Sammy Hagar’s Fans Rock Out at His Annual Birthday Bash in Cabo
Rick Redpath, 58, has been a huge fan of Sammy Hagar since he first listened to Montrose in high school. A former lead singer himself, he’d often cover “Bad Motor Scooter” at his shows. To say he was excited to travel to Cabo for Sammy’s annual Birthday Bash is an understatement, and the trip was made even more special when he proposed to his now-fiancée Laurel Wiley.
Rick shares his experiences as the 2017 winner of the Mercury Insurance Sammy Hagar Birthday Bash Sweepstakes and what it was like to meet one of his greatest musical influences.
MERCURY: What was the first thing you did once you landed in Cabo and traveled to your hotel?
Rick: This was the first time Laurel and I had ever flown anywhere together, so that was very exciting. Once we arrived at the resort, we walked around and marveled at its beauty and took everything in – the sea breeze, and the sound and aqua of the ocean. When we got to our room, we were speechless at the view. We were humbled because we aren’t used to staying in such luxurious accommodations. We had to keep pinching ourselves!
MERCURY: You are officially the first couple to win a Mercury sweepstakes and get engaged at the same time – how did the proposal happen?
Rick: Laurel and I dated for four years when we were younger, and we were inseparable. I took her to her senior prom! We were reunited in recent years and it was kind of a no-brainer that we’d eventually get engaged. It’s something we had spoken about, but there was no timeline and I didn’t plan out the proposal in advance. I had my mom’s ring and I took it with me to Cabo. I like to be spontaneous so, once we settled into our room on the first night, I took out the ring and said, “Hey, try this on. Does it fit?” It did and we made things official. The resort, view and room were absolutely gorgeous, so the surroundings and environment made it very special. That and we have both been Sammy fans for years, so the anticipation of Sammy’s shows made everything come together.
MERCURY: Who, besides Sammy, gave some of your favorite performances at the Birthday Bash? Were there surprise guests you were excited to see?
Rick: Sammy, obviously is a great performer and puts a smile on everyone’s face, but Michael Anthony’s backup vocals and skills on bass help drive Chickenfoot. I was surprised by how many covers Sammy did – he could probably play for a day-and-a-half without playing the same song. There were so many great performers there. Eddie Money performed “Two Tickets to Paradise,” which fit the theme of our trip. The biggest surprise was when Darryl McDaniels from Run DMC got up with Sammy on the second night – they recently recorded a song together.
Incidentally, I saw Darryl at our hotel. I wanted to get a photo of him, but didn’t want to disturb him on his vacation, so I pretended to take a photo of a long hallway and captured him in the background. I got to chat with him for a couple minutes when we checked out because he checked out at the same time.
MERCURY: What was it like to meet Sammy?
Rick: I posted a picture of me and Sammy on Facebook after the meet-and-greet. A friend of mine commented “Is Sammy as real as he appears to be?” My response was “Totally! One funny cat!”
Sammy is the real deal on many levels and it was an honor to meet him. I don’t usually get start struck – I know they’re just people, too – but the anticipation made me nervous. When I finally met him, I was speechless and didn’t know what to say for a few seconds, but relaxed once Sammy started asking me questions about myself. I told him I used to listen to Montrose in high school and Sammy said with a puzzled look on his face “You don’t look that old.”
You never forget your first influences – nothing rivals the first time I heard “Bad Motor Scooter.” I’ve been a fan ever since and he was such a great guy to be around.
MERCURY: How did you spend your downtime between shows? What activities did you take advantage of in Cabo?
Rick: We spent our time doing a whole lot of nothing! Mainly we lounged by the pool, swam in the ocean and walked around taking in the scenery. Laurel and I are currently in a long-distance relationship, so it was nice to have quality alone time to enjoy everything.
MERCURY: Last year’s sweepstakes winner couldn’t wait to make a return trip to the Birthday Bash this year. Do you think you and Laurel will make it down to Cabo for Sammy’s next celebration?
Rick: We’ve already talked about it and we’ll definitely try to get down there again next year. It was so much fun getting to experience it as a VIP.
MERCURY: Any additional comments?
Rick: Everything was great and the trip was too short! It was the most fun I’ve ever had at a music festival. The anticipation, getting to meet Sammy and the people who took care of us were all great. The crew from Mercury Insurance, AEG Global and AXS TV were a top shelf group of people to be with – we miss them already. Everything about the trip was significant and the trip never stopped getting better. It’s something we’ll always remember.