Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock

Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock by Sammy Hagar

Okay, so I've got some explaning to do on this one. I don't read much non-fiction, let alone celebrity autobiographies. And I'm not a huge Van Halen fan. I've never paid to see them in concert, but I have all of their albums, even the one with Gary Cherone (I know, sorry). So the bottom line is this, under normal circumstances, I never would have read this book, let alone paid for it. But, when I walked past a Barnes & Noble in southern California and saw a sign in the window that Sammy was going to be there signing his book the following night, an internal debate began in my head that lasted until the following evening. 

I had no desire to read the book, but I kind of wanted to own a signed copy of it. I thought it would be a waste of money to buy a book I was never going to read, but then here was a chance to meet a bona fide rock star and one from a band that I listened to for several years of my my life. So I decided to go to the signing.

While waiting in the hour-long line for the three-second experience of meeting him and getting the signature, I started reading the book. It's not Pulitzer material obviously. In fact, I have a sneeking suspicion that he didn't type one word of it himself. It reads as if he sat down with Joel Selvin - who gets a much smaller billing as coauthor, and is taped as he describes different periods of his life. Nevertheless, by midway through the book when he comes to the Van Halen years of his life, I was pretty interested and was enjoying the book.  

Sammy has some out-there ideas about things like numerology and exta-terrestrial mind-hijackers. He also describes numerous experiences where he was visited in his dreams by people from his life who he learns the next day had died during the night. But the bottom line for me is here's the guy who wrote Summer Nights, Finish What Ya Started, and Right Now. That's the person I waited an hour to shake his hand and get his autograph . . . and it was worth it.

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

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