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Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Sammy Hagar and Toby Keith have done some serious drinking together—usually at Sammy’s legendary Cabo Wabo Cantina in Mexico, and often with the entrepreneurs’ signature lines of booze. Sammy launched and then sold the lucrative Cabo Wabo tequila line and is now in the rum business, with Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, while Toby oversees the Wild Shot mescal brand.
But even though he’ll sip Toby’s smoky mescal, there is one thing the former Van Halen frontman will definitely not do: “Don’t eat the worm!” Sammy warns. “Don’t listen to Toby on that one.”
Fans can listen to Toby sing, however, on Sammy’s new duets album, Sammy Hagar & Friends, released today (Sept. 24). Together, the pair tackle Jimmy Buffett’s sunny classic “Margaritvalle.” “Toby says that's the kind of song that you play right before you pass out,” Sammy says with a laugh, recalling late nights at his Mexican bar with his Oklahoma buddy. “Toby and I have sang ‘Margaritaville’ in Cabo Wabo probably as many times as we’ve sang any other song. We have a couple tacos, a couple margaritas, a couple shots and we go down [to the club] and play with the band.”
But Toby isn’t the only country star to join Sammy on Sammy Hagar & Friends. Ronnie Dunn also pops up on the roadhouse rocker “Bad on Fords and Chevrolets.”
“Some of my best friends are country guys, like Kenny Chesney and even Willie, who I’ve known for a long time. As I get older, you start appreciating the country boys, because rock stars in general can be really competitive and egotistic and self-centered,” says Sammy. “The country guys just aren’t like that."
Except when they try to get you to say bon appétit to a mescal-soaked worm. “I’m not going to eat the worm,” reiterates Sammy, who prefers to enjoy Toby’s Wild Shot as a mixer. “I’m not a mescal drinker straight-up, because, man, it puts you in the hospital!”
For more on Sammy, Toby and Ronnie, pick up the Sept. 30 issue of Country Weekly, on stands now.