Sammy Hagar has announced his 2010 Birthday Bash dates celebrating the Red Rocker’s 63rd birthday. The annual bash is held at the world-famous club Cabo Wabo in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
A note from Hagar reads: “Sammy and The Wabo’s will be playing the Cantina October 8, 9, 11 and Sammy’s Birthday October 13th. More details will be coming your way, but mark your calendars. See ya in Cabo!!!”
For more general info on Sammy’s Birthday Bashes, see our Rockin’ Cabo article, which is the most extensive article ever written on the tradition of Hagar’s bashes.
From the April 16th edition of the Baja Pulse newspaper:
Cabo Wabo Celebrates 20 Years of Rock and Roll
We all know, that what goes on the road stays on the road,” Sammy Hagar shouts into the microphone from the stage at Cabo Wabo. Packed shoulder to shoulder, hair damp with sweat, the crowd on the dance floor beneath him shifts and begins to make noise. “But, what happened in Cabo,” (loud and proud strum of the guitar) “Never happened,” he roars. The crowd screams, hands fly into the air, the famous guitar begins to sing and the crowd sings along. The energy level is off the proverbial charts. Cabo Wabo is a rock and roll cantina. The Cabo San Lucas bar is an icon that put the sleepy fishing village on the map as an international party town, and the bar is now poised to celebrate 20 years of fiesta with a bash to beat them all.
A Sammy Hagar show at Cabo Wabo is a night etched into the memory of life fabric, but fans must prove themselves to be lucky enough to catch one. When word gets out that Hagar will be performing, sleeping bags line the sidewalks all the way around the cantina, as they wait in line for 24 hours or more, sometimes in shifts, hoping to receive one of the coveted bracelets that will gain them admittance to the show. The spectacle is one that makes Cabo residents smile, and it is set to happen one more time on April 22 and 23, when Hagar brings his latest incarnation “Chickenfoot” to town. Compiled of Hagar, former Cabo Wabo partner and Van Halen band member Michael Anthony, Joe Satriani and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chile Peppers “Chickenfoot” is certain to bring the house down for this very special birthday.
Weeks before the events, in the late afternoon, Cabo Wabo is relatively quiet. The open-air, upstairs restaurant and bar is scattered with people eating or lingering over a cocktail. The bar downstairs is dark and quiet, immaculately clean and well maintained. While rock and roll evidence is everywhere, (a plethora of autographed photographs from a who’s who in the world of rock, gigantic speakers looming in the air, musical instruments parked on the stage) walking through the festively decorated bar, you would never know that thousands of people had been partying in this room for 20 years. Clearly the cantina is run like a Swiss clock. Through the kitchen and up the stairs, one can’t help but peek into the famous “Red Room”, the VIP party room above the stage where wives, family and close friends enjoy each other’s company when the bar is open. Across the hall is the office of the man who makes it all happen, Cabo Wabo Managing Partner Jorge Viaña.
“When I met Sammy in 1986, I was the front desk clerk at the Twin Dolphin Hotel and I didn’t know who he was,” says the Bolivian born Viaña. “Cabo didn’t have the media back then that we have today, and when he told me he was the lead singer for Van Halen, I looked at him and said, ‘You’re not.’” A couple of weeks later Hagar returned to Cabo, knocked on Viaña’s door and delivered tickets to a Van Halen concert at the San Diego Sports Arena. Viaña attended the concert, learned to believe, then returned to Cabo to continue working two jobs so he could save money to open a bar. Hagar proposed that they open the bar together, and the rest is history. “Opening night at Cabo Wabo, was like a dream coming true for me,” Viaña says, reaching into the memory banks. “My parents and kids were there. It was a really great night. ”When asked about the secret to the partnership that has endured for 20 years, Viaña answers simply “We are nice to each other. Sammy and Marco and I and our families have a great time together. We enjoy good food, good wine, and the best tequila in the world (Cabo Wabo Tequila, a sideline multi-million dollar enterprise).
With a mane of long black hair, Viaña could pass for a rock star himself. His voice is low, he is hospitable, but guarded. Seated behind this desk, writing the memoirs of the Cantina he has managed since its inception, the eyes in the back of his headkeep watch over the bank of security television screens that line an office wall, while he types, fields phone calls from his two and four year old sons, Jorge III and Ozzy, and waits for the interview questions to come. Small voices can be heard through the cell phone. Viana’s personal wall comes down, the air-conditioned room warms, and he opens up (thank you Jorge III and Ozzy).
The 20 year celebration is very important for all of us,” Viaña says. “We are so proud of this bar that Sammy and I even have it tattooed on us,” he says lifting his sleeve to display the famous Cabo Wabo logo. “Marco (third partner and Cabo Wabo architect Marco Monroy) doesn’t want to get tattooed because he wants to be President of Mexico one day,” Viaña laughs. Quickly he turns the conversation back to the birthday bash. “We’re going to have “Chickenfoot” come in to play. We’re going to have Michael Anthony, who is one of the origi- nal owners of Cabo Wabo and a member of Van Halen come in to play. Joe Satriani will be here, Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chile Peppers will be on drums, it’s going to be very exciting, and a very special day for us.” Because one day does not have enough hours in it for a true Cabo Wabo party, there will be two shows, April 22 and 23. Sleeping bags around the block are expected as tickets can only be purchased at the door, immedi- ately before the events. “This may be one of the last times that you get to sleep in the street to wait for a ticket,” Viaña says. “Maybe next year we’ll change the system, but right now, we’re going to do it the old way, first come, first served. We don’t even know what color the bracelets will be until the day they arrive.” For the people who don’t manage to get in, and for the people who can’t come to Cabo, the event will be shown live via satellite in both the Cabo Wabo franchises in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe. “If you can’t come to Cabo you can always fly to Vegas and have some fun,” Viaña says with mischief in his eyes.
Sammy Hagar, Jorge Viaña, Marco Monroy, Cabo Wabo and Cabo San Lucas have grown up together over the past 20 years. They have given back much to the community as well, holding benefit concerts to help hurricane victims, and local charitable organization Amigos de los Niños. Viaña has become Vice President of the Cabo San Lucas Restaurant Association and has been instrumental in planning the annual Sabor a Cabo food fair on Medano beach to raise money for the local Red Cross and firefighters. The group has shared strange moments and memorable evenings together both here, and in the Cabo Wabo franchises they have set up together in the States. Viaña says that one of the biggest misconceptions about Cabo Wabo is that they party all the time, when in fact they are “family people”. He sites one of his most memorable Cabo Wabo evenings as Tommy Lee’s birthday, with Chad Smith in atten- dance among others. “Those guys know how to party,” he says with a smile. “Lots of tequila, and that’s all I’m going to say.” When asked what we can expect at Cabo Wabo in the next 20 years, Viaña says “More of the same. Even the bras and panties we have hanging at the bar are not going anywhere,” though he would like readers to know that more of those are needed.
While nobody really knows what will happen in the spontaneity of the night, as Cabo Wabo turns 20 on April 22, Viaña assures us that you will definitely want to be in attendance to see what’s going on. The 20 year birthday events at Cabo Wabo may be full of surprises, but one thing you can be sure of is that Jorge Viaña, Marco Monroy and their partner Sammy Hagar love this bar, and love this town.