Sammy Hagar Reveals How He Got His Nickname ‘The Red Rocker’

Sammy Hagar recently shared a video on his official YouTube channel and revealed the backstory of how he earned the nickname the Red Rocker through a fan interaction.

Recalling one of his most impactful fan moments, the singer started his words:

“I think the ultimate situation was with a guy named John. We call him Big John. In 1977, I was doing a rising star concert where they paid a dollar to see you in these theaters, in Seattle and Portland, and the radio station. And I played it, and it was during my ‘Red Album,’ so I had dressed in red, with a red Les Paul, red pants, red shoes, red shirt, singing the song called ‘Red.'”

Hagar then looked back on the first time he was called the Red Rocker by a newspaper:

“A newspaper did a review of my show, and he called me the Red Rocker. So it was in the newspaper the Red Rocker Sammy Hagar. So, this John guy, the first time I ever met him was that he was waiting outside the door. I guess he was a Montrose fan. He was right outside of the door of the hotel when I was leaving.”

Sharing more on his interaction with the same fan, the former Van Halen vocalist continued:

“He goes, ‘Hey Sammy, can you sign my newspaper? Can you sign your picture here?’ And I said, ‘Sure, man.’ I signed it, and he said, ‘Can you put the Red Rocker?‘ I said, ‘Sure.’ This guy showed up about 15 years ago at his 100th show. He paid to see me 100 times and showed me all the ticket stubs into this whole number. So I said, ‘John, you’ll never pay for another Sammy Hagar concert again, and he doesn’t.”

The rocker has never lost contact with that fan, who gave him his career-changing nickname, as he explained:

“I gave him my office information. To him and his buddy. It’s John and Big John and Little John. So John’s gotten sick since then. He’s been in and out of the hospital a lot of times when I’m on stage. His buddy comes and says, ‘Hey, look at big John in FaceTime.’ I say, ‘Hey, John’ from the stage, and other times he’ll get him in a wheelchair and get there.

The truth of the matter is he’s kind of responsible for getting calling me the Red Rocker. I became the Red Rocker because of that exchange. It happened organically after that, but the truth of the matter is he was the first one to call me the Red Rocker and asked me to sign my name as a Red Rocker. And I started doing it and became the Red Rocker because of Big John.”

You can watch the full video below.