Sammy’s Groupies Do Good

They don’t come here just to hear him sing, they bring donations too
BY: DEBBIE BROWN

Sammy Hagar’s annual Birthday Bash at Cabo Wabo is fast approaching, and this year is going to be one for the record books. The old rock and roller will be turning 70 and the celebration is promised to be filled with VIPs and, of course, the thousands of RedHeads (that’d be Sammy’s devoted groupies) that flock to Cabo year after year for a chance to see the Red Rocker up close and personally.

sammie.JPGThe annual event started more than 20 years ago when the fans would line up on the street to get the then-free tickets that were handed out each day for the show that night. Fast forward more than two decades and the fan base for Sammy and Cabo is still as strong as ever. In fact, it has grown into a huge following. The fans call themselves the RedHeads. Each year, the RedHeads flock to Cabo with air mattresses, hammocks, chairs and blankets for their annual vacation of camping on the streets of Cabo for the chance (no guarantee) of getting tickets that now cost $50 USD. Life-long friendships have been forged and comradery among RedHeads can be seen each year, as they pass out coffee and doughnuts for breakfast, while they wait in line for the tickets.

This year, there was a record breaking 80,000 RedHeads that entered the now-required lottery to get tickets. Since Cabo Wabo is a small venue when it comes to concerts, holding only 500 people, the Birthday Bash is like a private concert. Weather permitting, Cabo Wabo will have a large video screen outside for the hundreds, if not thousands, of RedHeads that can't get in to see the show.

The masses of RedHeads who camp on the streets surrounding Cabo Wabo for days is a sight to see. It also makes you think, “How can they do that?” A lot of people assume they must be too cheap for hotel rooms, or old hippies that do nothing, but that couldn't be further from the truth. They are white-collar and blue-collar professionals from all walks of life and all over the world. They bring Cabo a lot of business, love and compassion.

In 2001, Cabo Wabo and the RedHeads started working directly with Amigo De los Ninos, a non-profit organization that provides medical and dental care to the needy children in the barrios. Each year events are planned by the RedHeads to raise money for treatments. In 2015 their goal of $10,000 was reached; 2016 they raised nearly $12,000 and this year they hope to hit close $15,000.

This year’s events will kick off on Oct. 10. They include a sunset cruise with a raffle for tickets to the shows. There is an auction of donated items from local businesses and resorts, and best of all is the autographed memorabilia donated by Sammy himself.

On Oct. 12 is Tabasco's Beach Party, which will also have a raffle for tickets to the shows, prizes and an auction. And yes, there will be more donated autographed memorabilia from Sammy and, who knows, maybe some special guests too.

But the event that means the most to the RedHeads is the one held on the morning of Sammy's birthday, Oct 13.The RedHeads, along with the A.D.L.N., load up in cars, trucks and vans with items that have been donated by RedHeads and head to the barrios to hand out clothes, school supplies and hygiene packets. It is one of the highlights of their trip to Cabo for many RedHeads, and it is a much-anticipated visit each year by the locals receiving these gifts. Some of the RedHeads have even gone above and beyond to help families by “adopting” them and bringing them much-needed items even when it's not Sammy’s birthday week.

So, the next time you see the RedHeads camping on the streets for days at a time, show them a little love. Seeing them is the start of High Season here in Cabo and what a great start!

If you'd like to donate to A.D.L.N., you can drop off your donation at the Mar de Cortez hotel downtown on Lazaro Cardenos street with Cindi or Brando. They will make sure it gets loaded up and delivered. Or, if you'd like to join in on the trip to hand out the gifts, just let them know.