Brushes With Greatness: Sammy Hagar and Eddie Van Halen

I (along with a couple of my Mountain Biking magazine coworkers) did an interview with Sammy at his house in Malibu back in the 80s. He had a private label line of mountain bikes called Red Rockers, which were made by Gary Fisher.

At the end of the interview, I asked Sammy if we could shoot some photos of him in his backyard with his red electric acoustic. His reply? “Nah… how about if we have Eddie do it?”

He sticks his fingers in his mouth, whistles loudly, and the widow pops open a couple houses down from him. Eddie sticks his head out of the window, and Sammy yells, “Come help us shoot some photos.” Eddie pops out of the house, comes across the two hedges (the neighbor in-between had installed gates because they were going back and forth so often). He grabs Sammy’s guitar, retunes it, then proceeds to go off…while I’m shooting photos with my jaw hanging.

That was about as cool as it gets. I just regret that it was in the days before cell phone video.