Sammy Hagar (AKA The Red Rocker) is by far one of my favorite singers in my top five. I’m very blessed to have seen him perform four times in my life. In 1998 at Lawlor Events Center in Reno on UNR Campus also in 2011, 2012, and 2015 at Harvey’s Outdoor Amphitheatre in Stateline, Nevada, The small venue shows of his at Lake Tahoe are the ones I love to keep going back to every chance I get.
To be quite frank, I’m a big fan of Sammy as a soloist. Yes, he had his greatest level of success in his twelve years in Van Halen, and I do like some of the “Van Hagar” era songs. But in my strong, heartfelt opinion, Sammy’s solo career is a unique, true blue sound that can’t be matched.
So, with that said, what if Sammy had never joined Van Halen (VH) and remained solo all this time after Montrose? Would he have remained popular? I’m going to take a look at record sales from his solo career and Van Halen.
From the years of 1986 – 1995 when Sammy recorded records with VH, 29.5 million copies were sold. During his solo career before and after VH, most of his solo albums show a total of 3,531,857 copies sold. Sammy was quoted as saying he has sold over 70 million records and headlined every venue. This was before Chickenfoot while he was solo after leaving VH.
We know Sammy has headlined every venue from Montrose through his solo career after leaving VH. And I do feel the 70 million copies sold are in total from Montrose – post VH before Chickenfoot was started. We need to keep in mind that the artist who performed on any type of recorded work will always get a piece of the revenue from any first hand sale of it as long as the recorded work is still available while the artist is still living. The artist would only no longer receive revenue of a sale before their death if they were to sign their rights to it over to someone else.
In conclusion, I will say a definite yes that Sammy would have remained popular and had a great solo career indefinitely if he never would have joined VH. Simply because singing talent like his I feel you have to be born with. Either you have it or you don’t. Yes they do have to rehearse consistently to maintain it. And they have to discover they have it. But if the singing talent isn’t there to begin with, it can’t ever be developed and here are three songs that prove that.



– Mick Potter


2 thoughts on “What If Sammy?

    • Most definitely! One thing we gotta keep in mind is that he started in the music business before the Van Halen’s did. Longevity and experience are key.


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