The morning Sammy Hagar shocked the world!
In July 1999 I started my new gig as the producer of The Mark and Brian Show. On my first day our programming director, Rita Wilde, told me that Sammy Hagar was booked to come in the studio at 9AM. While Sammy loves doing radio interviews, he is a rocker and does not usually schedule anything before noon.
Luckily for me he showed up just before 9am. Throughout the hour Sammy kept saying how he never gets up before noon and had surprised himself that he agreed to come in so early. It was such an entertaining show that as it came to a close Mark and Brian invited Sammy to perform at our annual live Christmas Variety Show. When he was told it took place in morning he laughed and asked for a rain check.
Over the next couple of years while he did not make it into the studio, Sammy did manage to call into the show even though it was before his usual wake up time. One of those call ins was sometime in early 2002. Mark and Brian jokingly asked Sammy if he was ready to do the Christmas Show. His answer shocked the world when he said “It’s time!”
As December approached I was making arrangements to get Sammy and his band, the Waboritas, down to Los Angeles. His manager told me they were going to charter a plane and arrange their own ground transport. This made me nervous. I’m not usually a control freak but when I handle logistics for this type of show there are too many things that can go wrong. One time the limo company picking up Rick Springfield in Las Vegas called saying that he was not at his hotel for pickup. I made a few calls, found out where he was and the problem was quickly solved.
After some prodding Sammy’s people agreed to let me handle the ground transportation once he was in Los Angeles. I asked the limo service to call me when the band landed and was on the way from the airport to their hotel. Like clockwork, I got the call and exhaled a big sigh of relief knowing our headliner was in town.
The next morning the Hagar entourage arrived at the Wiltern just before 8:30 am. At nine o’clock in the morning Sammy Hagar and the Waboritas hit the stage and rocked the house along with a special, guest Michael Anthony. After the show I was standing outside the backstage entrance when Sammy came out. He looked up at the sky and said “I can’t believe it’s still morning!”