Thunder on the Rocks

Redrocks Amphitheater
Morrison, CO
September 5, 2016

img_1966You can say what you want about Sammy Hagar—that he’s a god, that he’s a clown, that he’s amazing, that he’s egotistical, that he’s washed-up, that he’s an incredible person… we all have our own opinion, and I’m going to try to remain objective here, but having had the immense pleasure of seeing Sammy and his latest band, The Circle, perform at Redrocks recently was such a delight that I just had to share my thoughts.

It had been the culmination of a super crazy week for me, having worked 12-hour days for the Labor Day weekend and, not being a spring chicken myself anymore, trying to deal with the agony of my vehemently protesting knees, but when The Circle exploded onto the stage with “There’s Only One Way to Rock”, where I could barely walk just moments before, I found myself dancing (as best I could) and wishing I’d had more space in which to move. Oh my God! The music blew the roof off the building! Oh wait—there was no roof. Or building.

I’ve seen Sammy perform with Van Halen, The Wabos, Chickenfoot and others, and while I never got to see Van Halen in their prime, (I saw them in 2004 during their reunion tour—don’t get me started) and although I love all his previous bands, I have to say that I think I enjoyed The Circle the other night most of all. Maybe it’s because I’m also a huge fan of Led Zeppelin.


Jason Bonham & Sammy Hagar

With Sammy on lead vocals, Michael Anthony (former bassist of Van Halen) on bass, Vic Johnson on guitar and Jason Bonham (son of the illustrious John Bonham from Led Zeppelin) on drums, how could this band be anything but spectacular? And they were. Tight. Loud. Sounding like thunder on the rocks.

I expected to hear some Zeppelin tunes and was thrilled with what they chose to play. I loved “Good Times Bad Times,” but “When the Levee Breaks” and “Rock and Roll” are two of my all-time favorite Zeppelin tunes and when The Circle performed them, I was swept up into a state of bliss and wonder that matched the fog machine’s ambience, and I don’t mean stoned. There was just something magical about all of it—Redrocks—with the stars overhead in the warm summer night’s sky combined with the towering red-hued boulders on either side of the venue like two giant hands holding audience and performers in an intimate setting of sound and soul and rock and roll so mesmerizing that you just had to experience it to believe it.


Hagar seemed to feel it too. “This is the most beautiful venue on earth!” he said, extending his arms. “I wish I could have gotten here while the place was empty, climbed to the middle and just sat there in awe and taken it all in.”

Indeed. If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing a live show at Redrocks, I urge you to go sometime. You won’t be sorry. There is nothing like it.

Michael Anthony was as talented as always—with his high pitched, irreplaceable backing vocals that helped make Van Halen great, and his seemingly sheer joy at performing with his buddy Sam.


Michael Anthony on bass

And although he’s not Eddie Van Halen, on guitar, Vic Johnson, who hails from Colorado Springs, CO, never disappoints. He hammered out those songs as easily as if he could do it in his sleep.


Vic Johnson on guitar

There was a moment during the show that really stood out for me though—Sammy’s guitar solo during “When the Levee Breaks.” I remember talking to Vic years ago and he told me that he’d mentioned to Sammy that he needed to play guitar more, that his fans loved it when he did so, and when I heard that solo during “When the Levee Breaks,” that’s what came to mind—Damn! Sammy! You need to play guitar more! What a treat!

Although I’ve seen Sammy in concert more times than I can count, and yes, I suppose I’m a little biased, I am still impressed that he can perform with as much energy as he does. I leaned over to my son, who was there with me, and said, “Can you believe he’ll be 70 next year? 70!” You’d never know it. Hagar made it look effortless, and it was obvious that he enjoyed every minute of it.


Sammy Hagar on lead vocals

There was a moment during “Runaround” when Mickey’s mic quit working, but it was only a minor distraction. And toward the end of the show, Hagar’s voice grew a bit hoarse, but I’m sure it was due to the altitude. I’ve seen many performers in Colorado have to take hits of oxygen between songs for this reason.

But they didn’t let up. Quipped Hagar, “We’re not going to go offstage and come back on because I don’t want to walk down all those steps to the dressing room and back up them again! So we’ll just do it like we’re in Cabo. We don’t go offstage; we don’t do encores in Cabo. We just keep playing until we’re done playing.”

