Longtime surf fan and distilled spirits entrepreneur Sammy Hagar is throwing a series of parties as part of the launch of Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum. We’ve been hired to play at the Cabo Wabo Cantina at Harvey’s Resort in South Lake Tahoe. We play, Sammy makes a toast, we play some more. Times 2: we play both Friday and Saturday, from 2 – 6pm.
We arrived in Tahoe ready to play early Friday afternoon. Throughout our second set, the crowd is growing, and we’re on the verge of wrapping up with Black and Tan Fantasy. We often use that as a closing song, it has a big dramatic chord that we hold at the conclusion – a long rumble and a sharp crash to break it off. Our timing was just right, before we started, the manager gave us a cue to play one more song before Sammy entered the room to make his announcements, recognize a few folks and talk about some of his own upcoming events with Chickenfoot. We’re standing by onstage and he’s ready to wrap it up and take off. We said to him, “hey, how about doing a song with us?” It was said loud enough to carry over the microphone, and now the crowd is egging him on to do a song. Sammy aims to please his fans, but this time with a hint of reluctance. He relents. “Oh, OK, what do you want to play?” I say “Whole Lotta Love,” to which he responds, “aw man, Whole Lotta Love? You kidding?” Too late. Gene starts up on the opening riff, and before you know it – “you need coo-ooling – baby I’m not fooling…..”
What a sport! His son Aaron helped out on vocals through the second refrain, then it was time for him to hit the road. His handlers and bodyguard hustled him away, his loyal fans got a taste of the evening to come with Chickenfoot, and the Valves played on, happy campers all.