The Cabo Wabo concept, shared by Van Halen’s 1988 song and Hagar’s chain, came from an encounter in the streets of Cabo San Lucas. During the conversation, Hagar recalled the morning in the ’80s when the vision hit him.
Delving more into its origin, the musician also explained his then-bandmates’ reaction to the business idea. He revealed the reason behind their decision to withdraw investments, which was motivated by anxiety.
I see this guy walking down the street Sunday morning, bumping into a barbed wire fence, ripped, he’s bleeding, his shirt ripped up, his pants ripped up, you know, maybe no shoes; he was really drunk and been up all night bouncing off a barbed wire fence that was a rusty, and bouncing back into the street, at the dirt road I was going, and ‘Look at this guy! He’s doing the Cabo Wabo.’ I started laughing to myself, and a person I was with started laughing.”
“I started thinking, ‘I’m gonna build a bar called the Cabo Wabo.’ Then, I thought, ‘Maybe, I can have my own tequila.’ See, the light was coming on. I was starting to see down the road. ‘Oh, maybe, I can have these all over the world.’ So, I just completely saw a deep vision, and no one else could see it.
‘Are you crazy? There’s no – You can’t even make a phone call down there.’ I said, ‘I’m doing it. I’m doing it.’ I bought the property, and I did it. They got all freaked out when it lost money the first year. It was like, ‘We can’t afford $10,000 this year.’ So, they wanted out. ‘We’re not putting our money in that thing.’ I said, ‘Okay, okay.’ I took it over, and it just exploded.”