|The Long Road to Cabo is a delightful documentary about rock & roll fellowship, featuring Sammy Hagar as the founder of a summer-long feast of heavy metal, Van Halen memories, and many bared female bosoms (in Hagar's audiences, that is). Looking more like a mellow, mid-life surfer than hairy rock icon from the 1980s, the ever-expansive Hagar leads the Waboritas through a long, hot 2002 tour, sharing a bill with David Lee Roth, Hagar's co-outcast from Van Halen. Despite their shared ignominy, Roth rebuffs Hagar's efforts at collaboration, or at least camaraderie, resulting in a competitive and entertainingly catty atmosphere.
One can't help but enjoy a vicarious high watching the demographically diverse Waboritas rumble and squawk through Hagar's classic repertoire, mixing it up onstage with old pals Ted Nugent and Michael Anthony, and even welcoming Gary Cherone, Hagar's replacement in Van Halen, into the fold. The feature-length "Long Road" offers plenty of strong, occasionally hypnotic performances, especially "Heavy Metal," "When It's Love," and a rehearsal fling with Dylan's "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35."
A second disc conveniently packs four hours of essential Hagar history and miscellany onto one disc, including batches of music videos (from the vintage "Little White Lies" to the recent, and quite agreeable, "Things've Changed") with and without Hagar's commentary and sing-along lyrics. Those versions featuring the loquacious Hagar's recollections are pretty entertaining and sometimes surprising. It turns out, for example, that his and Eddie Van Halen's neighboring houses in "Hands and Knees" (in which Hagar's shouts awake the sleeping guitarist) were not a fantasy backdrop but the real deal. Also on disc 2 is ancient performance footage, handwritten lyric sheets, a documentary about Hagar's career, a photo album, and, most importantly, a session in Sammy's kitchen making spaghetti sauce the way Granddad taught him. --Tom Keogh