This weekend I was watching AXS TV. They had a special on Guitar Gods which was hosted by, um, Sammy Hagar. I caught some of Peter Frampton, saw the end of Ronnie Montrose and all of David Gilmour. (I had planned to watch all of the Ronnie Montrose segment, but it started out with a well-known guitarist that I felt sounded decidedly un-Montrose like.) During the Ronnie Montrose segment, it occurred to me that Sammy Hagar has been fortunate to front a couple of amazing bands, namely Montrose and Van Halen. (I've not ever really been a fan of Van Halen, but I do recognize the value of their work.) I had the Montrose album, I think it was 1973, and have always thought that Ronnie Montrose was way ahead of his time and admired his work on the album. I'm embarrassed to admit that I was not even aware of his work with Van Morrison and Edgar Winter until I saw that show this weekend. I also did not realize that Sammy Hagar wrote many of the songs on the Montrose album. I guess my memory of the liner notes is somewhat dim. But, back to my point. Sammy Hagar, lead singer, sometimes guitar player, is called the front man because I guess that's what the term means, the man out front, the one most of the attention is focused on. But to me, he was never the star of the show, to me he was a sideman. I see that this makes no sense, it's just the box I put him in in my head. I have brought this subject up several times before on this forum, because I am primarily a singer. I've never cared for the term "lead singer" and most definitely haven't ever liked being cast into the role of "front man." Maybe that's why I am not currently in a band. I prefer to think of the band as a whole, whose collective efforts produce good music. I do understand that "the people" tend to focus on the singer, so it is important the he have stage presence, be charismatic, etc. I guess I'm not one of those people. I like to watch the musicians, I like to see how they make the sounds that come from their instruments. I noticed when Sammy Hagar performed with the rest of the surviving members of Montrose, (with Joe Satriani on guitar) that he played a lot of air guitar. I think a lot of "lead singers" are really self-conscious about not playing an instrument. I think they feel that they are not fully contributing to the song if only singing. I know that this has been a problem for me. (Note: I would never play air guitar on stage.) I also thought it was strange that after the performance, Sammy Hagar, Denny Carmassi (drums) and Bill Church (bass) took their bows together on the opposite side of the stage from Joe Satriana. This show was to commemorate Ronnie Montrose, not to showcase the remaining members of the Montrose band. I thought this was very tacky. I felt that Satch made a conscious effort to stay true to the Montrose songs, only rarely venturing off into his own thing. To leave him out at the end I thought was a glaring insult. I know I'm wandering off topic here a lot with my ramblings. I don't want to name any names here, but there are many iconic bands that I could name in which the "front man" is the least interesting person in the band to me. Of course there are many front men with very flamboyant personalities that make them hard to miss, but that rarely comes out over the radio. Meh, I guess I don't really have a point, just wanted get this out.