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Sammy Hagar Pays Tribute to and Shares Memories of Robin Williams

Image courtesy of Jay Blakesberg/UMe; Monty Brinton/CBS (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Jay Blakesberg/UMe; Monty Brinton/CBS (via ABC News Radio)

Like so many other people, Sammy Hagar was a big fan of Robin Williams , who died of an apparent suicide this August 11 at age 63.

Speaking with ABC News Radio, the Red Rocker describes Williams as the "most brilliant, original frickin' comedian I've ever seen," adding, "even the way he brought that to the big screen as an actor, he brought that same crazy personality."

The former Van Halen frontman ranks the acclaimed actor and comic alongside such other legendary funnymen as Richard Pryor and George Carlin .  "They had that kind of a thing," Hagar explains.  "They were just so original and so mind-blowing."

Beyond being a fan, the Red Rocker was lucky enough to have met Williams numerous times.

"We lived in the same town, and [my wife and I would] run into him in restaurants all the time," Hagar tells ABC News Radio.  "He was always doing bars around the area, like little nightclubs and stuff, and getting his routine together.  And for the last five or six years, my wife would always go see him and…talk to him afterwards."

The 66-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer says he was "shocked" that Williams took his own life, saying, "I'd have never thought he would do something like that…And right around the corner from us."

Sammy also reveals that as confident and commanding as Robin was onstage, in person he actually was quite the opposite.

"The 10, 12 times I was around him, he never seemed comfortable," Hagar points out.  "And I don't mean that, like, making fun of him.  I'm saying he just always seemed kind of nervous and, like, just a little anxiety ridden around people."

Hagar adds that he could empathize with Williams' discomfort, noting that he also sometimes feels a bit awkward meeting fans after a concert.

"I just poured my heart out, you know," he explains, "and then you gotta look them in the eye and act like you're just normal all of a sudden."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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