Sammy Hagar Rocks Cabo Wabo again
By Ed Kociela
When you think of Cabo San Lucas, what’s the first name that comes to mind?
Odds are it’s Sammy Hagar, the Red Rocker, and his Cabo Wabo Cantina.
What was originally intended as an out-of-the-way little tequila bar where Hagar could go to hang out and trade chops with his musician buddies has been parlayed into a mega-successful business that has spun off into a thriving merchandising and booze empire. Hagar is known as much now for being a savvy businessman as he is for being a charismatic showman, tasty guitar player, and powerful vocalist.
Hagar has had a riotously successful musical career. He was the frontman for Montrose, went out on his own for a dazzling solo career, stepped in to handle lead vocals for Van Halen, then put together the supergroup Chickenfoot. Then, there’s the Waboritas, a backup band Hagar uses for many of his often-unannounced gigs at his club here. Hagar took the stage at Cabo Wabo, as a matter of fact, last Friday and Sunday nights for a couple of surprise shows. He had, as his special guest, the Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern, the host of the network’s show “Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern,” who he taped a show with at the club. Hagar’s still in town, by the way. Will he show up for more unannounced gigs? Nothing has been planned, but you never know.
Hagar isn’t the only one to pop in unannounced at Cabo Wabo. Over the years, recording artists like Kenny Chesney, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, Peter Frampton, Meat Loaf, Christina Aguilera, Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chad Kroegar of Nickelback, Tommy Lee of Motley Crue, U2’s Bono and a host of others have dropped in either to hang out, jam at his annual birthday bash [this year’s shows are set for Oct. 7, 9, 11, and 13], or play their
rock ‘n’ roll in a smaller, more intimate venue with a cool vibe.
I’d bet my Fender Strat it would be one of the highlights of your rock ‘n’ roll life to see a member of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in such an intimate venue playing music just for the fun of it instead of while on tour to promote a new album.
Cabo Wabo has earned its reputation as one of the premier rock ‘n’ roll joints in the world, and even if Hagar’s not in town, you can still listen to a pretty tight house band while you enjoy a good meal and toss back a few of its signature drinks. [I suggest trying the Waborita.]
It’s what has made the place so successful and such an important part of the growth of Cabo San Lucas.
Cabo Wabo has brought jobs to the local market, acclaim to the worldwide tourist audience, and fun back to rock ‘n’ roll.
And, it’s all because Sammy Hagar was looking for a place to hang out with his musician buddies.
Ed Kociela is a writer for Los Cabos Magazine. You can reach him by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/EdKociela.