Sammy Hagar Did Not Want A Hit Record

William Lee | 12-19-2019

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Sammy Hagar

Sammy Hagar has revealed that in his early days his main focus was on playing live and not on making albums and in fact he did not want a hit record.

Hagar reflected on finding solo success during his recent event at the Grammy Museum. He shared, "I became addicted to going on tour and playing in front of people. I didn't even care about making records. After Montrose, we toured and toured and toured, and I saw how we kept getting bigger and bigger, and pretty soon, we were a headliner in some places, and it was from going back again and again. I said, 'That's the way to do it.'

"I didn't know anything about a hit record. I didn't want a hit record. The music that was Top 40 back then wasn't my stuff, it was very soft music, and my manager would say, 'Well, you can't get a hit with [your] kind of music.' I said, 'Well, I don't want a hit then. I'm just going to go tour... I went on tour, came home, made a record [and] went back on tour.

"I'd say, 'I've got 12 songs,' run in and make the record as quick as I could and go right back on tour. I was getting somewhere, I was starting to sell more records, but I never 'broke.' When David Geffen started, he signed John Lennon, Elton John, Donna Summer and me. It was unbelievable, I was honored.

"He said, 'You're over there making these lousy records. You've got to take your time.' They gave me ten times what I was getting from Capitol Records, they gave me a million dollars. I go, 'Wow. I didn't ever even dream that.'

"I was broke, basically, I was living tour to tour. He said, 'Here's a million dollars. Go away as long as you need and write me some great songs.'

"I wrote 26 songs. John Kalodner was the A&R guy, and he kept listening, 'There's a good one. 'Fall In Love Again'. We like that one. 'One Way To Rock', yeah, that's good.' I wrote all these songs, and they said, 'Okay. Let's make a record.'

"They gave me Keith Olsen, [a] top producer, and we made a record and it went gold, and it went platinum. Ever since, [I've had] gold and platinum records. I learned, 'I've got to get down and write some good songs and take my time.'

"I learned from that, and that was David Geffen and John Kalodner. They taught me a real lesson. My manager was trying to teach me that all the time, but I wouldn't listen to him."

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