I’m not sure what MICK RALPHS and SIMON KIRKE wanted.  Resentment starting to grow within the ranks whether they thought I was trying to take over the band or what I’m not sure. In fact I was trying to move forward with new music and they seemed more interested in other extra-curricular activities. I guess we didn’t have the same goals in mind after awhile. I think they where just satisfied with what they had already accomplished. I wanted to keep moving forward, so our work ethic wasn’t the same anymore.
    NIGHTLIFE would like to thank BRIAN HOWE for his company at the show.  He is currently touring for the summer, and preparing to write a book about his time with BAD COMPANY, that promises to be some good reading.
    NEW GOO…..Don’t forget this week to pick up the new disc “Let Love In” by Buffalo’s own GOO GOO DOLLS. They will also be performing a rare sold out club show at The Towne Ballroom this Saturday night.  If you didn’t get tickets for the show you can catch them at a in store appearance on Saturday afternoon at The New World Records.  Check out the bands brand new website @, it’s filled with special features, downloads, and a chance to join the Inner Machine, it’s enough to make fans “Dizzy”.  Look for an interview with our friend ROBBY TAKAC in the MAY Rock Report.

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