And they did. The crowd went crazy with applause.


Jason Bonham on drums

The show ended with an etherial rendition of “Dreams,” which is one of my all-time favorite tunes. One year in Cabo, as Sammy was getting ready to perform “Dreams,” he announced to the audience about how I had made my dream come true—to be a writer (the video is on the home page of my website, you can see it here) so this song will forever have special meaning for me. And although he’s lowered the key, with the magic of the evening overpowering my angry knees, it was truly one of the best shows I’ve ever seen Sammy do. Then to close with “Rock and Roll”… Give me more!


There’s Only One Way to Rock
Rock Candy
Good Times, Bad Times
I Can’t Drive 55
Right Now
Little White Lie
When the Levee Breaks
Why Can’t This Be Love
Finish What Ya Started
Heavy Metal
Mas Tequila
When It’s Love
Rock and Roll

**All photos property of Patricia Walker, 2016. No unauthorized duplication, please.

Podcast of “Positive Perspectives” with Melinda Carver

According to talk show host Melinda Carver, at first, her listeners wondered how a spiritual awakening could take place during a rock concert. And who would blame them? I thought the same thing, even as it was happening to me! Hopefully all their questions were answered during our interview. Melinda was an outstanding host, asking questions such as, “How did you balance being a wife and mom with having such extraordinary experiences?” and “What was it like to be singing onstage with a famous rock star?” She also inquired about how I compared my journey to that of Paulo Coelho’s award-winning book, “The Alchemist.”

Melinda and I further discussed the role music and sound played in what happened to me, the implications of what experiences like mine could mean for others, and how my book has effected many of my readers. It was a great interview. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you, Melinda!

Book Signing this Sunday, Dec. 2

What does rock star Sammy Hagar have to do with spiritual enlightenment? Or does he?

Please join us on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm for a book signing of DANCE OF THE ELECTRIC HUMMINGBIRD and a talk by author Patricia Walker.

In this true story, the author struggles to maintain her roles of middle-class wife and mom, while simultaneously being thrust into the explosive world of celebrities, sex, and rock ‘n roll. She confronts the incredible power of her mind and spirit and soon begins to reevaluate her perception of reality and the meaning of life with the help of recording star Sammy Hagar, former lead singer of Van Halen, one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

This is not a book merely for fans of Sammy Hagar or rock music. It is a book with a message of hope for anyone who believes there is more to life than what’s on the surface. Why live a life of beige when you can be CHARTREUSE, INDIGO, SCARLET, PERIWINKLE, BRONZE…

Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Anthology Book Company                                                                                         422 E 4th St Loveland, CO  80537                                                                       970.667.0118

Anthology Book Company serves wonderful latte, literature, and enlightenment in a comfortable and warm atmosphere.

Hope you’ll join us!




Song List for “Dance of the Electric Hummingbird”

Here are the songs mentioned in DANCE OF THE ELECTRIC HUMMINGBIRD and the links to purchase them:

“Dreams” – Van Halen

“Pages” – 3 Doors Down

“Nothing Else Matters”  – Metallica

“Crush” – Dave Matthews Band

“Love Walks In” – Van Halen

“Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” – Van Halen

“Rock Candy” – Montrose

“Looking For Your Face” – Jared Harris from “A Gift Of Love: Deepak & Friends Present Music Inspired By The Love Poems Of Rumi”

“Imagine” – John Lennon

“Eagles Fly” – Sammy Hagar

“Poundcake” – Van Halen

“Top of the World” – Van Halen

“Live: Right Here, Right Now” – Van Halen

“Open” – Sammy Hagar**



**This song was released only on iTunes as a single. It is no longer available, however, there may still be some videos of it on Youtube.


Book Review: “Backstage Past” by Barry Fey

Anyone who was a music fan from the late ‘60s through the late ‘90s in Colorado knows the name Barry Fey. He is a legend—the rock promoter who sold more concert tickets than any other promoter in history. Fey brought everyone from the Beatles and Led Zeppelin to Diana Ross and Willie Nelson to the Denver area (and other places as well).

