by Ross CAT

Sammy Hagar Interview Part 2
by Ross Cat.
Special Guest: THE OTHER HALF(Michael Anthony)
Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
Friday July 7th
    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 ( 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 @ 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 involved.

  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 this tour?

  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 @ 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 HALEN
and all points in between. The Redrocker promises to set the Darien Lake sky En Fuego.


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