For his 65th birthday in October this year, had one heck of a party planned in Cabo San Lucas.
The Mill Valley musician had gotten each of the original members of his first band, Montrose, to sign on for a surprise reunion show, including acclaimed guitarist Ronnie Montrose, who had been battling prostate cancer.
, less than two years after he headlined the Novato Festival of Art, Wine & Music, but Hagar intends to follow through with the reunion. "A Concert For Ronnie Montrose - A Celebration of His Life In Music" is set for April 27 at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. It will feature Hagar on vocals along with original Montrose members Bill Church on bass, Denny Carmassi of Fairfax on drums, with guitarist Joe Satriani on lead guitar.
"One of my top priorities this year was a Montrose reunion,” Hagar said in a statement. “Ronnie and I planned to do it in Cabo in October. I am so sad it won't happen, but on April 27th, Joe Satriani, Denny Carmassi, Bill Church and I are going to play the hell out of some Montrose!!!"
Pre-sale tickets go on sale on March 28-29 and all other tickets will go on sale on March 30. The show will also feature a set from the original lineup of Montrose’s other band, Gamma, including singer Davey Pattison of Novato. An all-star band of special guests will be on hand as well.
Pattison, a native of Scotland, sang in Gamma in the late 1970s and early '80s, playing in the world's largest arenas. He said he owes much of his American success to Montrose.
"It has been a very sad time for all who knew Ronnie," he said. "I have lost an old friend and will never forget that Ronnie and Bill Graham Management are responsible for me and my family being here in the United States. He gave me and many others a chance to be heard on a national level, and for that I will always be grateful."
In an essay in Rolling Stone magazine in the wake of Ronnie Montrose’s death, the Red Rocker called it “the end of an era,” saying that he would forever be grateful to the man who gave him his first break.
Hagar described his first visit to Montrose’s home in Sausalito: “I went and knocked on his door, dressed like David Bowie — big old high heel platform shoes, satin pants, probably had make-up on, with a Les Paul and a notebook pad with all kinds of lyrics in it. I said, ‘I'm Sammy Hagar. I heard you're looking for a singer.’ He said, ‘Come on in. You got any songs?’ I played him my four songs, we shook hands, and he said, ‘Let's start a band.’”
“It's f***ed up that those songs will never be played by those four members again,” Hagar added. “Songs can go forever, but we can't … The only positive I can grab onto is the fact that the music will live on.”