Sammy Hagar, the entrepreneurial former Van Halen lead singer, longtime solo artist and current The Circle bandleader, has no qualms acknowledging that he makes more money from his business ventures as an alcoholic beverage maker and spokesperson than from music itself.
Hagar, 74, currently promotes Santo Tequila, the liquor brand he started with the popular food TV personality Guy Fieri. Before that, Hagar’s signature spirit was Cabo Wabo Tequila, based on his mainstay Mexican watering hole, the Cabo Wabo Cantina, and its flagship location in Baja, California. The ex-Van Halen vocalist also just released a book on drink mixology.
Watch the video down toward the bottom of this post.
Asked by TMZ on July 4 if he makes more from his alcohol and non-music opportunities than from recording and performing, Hagar responds in an interview clip, “It’s true, yes, it’s absolutely true.”
The musician known as the “Red Rocker” continues, “That’s what’s made it so great for me. … If you get lucky enough to get successful outside of music, it makes it so much better in your elder years. Like now, I’m in my 70s, and I’m still going and playing music.”
Hagar explains, “You know why? Because I don’t have to do it for a living; I don’t have to make it my business. So I can pay my band more than they can make [elsewhere], and they’re happy. They’re happy to play with me. We all walk out on stage, and we’re happy to do it, because we don’t have to do it.”
He adds, “When you’ve been doing it as long as me — man, unless you’re [The Rolling Stones guitarist] Keith Richards, who I don’t think could do anything but play music. … [But] a lot of people are doing it for money. And they go out and they punch the clock.”
Not so for Hagar. “We do it for fun,” he explains. “It’s almost like we’re in a garage band again, because I make my living another way. And music is something I just love to do. But if someone said, ‘Hey, you’ve got to play 150 shows this year,’ I’d tell ’em, ‘I quit.'”
See Hagar’s upcoming tour dates under the video.
Sammy Hagar Says He Makes Money Off Booze + Bars, Music’s Just for Fun
Sammy Hagar & The Circle 2022 Tour Dates
July 8 – Prior Lake, Minn. @ Lakefront Music Fest
July 16 – Highland, Calif. @ Yaamava Theater
Aug. 6 – Salamanca, N.Y. @ Seneca Resort
Aug. 21 – Springfield, Ill. @ Illinois State Fair
Aug. 23 – Clarkston, Mich. @ Pine KnobTheatre
Aug. 24 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ Riverbend Music Ctr
Aug. 26 – Maryland Heights, Mo. @ Hollywood Casino
Aug. 27 – Tinley Park, Ill. @ Hollywood Casino
Aug. 29 – Greenwood Village, Colo. @ Fiddler’s Green
Aug. 30 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ USANA Amp.
Sept. 1 – Bend, Ore. @ Hayden Homes Amp.
Sept. 3 – Ridgefield, Wash. @ RV Inn Resort
Sept. 4 – Auburn, Wash. @ White River Amp.
Sept. 7 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ Ak-Chin Pavilion
Sept. 9 – Mountain View, Calif. @ Shoreline Amp.
Sept. 10 – Irvine, Calif. @ FivePoint Amp.
Sept. 16 – Houston, Texas @ Mitchell Pavilion
Sept. 17 – Irving, Texas @ Toyota Pavilion
Oct. 1 – Lincoln, Calif. @ Thunder Valley
Oct. 9 – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico @ Cabo Wabo
Oct. 11 – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico @ Cabo Wabo
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