Popular Music

Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock

By Sammy Hagar (2011)

Since I just finished Thomas Hardy’s The Hand of Ethelberta, (the last Hardy novel I had left to to read), Sammy Hagar’s 2011 autobiography, Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock, moved up in my queue…

Hagar writes in a pretty straight-forward, determined style, which makes sense when you read his story and understand how hard he worked to overcome poverty and a rough family life to achieve the musical success he craved.  It’s quite different from Neil Peart’s more descriptive narrative, but I like it. Whether or not you’re a fan of his music, whether you love him or hate him, the man is unapologetically honest about his rock star behavior and lays it out there in this book.

From Chapter 6: I Can’t Drive Fifty-Five:

When I was hungry, I lacked confidence.  I was afraid to let my heart and soul out.  I was hiding.  I was faking it.  It seeped through.  You could hear it in my voice.  My actions were not true and honest, so they didn’t connect.  I was bluffing, acting the part.  It took fame and fortune for me to become myself.  That gave me the confidence I needed to bring out what I really have to offer, whatever it is.  I started to get more real. (p.81)

Not that I’m rich or famous by any stretch of the imagination, but I totally understand Hagar’s experience of being fueled by success and the confidence it can inspire.


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