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Publisher's Summary

Loud rock, fast cars, and Cabo. This is the life of Sammy Hagar.

For almost 40 years, Sammy Hagar has been a fixture in rock music. From breaking into the industry with the band Montrose to his multiplatinum solo career to his ride as the front man of Van Halen, Sammy's powerful and unforgettable voice has set the tone for some of the greatest rock anthems ever written - songs like "I Can't Drive 55", "Right Now", and "Why Can't This Be Love".

In Red, Sammy tells the outrageous story of his tear through rock 'n' roll, detailing the backstage antics and nonstop touring that have made his voice instantly recognizable. Beginning with his musical coming-of-age in the blue-collar towns of California, Sammy traces his rough and determined rise to fame, working harder than anyone else out there and writing songs about the things he loved: fast cars, loud parties, and lots of good times.

But solo success was just the start, a prelude to his raucous and notorious decade as the front man for Van Halen, one of the biggest-selling rock groups in history. Filled with behind-the-scenes stories from his time with the band, Red offers the Van Halen story as Sammy saw it, holding nothing back about the worldwide stadium tours, the tensions with Eddie, the messy parties, the divided friendships, and, of course, his controversial and widely disputed exit from the band.

After Van Halen, Sammy changed directions again, throwing himself headfirst into the tequila business and creating Cabo Wabo, one of the most successful tequila brands in the world. And all the while he continued to rock, touring the country with his bands the Waboritas and Chickenfoot, and eventually reuniting with Van Halen for a tour that became both a box-office smash and a personal catastrophe.

©2011 Sammy Hagar (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Red

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Dude kinda sounds like Sammy

Top storytelling, great narration and a full life lived to the max!! Loved it! Would recommend to anyone!

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Well, don't that tear the crotch outta ya nightie

If, like me, youre circling the various stories to get the skinny on Van Halen, don't miss this one! Sammy paints a whole other side of the picture that forms the story of the legend, and sheds light on the background to the demise of one of the most talented virtuosos in Rock. R.I.P. Eddie, what a shame: the brightest stars have so far to fall.

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Profile Image for Bruce
  • Bruce
  • 10-12-2013

RED ROCKER SCORES ANOTHER #1 HIT

Would you consider the audio edition of Red to be better than the print version?

I'm a slow reader and listening to a book is easier for me so in my opinion the audio version is much better than the print version.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sammy of course, its why I purchased the audiobook. I wanted to hear his story and learn about one of my favorite performers since 1977-78 when I purchased my 1st albums of his called Sammy Hagar All Night Long. I have been a Sammy Hagar fan longer than a Van Halen fan. I have been a huge VH fan and when Sammy was asked to join VH I thought it was the greatest band in the world. Sammy's story of success and fame came to him on his own. He had what all young musicians dream about before he joined VH. Everything he touches turns to gold. Sammy pulled Van Halen's self destructing ruins together and made it the Greatest rock band in the World!! Sammy's wit, brains and smart business sense has taken him from poor kid from the fruit orchards to entrepreneurship to one of the best businessmen of Rock N Roll world. While Van Halen fired him because of jealously and insecure high school mentality alcoholic, drug addicted same old story of rock and roll casualties. Van Halen has done nothing but live off of pre Sammy 1978 memories with "never again" David Lee Roth. Once a guitar guru Eddie Van Halen and his drum banging brother Alex could do no wrong when it came to having the best of both worlds with Sammy are now broke, because of big egos, no hits, divorce(s), drugs, booze and poor business decisions. It's a fascinating story of a young fun loving, car nut who is the best rock singer, songwriting hit maker to an older fun loving, multi businessman car nut with a touch of gold, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, happy family man who is loving life!!

Have you listened to any of Scott Shepherd’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I have not.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A rare account of a ROCK AND ROLL SUCCESS STORY!!

Any additional comments?

Through out Sammy's story he remained grounded. He is the real deal full of talent, generosity, hard working, common sense man that figured out very young how not to work for a living. Do what you love.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Hilary
  • 23-10-2012

LOVED it Twice

I enjoyed this book so much, I listened to it twice. I've never done that before. Scott Shepherd sounds just like Sammy - INCREDIBLE narration. What a life, Sammy! He is the living representation of what a can-do attitude can accomplish.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Scott
  • 04-09-2012

classof1982rocker

What made the experience of listening to Red the most enjoyable?

The narrator was great!

What did you like best about this story?

I thought it was very balanced and somewhat inspiring. Even if it is a little over the top on how many records were sold and and home many arena's were sold out, it is a great story.

What about Scott Shepherd’s performance did you like?

He sounded like Sammy telling his own story. His age seemed appropriate and it was like listening to a long one sided conversation.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. I listened in like 15 minute chunks but was forced to stop.

Any additional comments?

Very entertaining. The only reason I didn't give 5 stars is there are no real life lessons just a guys life in Rock!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ro
  • 22-04-2011

Thanks Sammy

As a Van Halen Fan from the time I was 10 (1984), I was always more of a Van "Hagar" fan. The band broke up in 1985 1 year after I dicovered them and it was off to the races with Sammy Hagar. I had no pre-conceived love or hate fro Dave Or Sam. I was entering into this relationship with the band at a cross-roads. As far as I could tell, this is what bands did. I call it a relationship because as much as I have never met anyone in the band, I have always had a love affair with them, I could always imagine thinking I bet if Sam and I met he and I would be best buds. Alex seems so dark, I wonder if he has a softer side? Could Ed be like a surrogate Dad to me? Is Mike really that wild or is he the voice of reason? After listening to the book I had a lot of questions answered that I could not have anywhere else.