In his new book, “Backstage Past,” Fey says that he once played a show featuring Johnny Winter, Fleetwood Mac, Zephyr and the Flock in 1969, all for a whopping $3.50. Those days are long gone but they were also the days when great new music was cropping up everywhere and on a daily basis. You couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing some exciting new record that you just had to run out and buy RIGHT NOW!

With forewords by Pete Townsend and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, cover flap endorsement by President Bill Clinton and a little poem tribute to Fey written by Bono, “Backstage Past” also includes a poster highlighting Feyline ticket stubs and backstage passes. At 270 pages, this book is a combination of behind-the-scenes footage of the sea of snakes that comprises the monolithic rock and roll machine and personal anecdotes about the stars themselves. Fey recounts how Mick Jagger and Keith Richards taught him how to snort cocaine, how a fan once gave him a vial of her blood to give to Ozzy Osbourne as a gift, how he had (and continues to have) personal conversations with Bono, how he was picked up and escorted to the show in a helicopter, and how he hosted  many a party for the Rolling Stones at his personal residence. There are also stories about The Who, Led Zeppelin, the Mamas and the Papas, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, U2, the Eagles, Aerosmith, Elton John, The Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen and just about everybody who was anybody in the music business, along with agents and promoters of the rich and famous.

The amount of money that exchanged hands was staggering, not to mention the power, the politicians, the crazed fans, and the groupies, along with some temperamental artists. There were those who were overly-sensitive and those who were just plain mean and nasty. Some surprised me and some did not, but I guess rock stars are just people too—people with big egos and a ton of talent. Underneath it all, we all have our vices and our virtues.

One would have had to have been a tough cookie to survive in that business and it sounds like Barry was. His “final words… for now” (in the book) were: “I wish that I would have been nicer.” But if that had been the case, he may not have had the stories to tell. And in spite of all the excitement that accompanies rock and roll, after reading this book, I’m rather glad I wasn’t privy to a lot of the stuff that Fey describes. Sometimes, as the saying goes, ignorance is bliss. However, I’m sure Fey would agree with me when I say that his life has been anything but dull.

I loved his “Fey Lists”, where Fey documented his favorite bands, lead singers, guitar players, drummers, songwriters, songs, and albums, even though I didn’t always agree with him. But my favorite part of all was his list of “Pricks.” Who publishes a list like that? I couldn’t stop laughing. This dude’s got balls, but again, I guess one would have to to survive in that business.

Fey also mentions his love of Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado and he goes into great detail about Woodstock, painting a slightly different picture than how I had imagined it to be: rain and mud and the lack of toilets and food while exhausted people dropped acid and dropped like flies.

Backstage Past” (love the title—Fey credits his son for coming up with it) is a great read. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants a peek behind the music, the glitz and the glamor that audiences see night after night at rock concerts—the good, the bad, the ugly, and the Oh-my-God!

Thanks, Barry, for taking us along for the ride, and thanks for doing such an outstanding job as a rock and roll promoter all those years. Your work helped make me into the person I am today—a true lover of great music, and for that I will always be grateful.

Podcast of Dave Alan Show

My two-hour interview with Dave Alan was so much fun! His humor and wit kept me on my toes (but I think I held my own pretty well!) as we discussed my out-of-body experience, spirituality, tequila, Sammy Hagar, and sex. Enjoy!

Here are the podcasts from the show on July 22, 2012:

Writing Update June 21, 2009



I’m honored and very excited to let you know that I now have three articles published online, one of which is a feature article.

“Chickenfoot Revives Rock ‘n’ Roll” can be found at

“Chickenfoot: Self-Titled CD Review” can be found at

and “Chickenfoot Review and Photos” can be found at

I’m working on sending articles to various magazines online and in print and will keep you posted as to my progress there.

As for my book, “Dance of the Electric Hummingbird,” I continue to send queries to agents. The right one will come along when it’s meant to be. In the meantime, I am revising the text a-gain for probably the seven-hundredth time. It’s a labor of love though.

Thank you for all your support. And thank you to all of you who have left comments here on my blog! Keep them coming!

