When Sammy Hagar Embarrassed Paul Stanley And Gene Simmons
Sammy Hagar is a singer and songwriter who became prominent with his musical efforts with the hard rock band Montrose during the 1970s. After his tenure with the band, he pursued a solo career and recorded some hit songs like ‘I Can’t Drive 55.’ Hagar then replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen and became their lead singer in 1985. He left the band in 1996 but joined them again between 2003 and 2005.
Apart from working with these bands, the Red Rocker also has contributed to several artists’ works throughout his career. However, these contributions did not always end well for the musician. In fact, he once had a pretty embarrassing experience when he opened for KISS back in 1976 for their Rock And Roll Over Tour. Let’s learn what happened during that time.
Sammy Hagar Opened For KISS During Their Rock And Roll Over Tour
On November 11, 1976, the iconic rock band KISS released their fifth studio album titled ‘Rock And Roll Over.’ Shortly after the release, they began their ‘Rock And Roll Over Tour’ on November 24, 1976.
On February 18, 1997, KISS would play at Madison Square Garden for the first time. That venue was one of the places that most bands have dreamed of playing, so they were quite excited about the performance. That night was also Sammy Hagar’s first time at the Garden, who was there as the opening act of KISS.
Although people knew his then-band Montrose, Hagar was not that popular as a solo artist. Therefore, opening for a band like KISS was indeed a challenging task for the musician. During the performance, this became an evident problem since Hagar couldn’t satisfy the KISS fans.
Sammy Hagar Exposed Himself To Thousands Of KISS Fans As They Booed Him
The Red Rocker talked about that performance in his biography book ‘No Encore’ in detail. He recalled that as he was singing, the crowd started booing him. Everyone in the crowd had the outfits and makeups of the KISS members, so he told them KISS probably flew them from New York to Los Angeles.
Hagar’s statement caused a tumult, and the crowd started throwing cups at the musician. This enraged Hagar and resulted in him pulling down his pants and showing his genitals to the audience. He then smashed his guitar and left the stage.
However, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley heard the chaos from backstage. So, they knew what was going on there. According to Hagar, Simmons and Stanley were shaking their head and covering their face as they were quite embarrassed by Hagar’s improper act.
Hagar was very far away from being calm at that moment. So, he unloaded his anger on Simmons and Stanley as well. Therefore, this became his last show with KISS as he was so embarrassed that he even wanted to quit the music business.
As reported by Louder Sound, Sammy Hagar recalled the incident in his book as:
“I was looking out at the crowd, and I stopped the song. I yelled, ‘You fucking assholes! You didn’t even give me a chance. You started booing me before hearing the music. Fuck you!’
Everybody in the audience was dressed up like KISS. As far as I could see, they had all the makeup on too. Since it was New York, I said, ‘I see they’ve flown in an audience from Los Angeles for this show.’ That really pissed them off, and they started throwing cups at me. I pulled down my pants, dropped my drawers, and pulled out my dick. I shook it at the crowd, then smashed my 1961 Stratocaster to pieces, and walked offstage.
Gene and Paul were standing backstage, as they had heard all the commotion and wanted to know what the fuck was going on. Bill Graham, God bless him, was in New York on his way to the airport. He heard on the radio that I had been added to the KISS show, so he had told the driver to turn around and take him to the show. So he’s backstage and had just walked in during my meltdown. He’s shaking his head, and his hand is covering his face. Gene and Paul were doing the exact same thing.
I unloaded on them, too, saying, ‘Fuck you guys too!’ And that was it. I didn’t do any more shows with KISS. I stomped away to my dressing room. Paul was saying, ‘You can’t talk to people like that, man! You gotta go out and prove yourself. You can’t do it like that.’ I’m still going, ‘Fuck you and your makeup and your fans!’ Bill Graham was in my face, but I was furious.
That night almost made me want to quit the business. It was humiliating and disheartening, and my poor band didn’t know what to do. One of the guys, my rhythm guitarist who was the newest to the band, quit after that show.”
This was indeed an inappropriate act for a musician like Sammy Hagar. Moreover, Paul Stanley might have had the right to say that he needed to prove himself rather than making such humiliating behavior since the audience was there to see KISS and enjoy their music. Nevertheless, Sammy Hagar appears to have taken a lesson from this experience.