Sammy Hagar Hates ‘Bum Rule’ That Blocks His Charity Donations
Sammy Hagar expressed his unhappiness over charity donation laws that prevent him from giving money directly to those in need.
The former Van Halen singer explained that he gives away most of the profits from his businesses, and said he makes a point of being “hands on” about his donation activities.
“I go down to food banks. Every town I've played for the last 10 years, I write a check to the food bank,” Hagar told Clay Marshall (via Blabbermouth). “Sometimes, on days off, I go down to food banks and hand out food to people and talk to them and find out why they're in that food line.”
He continued: “If you've only got fifty bucks that you can afford, give it to your local food bank, because it goes a long way. If you've got a few thousand or tens of thousands of dollars, then you can start helping kids in hospitals, and families that have terminally ill children that run out of insurance or don't have insurance. I can't even talk about it – it's horrible. That's my main cause, and if I have a restaurant that makes $250,000 a year to me – which I do – I give it to the local hospital.”
He said he made arrangements with doctors to ensure that the “worst-case scenario” people received his help first, whether that involved an individual payment or a series of equal payments to a number of people. “I end up giving that amount of money to the hospital so that they can get the care that they need. Because I can't give it directly to the people — that's a really crazy law, but you can't. They'll make them pay taxes. Can you believe that shit? That's a bum rule. So I give it to the hospital, and the hospital lets them have free care.”
Hagar’s theories about the value of money and how it could be better used helped inspire Space Between, his album with latest band The Circle. “I'm wealthy, and people sometimes see me in one of my expensive cars or a home that I live in and think, 'That rich asshole,’” he noted, adding: “I think, 'Why would somebody be mad at somebody for being rich?' … It made me think, 'Listen, money is not bad. It's not evil. … Money is beautiful – you can feed the poor. You can heal the sick. You can buy happiness. You can go up to some person that's struggling and is about to lose everything and give them maybe a few thousand dollars, and their life is changed. You can take somebody off the streets and give them enough to get on their feet — just enough to get on their feet, and if they really want to be on their feet, they will get on their feet and take it from there.'
“That's the beautiful part of human nature, and the beautiful part of having funds and being able to that for people. I wanted to write about that.”