Sammy Hagar’s Birthday Bash 2009

Oct. 22, 2009

The crowd and balloons

Sammy Hagar recently celebrated his birthday at his Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with five days of rock ‘n’ roll, commencing on October 7 and culminating with his birthday “party” on October 13. You’d never guess by looking at him that he’s 62; he looks at least 20 years younger and has more energy than most 30-year olds—still touring around the world with his latest band, Chickenfoot.

The final concert of the birthday bash was almost cancelled due to the rain, which fell nearly every day and flooded the streets. Luckily it held off long enough for the show to take place, resuming its incessant misting (it doesn’t really rain down there, it mists heavily) by the time all was said and done.

I was fortunate to be able to acquire tickets to each show, a feat that’s becoming increasingly difficult to do. This is because the requirement for getting tickets is having to wait in line all night on the cobblestones of Mexico’s cockroach-ridden, dusty sidewalks, and this time there was an added bonus—it was raining.

Each year my body convinces me that I won’t do it again next year. And yet I do. Why?

Because there is something magical about Cabo. And because in Cabo Sammy lets his hair down a little more than he does while on tour. And also because you never know who might show up to jump onstage and join the party. In the past, there have been such music legends as Ted Nugent, Jerry Cantrell, Billy Duffy, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Chad Kroeger, and many others. This year the bash was in full swing as Sammy and Michael Anthony (former bass player of Van Halen) repeatedly snagged other people’s drinks off the trays of passing waitresses and helped themselves to a swig. They then replaced the drinks, but not before refilling them with tequila from the bottles chilling in the buckets onstage.

The first two concerts were laced with some of Sammy’s older songs: “Plain Jane,” “Your Love is Driving Me Crazy,” and “Turn Up the Music.”

Craigs photo Sammy pouring

There was also a nice mix of his more recent work, such as “Cosmic Universal Fashion,” and “Loud.” A real treat was Sammy’s performance of “High and Dry Again.” I had never seen this performed live and for me, it was one of those rare moments where I couldn’t help but let go and become completely lost in it.

They played a lot of Van Halen tunes during the last two shows: “Best of Both Worlds,” “Poundcake,” and “Dreams,” a few tributes to Led Zeppelin and a bit of Sammy’s more famous songs such as “Rock Candy,” “I Can’t Drive 55,” and “There’s Only One Way to Rock.” Of course no Hagar concert would be complete without the performance of “Mas Tequila” and “Cabo Wabo,” and this week’s bash was no exception.


Another highlight for me was “Let Sally Drive.” I guess this is why I also love the music of Janis Joplin—there is something so animal and soul-baring-raw about the screams.

During show #2 on Oct. 8, The Wabos, Sammy’s band consisting of Hagar on vocals, Vic Johnson on guitar, Mona on bass and David Lauser on drums, started out with an unusual version of “Rock and Roll Weekend,” with Dave and Sammy switching places: Dave sang lead and Sammy took up the drumsticks. It wasn’t long before Sammy announced, “I don’t know how you do it!” and Dave handed the mic to Sammy while asking the audience if they wanted to hear the song done right. The Wabos had been on “hiatus” while Sammy toured with his new supergroup, Chickenfoot this summer, so I’m sure it felt good for them to be onstage together again.


The most memorable show of all was when Chickenfoot took the stage on October 10, with Joe Satriani on lead guitar, Sammy on vocals, Michael Anthony on bass and Chad Smith (drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers) on drums. That afternoon, the gift shop suddenly had “Puttin’ the Foot Down at the Cabo Wabo” tee shirts for sale and the fans were asked to wear their Chickenfoot gear because the show was going to be recorded.


Chickenfoot’s performance seemed less passionate compared to the two previous shows I’d seen, (see my concert reviews dated May 20, 2009 and Sept. 15, 2009). Even so, I love the heaviness of their sound and the sheer power it puts forth to the audience. My favorite Hagar songs are like that too, the ones with a darker feel, like “Serious JuJu” and “Psycho Vertigo,” where there’s a deeper, cutting edge. It’s music that bites you in the ass—hard—and leaves its mark on your soul. Chickenfoot accomplishes this with every note.

