‘He doesn’t sit there and noodle around’: Sammy Hagar’s favorite guitarist is not Eddie Van Halen

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It’s a particularly difficult question for Sammy Hagar — who, after all, has worked alongside Ronnie Montrose, Eddie Van Halen and Joe Satriani, among others: Of the guitarists you’ve played with, who is your favorite?

He starts out — call this the hometown discount — by mentioning Vic Johnson, guitarist in Hagar’s solo bar-band amalgam the Wabos. “He is such a versatile guitar player,” Hagar says in this WDHA clip. “He can play anything, and he’s the nicest guy in the world.”

After that, Hagar attempts to the answer the question, difficult though it may be.

“Besides Vic, because he is my dearest friend, I think Joe Satriani is the best guitar player in the business,” Hagar says. “Everybody will argue with me all day long, but I’ve worked with different people — and Joe is so prolific, and so quick. He knows music; he doesn’t play bad notes. He doesn’t sit there and noodle around trying to find something. That guy brings it.”

Hagar played with Montrose from 1973-75, with Van Halen from 1985-96 and has been with Satriani in Chickenfoot since 2008. He also played with Neal Schon of Journey/Santana fame from 1984-85 in HSAS. The Wabos have been together since 2005.

Satriani, Schon and Johnson appear on Hagar’s forthcoming album, Sammy Hagar and Friends.

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