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Biofile Sammy Hagar

By Scoop Malinowski

STATUS: Rock ‘n roll performer. Former lead singer for Van Halen (1986-96).
DOB: Oct. 13 IN: Monterey, CA
CHILDHOOD HERO: Elvis Presley.
HOBBIES/INTERESTS: I like to run, mountain bike and hike in the mountains by myself or with my wife. And I like to do nothing. And I love fights of any kind, whether it be boxing, jiu-jitsu, karate matches or Ultimate Fighting Championships [Sammy is a former boxer].
FAVORITE MOVIES: El Topo, Pulp Fiction, The Sixth Sense, Gladiator was brilliant. And I’m an Ingmar Bergman freak when it comes to movies.

MUSICAL TASTES: I’m a rock ‘n roll guy, of course. But I actually like new-age music. Music that you don’t have to really sit down and concentrate on. But it’s in the background and you do whatever you want to do – whether it be have sex, cook a meal or eat a meal. Things that don’t interfere with your every day life. I like that kind of music. Craig Chiquico and a Wyndham Hill collection of various artists called Winter Solstice.
PRE-PERFORMANCE FEELING: There’s four or five different feelings. The first one is most of the time I don’t feel like I’m ready. I always feel unprepared. Then the other thing I have to deal with sometimes, I’m a little too excited and too anxious. And I try to control myself cause I’ve got another hour. And right now, I’m ready like right now. So I have a lot of bad feelings. So right before I go onstage, it’s not a good thing. That’s probably one of the most uncomfortable times of my 24 hours – is that hour before I go onstage. It’s not a great feeling. It’s a lot of frustration, lot of anxiety. A lot of over-amping. A lot of unsuredness. It’s a strange time. I don’t like that time.
FIRST JOB: Paper route for The Mirror News in San Bernardino, CA (age 9).
EARLY MUSIC MEMORY: Sure. I remember the first time I felt I connected with an audience. As an opening act for the group Boston during their first tour, in St. Louis (’78). In a 15,000-seater in the Checkerdome. The people rushed the stage, ripped the barricades down, jumped on stage, you know, it’s like hysteria. It was the first time I really experienced it on a big level. And that was pretty exciting. I went, Wow! They love us here! Well, I knew I had it. But that was the first time the audience said, Yeah, you’ve got it [laughs]! Because most of the time as an opening act, people just play and that’s it. They applaud. But they don’t attack a stage like you’re the Beatles.
FUNNY CAREER MEMORY: So much has happened. I’ve fallen off the stage. I’ve ripped my pants. I’ve shit in my pants. I’ve done everything you can do onstage [smiles].
GREATEST CAREER MOMENT: There’s so many. Maybe the greatest moment might’ve been the moment I was onstage at the Cabo Wabo with Van Halen (’88). I dreamed up this club and built it. I felt when we played the song Cabo Wabo at the Cabo Wabo at the grand opening, I’d have to say that was pretty fuckin’ magical. It came from a dream. I was driving down the street in Cabo San Lucas. I saw a guy staggerin’, hittin’ the barb wire fence. He had been drinkin’ all night and I said, Look at that, he’s doing the Cabo Wabo. The light went on, I wrote the song, built the club, made the tequila. It just all rolled. Just a magical moment to me when we played that song for the first time there.
MOST PAINFUL CAREER MOMENT: There’s never been a painful moment in my career. Except maybe when my long time manager Ed Leffler died in ’93. After 18 years of managing me. That was painful.
FAVORITE MEAL: Food from the great, great chefs – Julian Serano, Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batali.
FAMILY: Wife, Kari; sons, Aaron, Andrew; daughter, Kama; cats, Snickle, Fritz.

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