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Sammy Hagar celebrates the 40th anniversary of his recording career with today's (September 24) release of "Sammy Hagar and Friends," which features both originals and cover songs as well as a full lineup of guests such as Heart's Nancy Wilson ("All We Need is an Island)," Kid Rock ("Knockdown Dragout"), Toby Keith (Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville"), Taj Mahal ("Winding Down"), Ronnie Dunn ("Bad on Fords and Chevrolets") and instrumentalists such as all three members of Chickenfoot (Chad Smith, Michael Anthony and Joe Satriani), Journey's Neal Schon, Montrose alumni Bill Church and Denny Carmassi, Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart and, of course, Hagar's own Wabos.
But Hagar tells us that wasn't the intention of the album when he started working on it:
"I started off gonna do an anthology record, like Four Decades of Rock, and I was going to license songs from each decade and have, like, a two- or three-CD record and I was gonna write four songs, one from each era. I was going to write a Montrose-esque song, and early Sammy car song -- which is 'Bad On Fords...' -- and the Montrose tune is 'Not Going Down.' And then I was going to write a Van Halenesque song and then a lifestyle song...And I started recording and I got anxious, and I wrote a couple more and then I just started getting excited. I've always been anti-greatest hits package; that's what broke Van Halen up the first time, to be honest with you. And I thought, 'What am I doing this for? I can still write. I can still sing. I can still go and make a great record,' so I just kept going and kept going, and...then I started duets because I wanted Denny [Carmassi] to play on it, and then it was, 'Mike, Chad, get your ass down here! I need some friends!"
"Sammy Hagar and Friends" is his first new solo album since "Cosmic Universal Fashion" in 2008.
Hagar will rev up to his 66th birthday with four shows at his Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in October, followed by a handful of North American dates.
CLICK HERE to learn out more about Gary Graff and his award-winning music journalism including the books he has written on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.
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