02 Jun SAMMY HAGAR- “THE MAN IN RED BELIEVES IN MIND & SPACE”

SAMMY HAGAR AND BILL CHURCH PERFORMING LIVE IN OAKLAND ON 12-31-77. PHOTO ART BY BEN UPHAM. MAGICAL MOMENT PHOTOS.

SAMMY HAGAR & BILL CHURCH ROCKING OUT IN OAKLAND ON 12-31-77. PHOTO/ART BY BEN UPHAM.


CLICK THE LINKS BELOW TO SEE MORE SAMMY HAGAR PHOTOS:
SAMMY HAGAR FINE ART AMERICA IMAGES BY BEN UPHAM
AND
SAMMY HAGAR PHOTOS FROM 1976+1978 BY BEN UPHAM
AND
SAMMY HAGAR PHOTOS FROM 12-31-77 BY BEN UPHAM
AND
SAMMY HAGAR PHOTOS FROM 2-2-77 BY BEN UPHAM

SAMMY HAGAR
“THE MAN IN RED BELIEVES IN MIND AND SPACE”
BY CHRISTOFER GROSS
THE VALLEY NEWS
VAN NUYS, CALIFORNIA
APRIL 29, 1977

“I heard Cream for the first time and immediately took up the guitar”. Could be the words of any number of frustrated garage-band members during the ’60s who never made it out of their garages.
But these are the words of Sammy Hagar, who’s done pretty well for himself since pulling out of his garage. After touring the East with Boston, he opens tomorrow night’s Bob Seger concert at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion.
What separates Hagar, if you look into the man, from the also-rans of the rock scene is an uncommon set of beliefs backed by confidence and clarity. His tag to the Cream remark was, “How Clapton has done all the innovating that he’s going to. But I feel that I’ve got a lot of new things to produce.”
Born in Monterey, he grew up in Fontana, the son of a boxer who held the bantamweight title during the mid ’40s. At 13 he saw Elvis Presley for the first time and was impressed to the point of idolatry. At 16, he heard Cream and picked up the guitar. After some years of local amateur bands he was accepted into Ronnie Montrose’s band Montrose.
After two years of writing and singing songs with that Bay area-based band, he went off on his own. Upon leaving Montrose he got the opportunity to do “Nine on a Ten Scale” for Capitol, his first solo album. On it he got some help from a contemporary of Clapton’s, Van Morrison.
“The bass player in my band,” Hagar explained, “Bill Church, had played with Van on Tupelo Honey’ and ‘St. Dominic’s Preview ‘ So Van was there as a friend. It turns out he wanted to play sax on the record When he came up to me I told him we didn’t have a song with a sax part and so he wrote a song called ‘Flamingo’s Fly” which he released on his new album. His version isn’t as good as mine, but neither is as powerful as when he first sat down with his guitar to play the song for me after he wrote it.”
On Hagar’s current LP, “Sammy Hagar,” songs by others are about one fourth of the album. Each one brings in enough new ideas to make it stand on its own.” There is Donovan’s “Catch The Wind,” Weil and Mann’s “Hungry”, and a tough version of Patti Smith’s “Free Money.”
The rest of the material, written by Hagar, is primarily good time rock revolving around parties, concerts and music. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Weekend,” “Cruisin’ and Boozin’,” “Fillmore Shuffle” and “The Pits” make up the best of these tunes. “The Pits” has a line in it about being hit in the face with a frisbee at a concert “Yeah, you can’t imagine how many times I’ve been hit up on stage,” complained Hagar, “but I guess it happens all the time. Everywhere I go to be interviewed, writers, radio announcers, all tell me they’ve been hit.” This writer was no exception.
Two of the remaining songs are more serious. “Red,” the opening cut, is a tour de force tribute to Hagar’s favorite color. Red, he said, corresponds to nine, “his number.” Since you’ll find one pertinent song on each of the Montrose albums he contributed to, and each of his solo albums, the reliance on red is, thankfully, more temporary. “I’m planning on wearing red this tour, but that’s it. I’d be disappointed if fans came to my concert dressed in red a year from now.”
The final song on the album, “Little Star/Eclipse,” reveals Hagar’s true interests. “I believe I know answers to where we come from, where we are going and the reasons why we are here. I get glimpses of images of the future in dreams and so on. That’s what I plan to do with my concept album ” Hagar plans to release two albums from now, an album recorded at a concert when he is performing his “in-the-works” space odyssey about “Sammy Wilde and the Dust Cloud.” “Sammy Wilde will be one of these characters who understand the mind and space and responds to prediction so that he avoids the minor hassles of the day. Eventually, he will be joined onstage by a spaceship which will take him away.” He plans to hover this spaceship, actually descend from the rafters of the hall, land on the stage and fly away.
Though Elvis inspired his motion, Uri Geller has strongly affected his mind. Geller is a 30-year-old, Tel Aviv born legend in mental telepathy. He is either a superb magician, or the premiere showbiz-meets-parapsychology proponent in the world. It was in just such a showbiz setting (“$45 a seat and no dinner”) that Hagar, who believes strongly in Geller’s abilities (“We had similar experiences when we were young”) saw him perform. His standard fare is bending coins and silverware, reading minds and fixing watches. All this without touching the objects. Said Hagar, “My wife had her watch with us which hadn’t worked in a long time. When Uri said concentrate on the watch, we did, and it began to work again.”
What does all this have to do with music? Until Hagar came along, nothing. But it is this snowballing nature of rock & roll that causes the music pick up and promote different ideas that the musicians come in contact with along the way. The ideas are mixed with the music and come to the audience in one degree or another of dilution. But this is not what he’ll be performing tomorrow night. Tomorrow’s still the high power rock that has made him the Bay area’s pick as America’s next sweetheart.
But someday, maybe kids will say, instead of having picked up guitar upon hearing Cream, “Yeah, I heard Sammy Hagar for the first time and picked up a book on mental telepathy.”

SAMMY HAGAR DISCOGRAPHY:

1976 Nine on a Ten Scale
1977 Sammy Hagar
1977 Musical Chairs
1979 Street Machine
1980 Danger Zone
1981 Standing Hampton
1982 Three Lock Box
1984 VOA
1987 I Never Said Goodbye
1997 Marching to Mars
1999 Red Voodoo
2000 Ten 13
2002 Not 4 Sale
2006 Livin’ it Up!
2008 Cosmic Universal Fashion
2013 Sammy Hagar & Friends

CLICK THE LINKS BELOW TO SEE SAMMY HAGAR PHOTOS:
SAMMY HAGAR FINE ART AMERICA IMAGES BY BEN UPHAM
AND
SAMMY HAGAR PHOTOS FROM 1976+1978 BY BEN UPHAM
AND
SAMMY HAGAR PHOTOS FROM 12-31-77 BY BEN UPHAM
AND
SAMMY HAGAR PHOTOS FROM 2-2-77 BY BEN UPHAM