Van Halen’s former frontman and the current member of The Circle, Sammy Hagar, recently posted a photo from 1970 with his childhood friend in front of his legendary van and recalled the days when they would sing in front of just seven people.
As you know, Sammy Hagar is one of the most popular figures in the rock scene and he has been working on his career as a musician since 1967. He got married in 1968 and had his first son in 1970. He spent some time in New York driving a dump–truck for his father-in-law in order to support his family and raise money to put a band together.
In 1970, Sammy returned to Fontana to concentrate on his career as a musician and until Montrose discovered him in 1972, Sammy would jam with his ‘Bro’ David Lauser in Riverside Fairmount Park. In the caption, he said that they would just drive up there and jam in front of only 7-10 people.
After they were done, they would load up Sammy Hagar’s van and leave. They also used the van to travel to other cities whenever they would get a gig. Sammy describes that vehicle as the ‘van that took me right up to Montrose‘ because it was parked in front of Wharf Rat in San Francisco where he was discovered by Ronnie Montrose.
In a way, that van was always there for Sammy and he says that he wore it out. Another interesting aspect about the van in the photo that Sammy posted is the license plate which reads ‘764 CBO.’ As you know, he founded the Cabo Wabo, a nightclub and restaurant located in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico which is considered to be one of his greatest achievements.
Here’s what Sammy Hagar said in the caption of his recent Instagram post:
“David Lauser a.k.a. Bro and I in 1970. We might have been calling ourselves The Big Bang, Manhole, or Skinny. Bro and I used to set up by ourselves, guitar and drums, in Riverside Fairmount Park. They had a little amphitheater and we just went and did it without asking for permission. Nothing. There might be 7-10 people who would stop and listen. We didn’t give a fuck, we just jammed. Loaded the truck back up at the end of the day.
Bro was a drummer on ‘Standing Hampton,’ ‘Three Lock Box,’ ‘VOA,’ ‘I Never Said Goodbye,’ and all Wabos records, starting with ‘Red Voodoo.’ We came from childhood. That van took me right up to Montrose, 1972. It carried our equipment from the Inland Empire to San Francisco, back-and-forth for months every week, until we got a gig at the Peppertree lounge on Broadway in San Francisco on the off nights (Monday and Tuesday).”
He went on to say:
“One thing led to another and Ronnie Montrose discovered me at a place called the Wharf Rat in San Francisco. That van was parked out front because we loaded our own equipment in and out every week. The rest I guess is history.
That van, if you read my book, is the one that my first wife Betsy’s dad and brother rebuilt the engine of and made it a new car in Rochester, New York 1969 (the year of Woodstock), so I could drive it back to California with Bucky and my wife Betsy, newly pregnant with Aaron (Happy birthday, 2/24!). Check the license plate, very interesting. I wore that fucking van out! When I joined Montrose, that van could barely make it up the hill, I forget who I even sold it to for $50.”
Click here to check out the photo that Sammy Hagar posted on his Instagram account.