Sammy Hagar has spent a huge chunk of his life on the road, whether it was with a band like Van Halen or on his own. The 68-year-old rocker’s bags are packed again for his new TV show, “Rock & Roll Road Trip with Sammy Hagar.”
The series, where Hagar goes on the road to talk and jam with the musicians like Alice Cooper, Nancy Wilson and Tommy Lee, airs on the AXS channel. The artists featured in the show were all picked by Hagar.
“I gave them my A list,” Hagar says. “We had a list of 12 people. Some where hard to get, even though they were friends. But this show had not been on the air when we asked them.”
Doing each episode of the show requires at least two days of work and a few artists were hesitant to be part of the program until they got a better idea of what would happen.
It shows Hagar chatting with fellow musicians about everything from music to food. The idea behind the series is that the musicians will more openly talk with a fellow musician than with anyone else.
The TV show is the latest venture for Hagar. He continues to perform, run multiple businesses, including the Cabo Wabo Cantina, and does a weekly radio show.
Asked about juggling all the work, Hagar smiles and says: “I don’t know what the (expletive deleted) my problem is? I think I’m just driven to death.
“People keep asking me about whether I have been thinking about retirement. I’ve always heard retirement is doing what you want to do when you want to do it. That’s what I’ve kind of been doing that all my life.”
It helps that Hagar can produce his “Sammy Hagar’s Top Rock Countdown” (it airs at 7 p.m. Saturdays on 95.7 The Fox) from the studio at his home. Because his show looks at lists, such as “Inspiring songs,” “Decades of Rock” and “Important Rock Songs,” he’s able to produce multiple programs in a single day.
He loves doing the radio show for the same reason he loves the TV series: “To be able to go back and tell the stories about songs that really touch me, really affect me, is great. I love talking about music history because I’m part of it. I’m in it.
There’s so much inside information I love being able to share.
Hagar doesn’t consider himself a music historian; just a guy with a passion to learn and share what he finds out about the music world.
“Rock & Roll Road Trip” has changed since the first few episodes. Originally, the cities where Hagar was visiting was as important as the interview subject. That’s particularly true with the Tommy Lee episode where Hagar goes around Los Angeles pointing out hot spots for music along the Sunset Boulevard.
But the producers discovered is that either too many musicians live in the same city and it would mean repeating segments, or it was not logistically possible to get to the home city.
Hagar doesn’t mind the change. To him, the best part is what happens when he’s hanging out with other musicians.
“The show is not heavily formatted and I like that because I don’t want each episode to be a cookie cutter of the others,” he says. “I want people to watch an episode, think it is a cool show and wonder what we will be doing next.”
Don’t look for Hagar to make a trip to Fresno as part of the show. He remembers bad times in Fresno. His effort to open a Cabo Wabo Cantina at Granite Park ended when Hagar pulled his brand and filed a federal lawsuit.
Rock & Roll Road Trip with Sammy Hagar
- 6 p.m. Sundays, AXS