Sammy Hagar is one of the most prolific artists in the history of Rock and Roll. Playing in bands like Montrose and Van Halen, and with a successful solo career that included the rock anthem “I Can’t Drive 55,” Sammy has had 25 platinum albums and has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide. Sammy is also an extremely successful serial entrepreneur and was the first celebrity to create his own tequila brand which he sold more than 20 years ago for nearly $100 million. He is also devoted to giving back and is a generous philanthropist.
But who was Sammy before fame and fortune? How did he become the successful rock icon and entrepreneur he is today?
Sammy’s journey is filled with many challenges, incredible perseverance, a lucky coincidence, and an ability to change. Sammy attributes his success to the lessons he learned about resilience and appreciation while growing up in poverty in Salinas, CA where he often slept in a car with his mom and siblings to get away from his alcoholic father. When Sammy fell in love with music at a Rolling Stones concert at age 14, the scrappy, adaptable young man bought a guitar from Sears and decided he would stop at nothing to pursue his dream of becoming a rock star.
In this fascinating episode, Sammy and Randall talk about Sammy’s journey from poverty to the big stage, Sammy’s experience with the bands Montrose and Van Halen, his creativity and marketing abilities in building Cabo Wabo Cantina and Cabo Wabo Tequila, and his dedication to philanthropy and making a difference in local communities.
- The odd jobs Sammy had while growing up which taught him the value of a strong work ethic;
- Sammy’s first realization about what having money would be like;
- Sammy’s first concert experiences and learning to play the guitar;
- The lessons Sammy learned from growing up poor;
- The ups and downs and experiences of playing with Van Halen for 20 years;
- The sale of Cabo Wabo Tequila for nearly $100 million to Gruppo Campari;
- His creativity, branding, and marketing tactics used to build the Cabo Wabo brand;
- Sammy’s three most important ingredients in the path to excellence;
- His ability to finding joy and happiness in the simple things;
- The origins of Sammy’s Beach Bar and Grill and the restaurant’s commitment to give back;
- And other topics…
Sammy Hagar is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and entrepreneur. In the 1970s, Sammy’s career took off with the rock band Montrose, and continued after he launched a successful solo career that included some of the greatest rock anthems ever written with songs like “I Can’t Drive 55,” “Right Now,” and “Why Can’t This be Love.” Sammy was the frontman for Van Halen for nearly 20 years, has had 25 platinum albums, and has sold 60 million records worldwide. He is a Grammy award winner and inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Sammy is also an incredibly talented entrepreneur, starting companies such as Cabo Wabo Tequila, Cabo Wabo Cantina, Sammy’s Beach Bar and Grill, Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, and Santo Mezquila. He is also a two-time New York Times best-selling author and a dedicated philanthropist. In 2008, Sammy started the Hagar Family Foundation, a private non-profit that focuses on food relief and children’s causes including children with cancer.