Although I am for Roth on the classic debate between him and Hagar in Van Halen, from the moment I saw this book I was very curious to read it and I finally made it.
What’s very impressive right from the start is the poor and harsh upbringing of a future rock mega-star and beyond. Also, a very impressive trivia is the first song he had to learn on guitar before he even owned one, which was “Never On Sunday” from the self-titled Greek movie. Unbelievable!
The book follows the classic breakdown starting from childhood years, moving on to Sammy’s success and establishment and the present. Sammy is in loss of words in any of those three periods. He speaks his mind about Ronnie Montrose and of course Van Halen and the details specifically in the latter’s case are impressive as well as off putting –unfortunately- about the two brothers. The part about Hagar’s investments in companies, mountain bikes and the Cabo Wabo between other things show a different perspective of the man.
I can’t say that they music part contains rich information about his songs. He refers to his big hit “I Can’t Drive 55” and he shares details about the Van Halen’s classics, which is quite remarkable. Roth is slammed, but that’s expected, while Michael Anthony is praised for his skills and patience with the brothers. Chickenfoot is something like an afterword to his huge career, while he declares that he didn’t need the music to earn his living and could have retired in several points, but he is only making music for his own pleasure.