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Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Real Story Behind Sammy Hagar's Unpublished Autobiography, The Long Road to Cabo -- And Its St. Louis Connection

Posted By on Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Page 2 of 2

When Sam and I decided to write The Long Road to Cabo, it was at my suggestion, but it was one in which he participated enthusiastically.  He flew me to Cabo, and put me up in one of the palaces on the Sea of Cortez a short distance from his home there.  It was in Cabo that I interviewed his current wife, Kari, and his brother, and, of course, many additional interviews with Sam.  From there, he flew me to California, where I once again interviewed his mother and both of his sisters. Sam's mother was a wonderful source of information, some of which Sam found embarrassing.

Sammy Hagar outside of his home in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - COURTESY OF DICK RICHMOND
  • courtesy of Dick Richmond
  • Sammy Hagar outside of his home in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Later, I traveled with him a bit and then stayed at his Marin County home for a few days during which time we covered a lot of intimate material that really enriched The Long Road to Cabo.  From there, I drove to Carmel by the Sea to interview his first wife, Betsy, and his two sons with her.

As I began writing, the interviews continued by phone. As I would complete a chapter, I would fax what I had written to Sam for his approval and we would go on from there.  It was a 14-month process and the result was an in-depth look at his life from babyhood to the present, for which he wrote me a thank you note for a job well done. The Long Road to Cabo was all from Sam's point of view - a 500-page autobiography with a lot of details about his early life, and the breaks that followed.

We actually had a publisher for the book in a sweetheart deal when I received a phone call from Sam, saying "Dick, I'm sorry but I just signed on to do a tour with the Van Halen brothers and the deal had a no-book clause."

I was disappointed, but I understood and put the manuscript away.

In the meanwhile, Sam had become a noted businessman as well as a rock star and said he was no longer interested in having people know so much about him.  I understood that, too.

I did interview him again for my latest book, Produced By Contemporary, which was released in 2008.  In it there is a photo of Sam and me together.

Sam always sends a limo for me every time he is in town.  So we saw each other last year when he appeared at the amphitheater in St. Louis. Kari was with him then.

click to enlarge Sammy Hagar and Dick Richmond at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - DICK RICHMOND
  • Dick Richmond
  • Sammy Hagar and Dick Richmond at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

Project-wise, my son, Paul, and I have written a musical called Nobody's Fool

I was at the Post-Dispatch for 43 years, the first five with United Press International.  I retired June 1, 2000.

I think I've covered all of your questions.


Editor's note: Hagar gives his old friend Richmond a nod in the acknowledgments for Red, thanking him "for helping to write this book." 

All photos provided by Dick Richmond and used with permission

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