Hagar Interview Part 2
by Ross Cat.
HAGAR and the WABOS
Guest: THE OTHER HALF(Michael Anthony)
Lake Performing Arts Center
SAM I AM…..While only a fortunate few had the privilege of invading the
village of Cabo San Lucas to join in on the 1st Annual Red Rocker Cruise;
the rest of you will have the chance to get the feel of what being a redhead
is all about. SAMMY HAGAR and the Wabos are bringing the fun in the sun
to you this summer with the LIVIN IT UP tour. This event will include an
all day party in the Cabo Wabo Village which will be making a stop this
Friday night July 7th at the Darien Lake PAC. The village will feature
a bar that will highlight HAGAR’S world class Cabo Wabo Tequila, also included
will be food, games, and contests, as well as live music. The fine folks
at the Darien Lake PAC (www.sixflags.com)
have informed us that the venue doors will open at 4pm the day of the show
so that everyone can enjoy the festivities prior to the show.
The “Livin It Up” tour has been buzzing its way across the U.S.A. for the
past month and by all accounts it’s kicking ass, check out the Redrocker
website @ www.redrocker.com for
setlists, photos, and the Cabo Wabo Village setup. This is one show not
to miss this summer as it offers up music fans the “Best of Both Worlds”.
SAMMY’s new disc will hit stores on July 25th in association with Rhino/Warner
Brothers Records. SAMMY tells us that “Livin it Up” is a state of mind
for me at this point in my life and career”. The new disc includes nine
new songs, as well as covers of BOB DYLAN’S “Rainy Day Women”(Everybody
Must Get Stoned), and a top-notch take on TOBY KEITH’S “I Love This Bar”.
Also included on the disc is a catchy little tune called “One Sip” which
was co-written with country superstar KENNY CHESNEY.
This is the final slice of our extensive interview with SAMMY
leading up to show time.
R.Cat- It seems your last few times out on the road you’ve had to make
some concessions just to get the music out to your fans. Both the DAVID
LEE ROTH and VAN HALEN reunion tours hit the ground running but by the
end it turned sour. his must be a refreshing departure from all the
outside elements you’ve had to deal with previously.
SAMMY- You’re exactly right about that. There are no quirks, the only quirk
is how much fun can we possibly have in one day. The ROTH thing really
seemed like a good idea at the time. Ultimately it was good for the
fans, it was challenging for me for a while, in the fact that I got to
go toe to toe with him each night. I would just do my thing as a performer
and let the fans make their choice. Same thing with the VAN HALEN reunion
it’s not what it should have been or what I was hoping it would be, it
had some great moments but in the end it just erupted.
The “Livin It Up” tour is exactly what I want it to be for the fans and
the band. I’ve got the ticket prices in line, we’ve got fun lined up from
noon until midnight. The crew and the band are calling it the “three truck
loads” of fun tour because were dragging the Cabo Wabo Village across the
country. At this point in my life it’s not about fame and fortune, we are
continuously trying to find a way to present my music in a fashion that
is fresh and exciting for both the band and the fans. Man I’ll tell you
I just love to have fun and that’s what I think this tour will be for everyone
R.Cat.- Speaking of ticket prices with all that is going on the day of
the show how did you manage to keep the cost so low, especially selling
lawn seats for only $10?
SAMMY- Well the pavilion seats always go pretty fast to the hardcore fans,
those that are there for the music, they like to high five, exchange banners,
cool rock and roll things like that. Out on the lawn man you can
get away with anything, if I was coming to an event like this one I’d have
my flask in hand, or whatever your choice of high might be, and kick back
and enjoy the ride.
You know I really love what I’m doing I can’t say enough about it.
I’m not bragging but I’ve found a way at my age (58) as long as I’ve been
doing this and with all the success to still be able to perform, I can’t
tell you enough how honored I feel. I’m still having the time of
my life, if a sponsor gave me ten million dollars to play with I would
go out and play as many free shows as I could. That’s just the kind
of feeling I have about playing and sharing the music with my fans.
R.Cat.- Tell us a little about the new disc “Livin It Up”, which by the
way will be in stores later this month? The first two singles “Sam I Am”,
and “Let Me Take You There” have both spent the past few months at #1 on
classic rock radio stations across the country.
SAMMY- The new disc to me is a summertime feel good record; it’s purely
about lifestyle and the way I live. One of the tracks ‘The Way We Live”
is about the relationship I have with my fans and the way we party in Cabo
at the annual birthday bash. It’s all about the things we do, it’s about
Mexico, it’s about drinking tequila, and it’s about the music and the real
things I enjoy in life. To me this collection of songs is like the Redhead
manual on how to live it up, beach all day, dance all night. You know,
work hard play hard. I was living in Cabo and I wrote about what I was
thinking, feeling, and what I was doing, and let me tell you it was all
good. That’s why I’m bringing out the “three truck loads” of fun
on the road to share that euphoric feeling with the fans.