The book gives you an insight as to how Sammy became Sammy, and is Wonderful! I believe that the prologue that was written by Michael Anthony, set the tone for most of the book. Without it I am not sure if I could believe Sammy's words about the era from 1985-1998 without a certain sense of cynicism.

There is a real personal message here from Sam that makes me want to beleive in him and all he does.

If I had one criticism it would be that Sammy, himself, did not narrate it.

Bravo, Sammy

3 people found this helpful

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  • SDphotoman
  • 11-12-2013

Great Book!

Would you listen to Red again? Why?

Yes, because I find Sammy Hagar to be a fascinating guy and I have been a fan of both his solo music and his Van Halen music as well. Also, Sammy and I have similar upbringings mine in San Jose, CA his in So Cal.

What other book might you compare Red to and why?

None

Which scene was your favorite?

I really like the end of the book when Sammy talks about helping others that might think that they cannot make it in this world of ours because they were born under a bad sign. He gives hope and that's cool.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I was absolutely gripped to this book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • C.S.Kelly
  • 31-05-2012

New Respect

What an interesting life-hard work does pay off. New respect for this mans talent and more so for his accute business accumen. Well written...interesting,informative...here is a man blessed with good fortune who had the wherewithall to enjoy it-he appears to enjoy all he has accomplished...and quite frankly-I do not blame him one bit-very satisfying book-thank you Sammy for putting pen to paper!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sara Cannon
  • 07-06-2020

Full of Soul

Thoughtful reflections written beautifully. Succinct stories of his childhood, Montrose, soloist work, Van Halen and marriages. This is the story of a self made man who is truly a good human being. His love of music is what drives him and that comes out loud and clear. On my 18th Birthday, I went to Monsters of Rock in Los Angeles and saw Van Halen and Sammy blow the stage up. He was amazing. So much energy and you feel as though he is truly singing to the audience. I have also seen both Roth and Cherone perform with Van Halen. Neither have the soul, energy or charisma that Sammy does. I guess his soul reflects on stage as it does in his life and this memoir. The last chapter is truly touching. I recommend everyone be a little more like Sammy.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ron
  • 05-11-2012

Loved it!

What about Scott Shepherd’s performance did you like?

He sounded alot like Sammy Hagar and made it just like hearing it from Sammy himself

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • greg
  • 06-04-2011

Learned alot about Sammy bigger fan now!

I really liked Sammy's all around honesty about his life. I thought he touched on everything in his life. He talked about the good, the bad, the sad, the ugly, the lies, and the honesty. Well balanced moral about his life and through this audiobook I got to see what a positive person and well balanced person he is. I realize that someone isn't always going to come out and say completely bad things about themselves regardless if there is truth to what has been said. People naturally look at the positives that they have done most of the time so maybe the audiobiographies they write will be scewed a little towards positivity towards themselves and accidently leave certain negative things out that have happened in their lives. Great human story told by Sammy to sum it up! And I love Sammy's voice it sounds so good on the narration. Such a neat cool guy coming through in the story! I always liked some of his music. I can't say I was a huge fan of his but now I am. I'm going to check out his other band chickenfoot and look more into Montrose. He's a great artist and has a positive outlook in life. His Karma spreads and one feels his beautiful charisma through the audiobook. He just has a natural presence about him that makes the world a better place if another person is sensitive to those wonderful vibes. One of the best examples he gives about living and he shows in his life is the way he lives just trying to be happier and a better Sammy each day during his life. I was very impressed by his apparent centeredness with his life. His personality comes off in his story just as a cool dude who spreads good will by loving life! May Peace come to Sammy and the joy he brings to others. Peace to all others who read this audio and feel the same way! Beautiful Karma comes up in many places and sometimes ones lack of pushing a religion or philosophy will just permeat who they are and what great things one strives for. Thanks Sammy!!!!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • M
  • 24-03-2011

a bit bland

the book tells some intersting stories, and indeed gives insights into the road Sammy lived.

But he holds back. He tells stories about people, including the Van Halen brothers, but there is not one story of Michael Anthony's behavior, drinking, etc. In that sense, it does feel like a censored story in places. At the end he remarks how messed up Ed was - "he was doing something" but never states his opionion on what it was. the inferences was meth, but who knows.

It was enjoyable, but I found "The Dirt" by Motley Crue more revealing and honest. Sammy's book was a rough glimpse.

7 people found this helpful

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  • ALAN REVIEWS
  • 28-10-2020

a big fan of sammy

I listened to this book and I liked how sammy was entrepreneurial fighting his was from rags to riches but the one common denominator for me about the books I've listened to on here is the crappy narrators, coming across in like a fake American accent cant they get Sammy to narrate his own biography?? or Ozzy osbourne to do his own ? basically the narrators really put me of having a subscription to the audio books and also the cost why do we have to pay for a book when we're subscribed??? make it one or the other!

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  • Paul
  • 10-07-2019

Excellent book..

Great autobiography, but After listening more than once its clear that Sammy caused the break up of Van Halen..

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-01-2019

Great Audiobook

Sammy hager remains my all time favourite singer, his voice is so good, I love it when he says aho b4 a song highly recommended to you whoever reads this a true honest book from a guy who's been down on his ass right upto into the life of rock n roll no bullshit hager

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  • C KEERY-FISHER
  • 10-10-2018

Great life story of a legend. Very inspiring

Starting with his humble and tumultuous childhood, Sammy takes us through his life with honesty and balance.

His rags to riches story is laid bare with good insight in to his business ethic.

With just the right mix of the necessary bravado and drama that comes with the life of a rockstar, My Uncensored Life In Rock leaves the reader feeling upbeat about life's prospects.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.