SAMMY TALKS TO ST. LOUIS
ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH
June 6, 2002
SAMMY TALKS TO ST. LOUIS,
"THE MOST LOYAL CITY IN THE WORLD"
Compiled By Kevin C. Johnson Post-Dispatch Pop Music Critic
Red Rocker Sammy Hagar, staying true to giving just a little bit more to his
most loyal fans -- those in St. Louis -- agreed to something different to
pump up his concert Friday with David Lee Roth at UMB Bank Pavilion.
He took questions -- any question about anything -- from fans here. Redheads
responded eagerly to the invitation, posted on redrocker.com, to question
him via a reporter (some questions were edited for clarity or length).
We chose not to ask Hagar whether he'd ever seen Eddie Van Halen's wife,
Valerie Bertinelli, naked, as one local fan needed to know.
JAN GACA NILES, ILL. If you could pick one artist to cover one of your
songs, what song would it be and who would you like to cover your song?
S.H.: "I'd like to hear Tom Jones sing "Let Sally Drive," because he's the
only one with that powerful voice like I have. He's one of the old guys who
can really belt it out. I dig his voice. If Elvis were alive today, I'd love
for Elvis to do whatever he wanted. But he's not around, so I'll go with
Tom. Financially, I'd like to see Britney Spears do one of my songs."
DAN BAYBO FENTON
In the Tyson vs. Lewis fight, who do you pick to win and in what round?
S.H.: "Definitely Lennox Lewis, and I expect it to be by the fourth or fifth
round. But how it ends up could be a disqualification as well. We all know
that. If it's a fair fight, Lewis will kill him. That's where my money would
LANETTE NORDQUIST AND ANGIE WAGENFUEHR ST. PETERS
What do you think of the Sammy Hagar conventions that have become an annual
S.H.: "I'm totally honored. I think they're wonderful. My fans are just
fantastic. They just got it going on. They treat each other so good, with
the camaraderie and the way they make sure somebody from out of town gets a
DAVE STARICH ST. CHARLES
Can St. Louis look forward to yearly summer concerts, Jimmy Buffet style?
S.H.: "Absolutely. That's what I'm working toward everywhere, not just St.
Louis. But St. Louis certainly is already there."
CHERYL REICHLING ST. LOUIS NATIVE LIVING IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
Is it true you once said St. Louis has the rowdiest and most loyal fans?
S.H.: "Yes. I think for me, anyway, in my career, St. Louis is the most
loyal city in the world. When it comes to St. Louis, I care more (for it)
than any other place in America. I'll always care wherever I go, but I'm
always concerned that I do something great for the fans in St. Louis."
MICHELLE STALLMAN ST. LOUIS
Since St. Louis is your biggest market, why haven't you ever written a song
about St. Louis or the fans there, or at least mention them in a song?
S.H.: "It's a funny thing. I don't know why. I never try to write songs .
Songs come through me and write themselves. But you're right. It hasn't
happened yet. Give me some time. We've got the rest of our lives here."
CHRISTI NAUSLEY FARMINGTON, MO.
When you're in St. Louis, is there a favorite place you can't leave town
S.H.: "It seems so, but I'm trying to think. I have so many friends in St.
Louis, and I don't get to spend much time there. Whenever I come there,
someone insists on taking me to some new restaurant or something. I used to
love to check out the planetarium and the Zoo. I love a zoo. A zoo or a
botanical gardens is refreshing to me, after being in an airplane or a
hotel. I get to go back to nature."
CATHY BROWN ST. PETERS
You once said you would never play for Van Halen unless it was for charity.
Would you consider joining Van Halen again?
S.H.: "I would consider it, but there's so much that would have to happen
first. First, I would never do it just for business. I would do it because
we'd become friends again first, before the music. I'd have to hang out for
a few days and find out if we like each other still. They (Eddie and Alex
Van Halen) would have to prove they would be loyal friends again. We'd have
to do it for the fans, and the music would have to be as good as it ever
JENNIFER SIEGEL KIRKWOOD
You've said Elvis Presley had a large influence on your decision to become a
musician instead of following in your father's footsteps and becoming a
boxer. Is this true?