R.Cat- Along with you exceptional band the WABOS, which includes DAVID
LAUSER on drums, VIC JOHNSON on guitar, and MONA on bass you will also
be doing a set called “THE OTHER HALF” which will feature bassist MICHAEL
ANTHONY of VAN HALEN. Tell us what that will entail.
SAMMY- Normally on a HAGAR tour I don’t like to play a lot of VAN HALEN
songs, maybe two or three a show. Don’t get me wrong I love all the songs,
I’m extremely proud of what EDDIE, ALEX, and MIKEY and I did together but
playing those songs without the band has always been kind of uncomfortable.
Bringing MIKE into the mix gives me a comfort level that I needed so that
I don’t feel like I’m in a VH karaoke band. MIKE and I are the “Other
Half” of VAN HALEN.
This is how the show will shake down. I’ll do my set with my band
and after a brief intermission MIKE will come out and join us to kick some
ass on an hours worth of killer VH songs. Were even gonna throw in
a song from the ROTH era, the set will be pure unadulterated fun for the
horniest VH fan.
NIGHTLIFE was lucky enough to catch a bonus cut as MICHAEL ANTHONY called
in from the road as the “Livin It Up” tour is in high gear.
R.Cat.- Hey MIKE, thanks for taking time out for us. When putting
together a setlist for the show how did SAMMY and you decide what songs
from the vast VH catalog to choose?
MIKE- Thanks this is really been an exciting summer so far. Obviously we
wanted to touch on the HAGAR era of the band, but there will be some songs
that haven’t been played live in years.
R.Cat.- SAMMY did say that with having you along he feels more comfortable
with playing some of the VH songs that he hasn’t played on stage in many
years, what’s your feeling on that?
MIKE- Well that doesn’t surprise me he needs me there to hold his hand.
All kidding aside we just decided that if we are going to do this we wanted
to appease even the hardcore VH fans. We took our time choosing the
songs, we feel we have a great mix that we enjoy performing and more importantly
will make the fans happy.
R.Cat.- Has there been any backlash from the VAN HALEN brothers about SAM
and yourself taking this type of show on the road this summer?
MIKE- If there has been any neither SAMMY nor I have heard of it. It’s
really kind of sad the way the reunion tour ended in 2004, for me personally
it ended way too soon. There was certainly lots of tension going on and
it didn’t turn out the way any of us wanted it to, we should have been
able to take that tour around the world. After the first leg EDDIE just
kind of retreated back into his own space, and ALEX being the awesome brother
that he is supported him all the way. Myself I just want to play music
and leave all the off stage bullshit politics behind me, playing with SAMMY
and the WABOS affords me that opportunity. We started talking about
the “Other Half” last October at SAMMYS birthday bash and now here we are
making it happen and having a blast. Plus my wife whom I’ve been
married to since getting out of high school wanted me out of the house
for the summer.
R. Cat.- Lastly, it’s no secret you’re a Jack Daniels man which is evident
on your legendary bass, is SAMMY pushing the Cabo Wabo tequila on you for
MIKE- Yeah; In fact the VAN HALEN reunion tour was kind of tough, I would
do my JD thing on stage and then during the EDDIE and ALEX solos SAM and
I would be on the side of the stage doing shooters of Cabo. Whether that’s
a good or bad thing I’ve learned how to drink both on the road. Really
I do love his tequila; if he hadn’t left the band when he did I probably
would have wound up getting involved with SAM at the Cantina. He and I
really became closer as friends since his departure from VH in 1995. I
really do appreciate how he and the WABOS especially MONA have embraced
my presence both on stage and off.
R.Cat.- Be sure to check out MICHAEL’S world famous hot sauces @ www.madanthonycafe.com.
Order some up and load up on those BUFFALO wings. We also reminded
SAMMY about the cancellation during the HAGAR/ROTH tour here in Buffalo
in 2002 and he promised an extra special evening to make it up to us.
We would like to thank both SAMMY HAGAR and MICHAEL ANTHONY
for there valuable time. Also we would like to thank Jessica
Erskine of Rogers & Cowan for making this all possible.
It’s been a pleasure being your Sambassador to this amazing
Rock & Roll concert event. Just a reminder for what it cost
to park and get into a downtown club Friday night you can enjoy
one of the hottest tours of the summer from MONTROSE to VAN
all points in between. The Redrocker promises to set the Darien Lake sky