MINNEAPOLIS — The Sammy Hagar show Sunday at the club First Avenue here was thoroughly Republican.
The men wore blue blazers and chinos. The women were disproportionately blond.
Amy Sims, 48, of North Carolina, was there with her teenage son and niece, who were volunteers for the RNC. The matriarch wore Tory Burch flats, a Cartier watch and a little pink cardigan sweater.
“Obama scares me,” she said of the Democratic presidential candidate. “I’ll tell you, I woke up in the middle of the night a couple of weeks ago having had a nightmare that he was president and the country was being run by Muslims. I swear, I don’t have fears about terrorists. I was willing to fly the week after the attacks [on 9/11] but there’s something about him. It’s like he’s too good to be true.”
Also there was Eric Seebeck, 23, of Minnesota. He wore a black blazer and had a shaved head and a big, thick, red goatee. “Minnesota is very maverick,” he said, explaining why John McCain might do well there. “We voted Jesse the Body Ventura into office.”
Seebeck said he was for legalizing marijuana, in support of gay adoption (“studies have shown a child is more likely to be molested by straight parents than gay parents”) but believed in lower taxes and smaller government. “I was a Hillary [Clinton] supporter and I think this election is going to come down to race and gender,” he said outside the venue, where he was smoking a cigarette. “I think most people are blue collar and swing voters are going to vote for what¹s most familiar. It’s not even racist.”
Of course, he wanted to make it known that he had no problem with voting for an African American. “My best friend in college was black.”
He just doesn’t want this African American.
Gannon Manning, 35, was there by the bar with her husband, Hank. He runs a commercial real estate company. She’s president of the local chapter of the March of Dimes. She expressed concern for the people of New Orleans, but took issue with the belief that President Bush was to blame for the devastation left after Hurricane Katrina.
“The local leadership failed,” she said. “They weren’t proactive in a situation where forethought would’ve prevailed.”
Thankfully, some good might have come from it, she said. “When a plane goes down, we learn from it. Katrina was like that. We learned something from it and we’re better for it. It’s an education for us.”
She also believes the President did the right thing attacking Iraq after 9/11. “He did what had to be done.”
Never mind evidence to suggest Saddam Hussein had no real contact with Al Qaeda. “Anyone who believes that is incredibly shortsighted,” said Manning.
At 10 p.m., Hagar’s show began with a video montage referencing his famous song, “Right Now.”
“Right now, the world is still revolving.”
“Right now, entertainers are becoming politicians, and politicians are becoming the new entertainers.”
“Right now, music is free.”
“Right now, someone just snt you a txt :-)”
“Right now, Sammy’s planning a trip to Cabo. Again.”
After ten minutes of this, a video came on showing footage of him in Cabo.
Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville” came blaring through the speakers.
Then “Let’s get drunk and screw.”
Finally, Hagar took to the stage, where he performed for about an hour and a half, wearing a pair of bright pink shades, beach shorts and a turquoise T-shirt that said “Cabo Wabo Cantina.”
The Red Rocker, as he’s been called, didn’t have much to say about politics, though he did advise to give on the consumption of alcohol: BYO!
“See this,” he said, halfway into his set, picking up his big yellow drink.
“I bet I’m the only guy in here who gets drunk but isn’t hung over tomorrow.”
After the show, one of the organizers auctioned off a guitar to help the people of New Orleans. Bidding started at $3,000, but people in the audience weren’t overly interested.
When the auction stalled at $3,400, the emcee said, “Come on, you people are lobbyists and corporate types. You can afford to spend more than this!”
Not much more, apparently. It sold for $3,600.
“It’s a really nice guitar,” Hagar said. “Too bad it didn’t go for more.”