Samuel Roy Hagar, widely known as ‘The Red Rocker,’ was born on October 13, 1947, and is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and entrepreneur. Early in the 1970s, Hagar gained fame with the hard rock group Montrose. After that, he enjoyed success in his solo career and had a hit with ‘I Can’t Drive 55’ in 1984. After taking over for David Lee Roth as the lead singer of Van Halen in 1985, Hagar found mainstream success; but left the band in 1996. He returned to the group between 2003 and 2005 and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on March 12, 2007.
Samuel Roy Hagar was born on October 13, 1947, in Salinas, California, to Bobby and Gladys Hagar. He taught himself to play guitar on a $40 instrument acquired from a “Sears” catalog. When he was 14, he headed his first band, Fabulous Castille’s. Hagar was discovered and invited to join Montrose, a new band created by Ronnie Montrose. ‘Bad Motor Scooter’ was Hagar’s debut song, released in 1973.
Hagar has written songs for other bands, most notably Rick Springfield’s ‘I’ve Done Everything for You.’ “Standing Hampton,” his first Geffen release, was his best-selling album to that point. Hagar Schon Aaronson Shrieve was a brief-lived supergroup. Hagar took over as vocalist for Van Halen in 1985, replacing David Lee Roth, but internal conflicts caused Hagar’s resignation from the band after 15 years in 1996. The band was reformed in 2005 and has subsequently played several times.
After leaving Van Halen in 1996, Hagar created Los Tres Gusanos. The band has performed at the California Music Award and is well-known for its live shows. In 2004, Hagar rejoined Van Halen for a two-year tour. Before the releases of ‘World Play’ in 2003 and ‘Cosmic Universal Fashion’ in 2008, ‘Planet Us’ was never made public; only the two songs, ‘Psycho Vertigo’ and ‘Peephole,’ were recorded by the band. Hagar founded the supergroup Chickenfoot in 2008 with Michael Anthony, Chad Smith, and Joe Satriani. The band’s debut album, “Chickenfoot,” peaked at number four on the Billboard Music Chart. “Space Between,” the debut studio album by Hagar and the Circle, was released on May 10, 2019, by B.M.G. Hagar previously released “Livin’ It Up!” in 2006. The album opened at positions two on the Top Rock Albums chart, one on the Billboard Top Album Sales chart, and four on the Billboard 200 list.
Hagar is found and hired while playing in a San Francisco cover band to join Montrose, a new band formed by famed session guitarist Ronnie Montrose.
Hagar is hired as the lead vocalist for the band and they go on to create four multi-platinum, number-one albums on the Billboard chart.
Hagar, drummer David Lauser, and bassist Michael Anthon establish the harmony-singing rock band Los Tres Gusanos.
Following his separation from Van Halen, Hagar produces several solo albums before forming The Waboritas, a long-running band.
Hagar establishes the Chickenfoot supergroup with Michael Anthony, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, and guitar maestro Joe Satriani.
Hagar establishes a new supergroup with Michael Anthony, Vic Johnson, and drummer Jason Bonham’ called Sammy Hagar and the Circle.
Why We Love Sammy Hagar
He attributes his happiness to being self-made
Hagar came from a low-income household. He worked very hard over the years and credits his bliss to being appreciative of what he did on his own through hard work and achieving his goals. He is such an inspiration.
He is a philanthropist
While he doesn't promote it or talk about it much, Hagar has frequently donated to charities like food banks and children's hospitals, among many others. He is a kind-hearted and generous person.
Hagar loves his children
Hagar has been married twice and has children from both marriages. He has claimed that his children were raised decently and are kind individuals, which gives him a great deal of happiness.
5 Surprising Facts About Hagar
He made a tequila
Hagar started marketing Cabo Wabo tequila, a handcrafted tequila he commissioned from a family-owned distillery in the Mexican state of Jalisco in the late 1990s.
He is a bestselling author
With his book "Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock," Hagar ranked on the New York Times Bestsellers list in 2011.
He believes he got abducted by aliens
Hagar relates a believable account in his best-selling book "Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock" about two aliens landing on a spaceship and forging some type of link into his brain while resting in bed.
He continues to perform
Hagar, now in his 70s, believes that he should continue performing while still at the top of his game.
He appeared in “Nash Bridges”
Hagar played the role of a bartender at a gay bar in a 1998 episode of the Don Johnson series "Nash Bridges."
Sammy Hagar FAQs
Who is Sammy Hagar’s wife?
Kari Karte-Hagar has been Sammy Hagar’s wife since 1995.
How did Sammy Hagar release ‘I Can’t Drive 55’?
Hagar wrote the song after receiving a speeding citation in New York State for going 62 m.p.h. on a highway that only allowed 55 m.p.h.
Why is Sammy Hagar called ‘The Red Rocker’?
Albums like “Nine on a Ten Scale” and songs like ‘Red,’ helped to create his personality and style and earned him the moniker ‘The Red Rocker.’
Sammy Hagar’s birthday dates