Sammy Hagar Hits the Booze and His Career Highlights … on a Weeknight

Hard Rock Hotel Pool, July 2


Photo by Chase Stevens/ Erik Kabik Photography

It’s not every day that a 66-year-old now in the fifth decade of his career attends a pool party, let alone throws one … that starts after 9 p.m. … on a weeknight. Even Sammy Hagar seemed to grasp this when he paused several songs into his career-retrospective set at the Hard Rock’s Soundwaves stage and asked the poolside crowd: “What are we doing partying like this on a Wednesday?” Then the Red Rocker launched into his solo hit “Three Lock Box,” stopping midway through to grab a bottle of rum—his own Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, of course—which he raised to the sky as he sang, “to the Redheads in Vegas, I raise a toast!” It wouldn’t be the last time Hagar hit the bottle, as he and his longtime band the Wabos belted out hits from his solo career (“I Can’t Drive 55,” “Heavy Metal,” “There’s OnlyOne Way to Rock”); his early ’70s stint in Montrose (“Rock Candy,” “Bad Motor Scooter”); and his Van Halen days (“Top of the World,” “Best of Both Worlds,” “Finish What Ya Started”). Old VH buddy Michael Anthony—himself recently turned 60 and always the life of any party—joined in on bass for about half the set, adding to the festive atmosphere that has come to define that latter half of Hagar’s life. The only complaint? The beach bash didn’t last into the wee hours, as Mr. Mas Tequila said no mas before 11 p.m. Then again, that’s well past the bedtime of most other senior citizens. ★★★★✩

Photos by Chase Stevens/ Erik Kabik Photography