Sammy Hagar Explains Why He Whipped It Out While Opening for Kiss
"It was beautiful in its own way because it gave me drive," he explained recently on the That Rocks! program. "It made me angry, and I said that fucking shit is never going to happen again."
Hagar was invited to open for Kiss at 10 concerts on their Rock and Roll Over tour, starting with an important show at Madison Square Garden in the headlining band's hometown of New York City in February.
Unfortunately, Kiss was at the peak of their popularity, and Hagar's appearance wasn't promoted in advance to the band's rabid fans. "They didn't really know I was going to be on the show," Hagar recalled. "So when the guy came out to announce it, I'm standing on the side of the stage, I'm pumped and the guy goes, 'Ladies and gentleman please welcome Sammy Hagar!' And the fucking place started booing! They didn't even know who the fuck I was."
The Kiss story starts at 1:14 in the below interview.
The Red Rocker tried to win over the audience. "I tried to give it up, I fucking worked them hard with the two rock songs," he noted. "And then I went to the ballad - in those days you did two heavies and then you did your ballad, which was usually your hit - and oh, man they went off."
A frustrated Hagar turned on the crowd by dropping his pants. "I just stopped the song and said, 'I'm so glad they flew in a special audience from Los Angeles for me,'" he explained. "Then I pulled my pants down, fucking shook it at them and then smashed my guitar to bits and walked off the stage saying, 'Fuck you.' ... That was a '61 Strat. I believe that thing would be worth half a million bucks probably, but I smashed it to pieces, that's how pissed off I got."
Hagar's actions stunned both the headliners and legendary promoter Bill Graham, who had stopped by the show unannounced. "[Graham has] got his hands in his face, he didn't know what to say, he was speechless," Hagar said. "And Paul Stanley's going 'Sammy! Oh, my God, you can't fucking do that, man.' They were freaking out, the Kiss guys, and I said fuck it. I told my manager I'm not doing one more show ever with those guys again. And I never have. I've went to see them because we're friends, but I wouldn't ever try to open for them again."
Immediately after his declaration, Hagar reconsidered the idea. "Honestly, right now I would, that would be the coolest thing in the world," he said. "But only for that one reason, let's go to Madison Square Garden and I'll open for you. Let's have another crack at this!"