Sammy Hagar's wacky and brutal memoir
Sammy Hagar can't drive 55, but he can have mind-melds with aliens, according to his new memoir, "Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock." It happened around 1970, when Hagar was a struggling musician on welfare with a wife and small child, living in Los Angeles before moving to San Francisco. Hagar writes:
I was lying in bed one night at the Anastasia Street place in Fontana, asleep, dreaming. I saw a ship and two creatures inside of this ship. I couldn't see their faces. I just knew that there were two intelligent creatures, sitting up in a craft in the Lytle Creek forest area about twelve miles away in the foothills above Fontana. And they were connected to me, tapped into my mind through some kind of mysterious wireless connection. I was kind of waking up. They said, in their communication to each other, no words spoke, "Oh, he's waking up. We've got to go.".... I didn't even know the word "UFO." I didn't know my astrological sign. I didn't know anything about astronomy or numerology or anything. But I dug into it.
In the book, cowritten with Joel Selvin, Hagar also writes about his Cabo Wabo nightclubs and tequila brand, but Hagar's stories of being a musician are the most interesting (except maybe the aliens part).
Hagar is particularly candid about his time playing with Van Halen, which was both good and bad. Rolling Stone has an exclusive excerpt, in which Hagar praises Eddie Van Halen and writes rivetingly (and often profanely) about his dissipation. In one passage, Hagar writes:
He told me he cured himself by having pieces of his tongue liquefied and injected into his body. He also told me when he had his hip replacement, he stayed awake through the operation and helped the doctors drill the hole. What a fruitcake.
Hagar is currently on tour -- book tour, that is -- with "Red." Angelenos who missed him at Book Soup on Sunday can catch him at Barnes & Noble in Hungtington Beach on Monday at 7 p.m.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photo: Sammy Hagar at a Borders book signing in New York on Tuesday. Credit: Mike Coppola /Getty Images