Sammy Hagar has treated his post-Van Halen solo career like one big party, and with his latest release, he’s rounded up an undeniably impressive guest list.
‘Sammy Hagar & Friends,’ due Sept. 24 in the U.S., finds Hagar in the studio with a colorful blend of past collaborators (including Denny Carmassi and Bill Church of Montrose), current cohorts (including Michael Anthony and Joe Satriani of Chickenfoot) and famous friends (including country star Toby Keith and bluesman Taj Mahal). The goal, says Hagar in a new five-minute video about the project, was an all-star celebration of his career — past, present and future.
The record is “a celebration of my whole career and bringing it to where I am now, but not losing touch of where I started in ’72 with Montrose,” says Hagar, adding, “Once I got into the studio with these guys, the Montrose guys and the Wabos and Mickey Hart and people like that … once we all got together to start recording this music, it really took on a special life of its own. I was inspired enough by these guys to write more songs, and then I got other people to write for me, which was great.”
The clip also includes interviews with ‘Sammy Hagar & Friends’ guests such as Nancy Wilson of Heart (who says “me and Sammy go way back”) and Journey‘s Neal Schon, who good-naturedly complains that Hagar interrupted a quiet Sunday night at home to get him down to the studio. It also features some behind-the-boards perspective from producer John Cuniberti, who says, “I’ve never seen someone having so much fun making a record like a 15-year-old filled with enthusiasm every day … As soon as he walks in the building, everybody lightens up and starts having fun.”
“I blended it all together in one CD and one tour, and it covers four decades,” concludes Hagar. “I feel really good about this.”
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