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Sammy Hagar almost made his own "Night Moves' back in the 70s

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Sammy Hagar included a cover of Bob Seger's "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" on his 2013 album "Sammy Hagar & Friends."

But there's another Bob Seger hit that was almost part of his history, too.

Hagar, who began his career with Montrose before going out on his own in 1976, was working on his second solo album -- "Sammy Hagar," aka "The Red Album" -- when producer John Carter came to him with a potential Seger song to include. "Night Moves."

"Carter brought it to me, and I said, 'Oh, man, that's too mellow for me," recalls Hagar, 66, a Seger fan from when Montrose played on the same bills with him during the mid-70s. "I didn't want to play a ballad liek that, with acoustic (guitar) and all that. I thought it was kidn of weird that Bob Seger was getting so mellow, but it was a good song.

"And Carter was all (angry), going, 'Come on, man, that's a great song! That's a hit!' And I said, 'Well, maybe it's a hit, but it ain't me. This is Bob, all the way.' And, of course, that's when his career changed and he made it for real."

"Night Moves" did, in fact, break Seger natiowide, peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Hagar didn't fare so badly with "Sammy Hagar," either, though it hardly put him in the same leagues as Seger. He reached platinum heights on his own during the early 80s, however, and had a successful run with Van Halen from 1986-96 before going back to his solo career. He now balances that and the all-star band Chickenfoot with other business concerns that include Sammy's Beach Bar Rum and a chain of restaurants and nightclubs.

Hagar plans to release an acoustic album of his songs called "Light Roast" some time this year, and he's currently touring with a band that includes guitarist Vic Johnson from his band the Waboritas as well as former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and drummer Jason Bonham.

Sammy Hagar: A Journey Through the History of Rock

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 23

Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights

Tickets are $39.50 pavilion, $30 lawn

Call (586) 268-5100 or visit www.freedomhill.net

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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