Part #2 in a series of reminiscences of musicians who played on the road with or knew AC/DC during 1977–80: SAMMY HAGAR. Sammy, known to all as 'The Red Rocker', was most famous, of course, as the lead singer of Van Halen from 1985–96 but in the late 1970s he'd served his time in Montrose (who can forget 'Rock Candy'?) and had a fledgling solo career, which brought him to Oakland's Day On The Green on 21 July 1979 – not as an act but as a fan. It was here he met Bon Scott and was photographed with the great man. He told me the story behind the photo.
‘Bon came over to give me some love. What an honour.'
– Sammy Hagar
‘That was my whole band. [Bass player] Bill Church, the late [drummer] Chuck Ruff, and [guitarist] Gary Pihl were all there... I wasn't on that bill, but went to see AC/DC, of course. Been a fan from day one; saw them at least 10 times, both incarnations, and actually played with them on the same bill a few times. Bon came over to give me some love. What an honour; I loved that guy's voice. We weren't close friends, but we had a lot of mutual respect for each other.'
Ruff, who died in 2011, was photographed the same day with Bon and Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler, with Bon looking slightly worse for wear.
BON: THE LAST HIGHWAY: THE UNTOLD STORY OF BON SCOTT AND AC/DC'S BACK IN BLACK is available now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and hundreds of other retailers around the world.
Jesse Fink is the author of Bon: The Last Highway: The Untold Story of Bon Scott and AC/DC's Back In Black and The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC. For more information about Bon, click HERE or click the book covers below to be directed to editions in your preferred territory and language.