S.H.: "Yeah, because I was very young the first time I saw Elvis on TV. I
had two older sisters who were teen-agers at the time, and I was watching
their reaction to Elvis on TV. I said hell, I'm gonna do that. But it was a
subconscious thing, because I was like 4 or 5 years old. But I knew it
looked like fun."
JOSHUA DAKE EDWARDSVILLE
What does the follow-up material to "Ten 13" (released in 2000) sound like?
S.H.: "It's a lot different from 'Ten 13.' I think my new CD is going to be
called 'Sammy Hagar and the Waboritas: Not for Sale.' It's really jus t
leaning toward heavy grooves. It's very groove oriented, really powerful.
It's not just frantic, crazy energy. It's settled down, hopefully in the
pocket. I'm working on it today as we speak." (Hagar is looking at an August
MATT FULSOM ST. LOUIS
I heard rumors you were a big fan of Living Colour (the band) and wanted to
produce their second release. Is that true? Have you ever jammed with any of
S.H.: "It's true. When I left Van Halen, I had many conversations with
(Living Colour's) Vernon Reid about joining before I got Vic Johnson. He
(Reid) was in New York, and I was in San Francisco, but it wasn't just the
physical distance that stopped us, but distance in direction. Vernon wanted
to go fuse out, I wanted singer-friendly tunes. We never took it to the next
level and jammed, but we talked about doing it. I liked that band a lot."
VICKY WHITEHEAD ST. LOUIS
What is the one thing you would want people to know about you, or something
that even the biggest Red Rocker fans doesn't know about you?
S.H.: "In this day and age of the Internet, I don't think there's anything
that everyone doesn't know, including my personal business. But I hope
everyone knows I'm a very loyal and sincere person in everything I do. I'm
not just some flaky rock star. But my fans already know that."
JULIE DECLUE HIGH RIDGE, MO.
If you could jam with any one person, who would it be? And what is your
favorite color? (Who knows, it might not be red?)
S.H.: "In Cabo (the Cabo Wabo Cantina, his club in Mexico), Keith Richards,
because of the down and dirtiness of what we could do at the Cabo. It would
be a night to remember for the rest of your life. In a big stadium somewhere
I want to jam with Jimmy Page. Jimmy in a stadium ripping off some Led
Zeppelin riffs and me singing it, I could kill it. I love Robert Plant, but
I would love to have the chance to do that. In the studio, I'd love to sit
in a room with Eric Clapton. Other than that, I've jammed with everyone
else. ... My favorite color is a tossup between red and yellow. I love
yellow because it's so happy. It makes me feel good."
DAVID KAISER O'FALLON
Why don't you change your set list around? It's the same old concert.
S.H.: "I play two-and-a-half hours-plus sometimes, and I'm playing basically
all the songs I want to play. I disagree with that question. I change my set
list all the time. There are so many songs I have to play. I change up the
Van Halen stuff. I change it up all the time, and added some strange tunes
back into the set, Van Halen songs I don't normally do. So I disagree."
RICK FULSOM JR. WEBSTER GROVES
Where's the best place in Maui, Hawaii, to get a fish sandwich?
S.H.: "Maybe Mama's Fish House."
RANDY WILKERSON ST. CHARLES
If you had your career to do all over again, what one thing would you do
differently or change?
S.H.: "I don't think I would do anything differently. I don't think I would
want to do anything differently. Maybe I would have quit Van Halen after the
last show from the 'Balance' tour in Tokyo. I would have said goodbye to
those guys before it got ugly. But I have no regrets. I'd sound like a
sniveling snob to complain about my career."
CABO TOMBO ST. PETERS
Do you ever think about retiring? At what age do you think you would retire?
S.H.: "100. I'm thinking about planning my retirement when I turn 100.
There's no such thing as retirement in my vocabulary."