Between songs, Satriani smiled and sipped his waborita while Anthony chugged tequila straight from the bottle. Chad Smith seemed a bit tired and he didn’t interact with the audience like I’d seen him do in the past, but he managed to pound the drums with the exuberance he’s famous for, and he tossed out a few drumsticks into the crowd.

“Get it Up” was by far the best performance of the night—the vocals and the relentless explosion of the music was a throbbing, intimidating force.

“Oh Yeah” also seemed to be a favorite, as the band had the entire audience singing along, cheering and raising their drinks above their heads.

Throughout the show, Joe just stood there so cool, so collected and cranked out a storm, like Tropical Storm Patricia that was wreaking havoc outside that night. At one point, he started to play Robin Trower’s “Bridge of Sighs.” Mikey and Chad joined in, with Mikey singing lead. They only played a teaser of this, but it sounded magnificent—psychedelic and rich, and I desperately wanted to hear more. I swear Satriani can play  anything; and he makes it look as effortless as breathing.



During the show of the 12th and 13th, drummer Matt Sorum, from Guns ‘n’ Roses, The Cult and Velvet Revolver stepped in, joined the party onstage and played drums for a few songs. Way to go, Matt!

Matt Sorum

On the 12th, as Sammy consulted the six foot long setlist taped onto the stage speakers, Mikey quickly jumped in and began to play the opening bassline to “Runnin’ with the Devil” with his teeth. The Wabos soon joined in, but Sammy didn’t seem too pleased as he stood in the background with his arms folded across his chest, allowing Mikey to sing lead for the duration of the song.


“I think I pissed him off!” Mikey said afterward with a huge grin.

Chef Emeril Lagasse opened the show on October 13 and also played percussion for a song or two.

At the end, as everyone sang “Happy Birthday” and balloons floated down from the catwalk above the crowd, Sammy’s face was shoved into a chocolate cake, which he then proceeded to fling, whole, into the crowd. I was glad I wasn’t within firing distance.

Vinnie Paul, drummer for Pantera was there one night, but he didn’t perform, also magician Criss Angel.

I would like to have been able to provide you with a more comprehensive concert review, but I didn’t take notes during the shows. As it was, Sammy already scolded me for taking pictures while everyone else was clapping to the beat, saying “Put your f—ing camera down and clap your hands, dammit!” with a big smile on his face. So I guess taking notes would have been out of the question. I know, I know, I know, who takes notes during a rock concert? Um, writers…

Great music, great party, as always.



March 23, 2009

A lot of amazing things have happened to me over the past few years–supernatural and mystical experiences. Many of the events involved concepts I wasn’t quite sure I believed in until they actually occurred in my life. They were so strange and wonderful that I wrote a book about them. Since much of what happened has to do with music–Sammy Hagar’s music to be exact, I will start there. Thank you for listening.

If it makes you happy, do more of it.

Music transports us to a place where words cannot go. It lifts our spirits, takes us on a ride—of fantasy or magnified reality.

It gives a name to the darkness of our pain, wings to the exuberance of our joy. It validates feelings we may not know how to articulate. It draws upon these emotions and by the very act of sharing, it renews our souls.

But music is more than a portrait of life. I think music is a separate entity with a “body” and “mind” of its own. This new creation comes to life through the performance of the vocals, the instruments, the lyrics, the notes and through the passion of the musicians as it merges with the personal experience of each listener.

Live music is even more powerful. When our favorite band or singer takes the stage, the outside world seems to stop. We forget our troubles. We are transported to another world.

And we can take that feeling wherever we choose to take it. We can leave it in the auditorium after the show, forget about it after we turn off the CD player, or we can absorb its energy into our hearts and use its influence as an inspiration for finding meaning in our lives.



After interviewing Tiffanie DeBartolo, author of the film, “Dream for an Insomniac,” and the books “God-Shaped Hole” and “How to Kill a Rock Star,” with two more on the way, I realized that our discussion was all about passion in music and how it helped each of us discover our personal truths. Passion is an emotion. Emotion is the language of the soul. What we feel passionate about brings us joy. Joy brings us to God. (And it doesn’t matter what one’s definition of God is because that word means different things to different people.) What we feel passionate about is the very thing that will bring us self-discovery, transformation, enlightenment—God.

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