Toby Keith with Sammy Hagar in 2007.
Ed and Al hated every other band -- everybody else sucked. When I hear a musician I like, I want to embrace him, bring him backstage, make him welcome. I brought Kenny Chesney backstage on that tour and took him to meet Eddie. Eddie shook his hand and turned around. "I gotta take a shit," he said. He walked into the john with the guy standing right there.
Another time, Toby Keith came to see us in Oklahoma City, not far from his hometown. I decided to do his "I Love This Bar" during my acoustic segment and Toby would walk out midway through the song and sing the rest of it with me. Toby told me that while he was waiting backstage, Eddie cornered him and tried to keep him from going out: "Why would you want to go on with him?" Ed asked. "Why didn't you come out with us?" "You didn't invite me," Toby said. "I'm inviting you now," Eddie said. "Why are you wearing that cowboy hat?" "I'm a country guy," said Toby. "No, it's because you're bald," said Eddie.
Toby walked out onstage halfway through the song and the place exploded. Eddie went crazy the rest of the night. He destroyed his dressing room after the show. His son, Wolfie, was in my dressing room, scared and crying.
From the forthcoming book RED: My Uncensored Life in Rock by Sammy Hagar. Copyright © 2011 by Sammy Hagar. To be published on March 15, 2011 by IT Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
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