Sammy Hagar Recalls Disastrous Show Opening for Kiss
Sammy Hagar returns to a “humiliating and disheartening” experience opening for Kiss in Drew Fortune's new book No Encore!, which also features stories from Alice Cooper, Dee Snider, Dave Navarro, Lita Ford and others.
It was so bad, in fact, that the first of Hagar's planned 10 appearances with Kiss turned out to be his last.
“I had my second solo record out. Kiss was starting a  tour, and it was their first headlining show in New York, their hometown," Hagar says, in an excerpt provided to LouderSound.com. "They sold out Madison Square Garden, and they asked me at the last minute to be the opening act for the 10-show, East Coast run. … Nobody knew who I was, or even that I was on the bill, because I was added last minute. I didn’t even have any fans yet, anyway.”
The audience started booing as soon as Hagar's name had been announced, and by the time he got to his third song the situation was so bad that he simply stopped singing. “I yelled, ‘You fucking assholes! You didn’t even give me a chance. You started booing me before hearing the music. Fuck you!’” He then attempted to clap back by telling the New York crowd: “I see they’ve flown in an audience from Los Angeles for this show.”
Naturally, that just made things worse. Fans began hurling cups on stage, then Hagar says he “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.”
He passed Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons on the way out. “I unloaded on them, too, saying, ‘Fuck you guys too!’ And that was it. I didn’t do any more shows with Kiss," Hagar recalls. "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!’”
Hagar admits that the experience made him briefly re-consider his career options – and his rhythm guitarist, the newest member of Hagar's band, did in fact quit that night. “As for my Jim Morrison, whipping-out-my-dick moment, I didn’t get in any trouble," Hagar adds. "Hell, it was New York, and they don’t care. They see that every day. Jim fucked up because he did it in Florida."
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