Sammy Hagar blames tequila for Zeppelin comment

Hagar buzzes on Chickenfoot, talks Van Halen
Hagar buzzes on Chickenfoot, talks Van Halen

"Chickenfoot could rival Led Zeppelin." It was a quote that made its way across the Internet within hours, and the man who said it, Sammy Hagar, blames it all on tequila.

"I got fucking ripped and I said something stupid,"Hagar admits, laughing, recalling the press day he did in Toronto this past spring to launch his premium Cabo Wabo Tequila in Canada (a product he just said sold an 80 percent interest in for the tidy sum of $80 million).

Throughout the day, journalists and Hagar were imbibing, and the singer reveals that the combination of alcohol and his unbridled love for his new supergroup led to an unfortunate slip of the tongue. "I told Joe (Satriani), 'I'm so enthusiastic about this band, I might've said something. But I was buzzed up. What are you gonna do?"

Chickenfoot is coming

And with the lineup Sammy Hagar has for Chickenfoot (a code name, by the way; the real name has yet to be decided), he has a right to be buzzing. Along with Mr. Can't Drive 55 are guitarist Joe Satriani, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and fellow ex-Van Halen member, bassist Michael Anthony. According to Hagar, the recording sessions are exceeding his wildest expectations.

"The world needs this band right now. The rock 'n' roll world needs this band. We are a rock band, and we're at the top of our game. When the world hears this, it's gonna turn on its side."

"The world needs this band right now." - Sammy on Chickenfoot

Throughout his career, the Red Rocker has been in his share of groups (Montrose , HSAS, Van Halen) and side projects (Planet US, Sammy And The Waboritas) and he's spent considerable time as a solo artist (his new album, Cosmic Universal Fashion, drops in November), but at the ripe age of 60 ("But I'm still 18 in body and spirit!"), he's convinced that Chickenfoot will be his finest hour. "This is the music I always wanted to make with the kinds of guys I always wanted to play with. I can't wait for people to hear it!"

Recently Hagar sat down with MusicRadar for a candid and free-wheelin' interview in which he talked about, among other things, Chickenfoot, what really went wrong with Van Halen, and his new album. Charming and utterly sincere, he laid it all out as only he can.

Part one - Sammy on his solo album, Eddie and the final "Van Hagar" tour
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Part two - Chickenfoot, working with Satriani, and the infamous Led Zep comment
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Part three - More on Van Halen, and Sammy answers your questions
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Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.