Celebrity Special – Happy Birthday Sammy Hagar!
The Red Rocker turns 70 today!by Jonathan Lopez, on
Sammy Hagar is not your typical rock artist. The man has been busy making music for about 50 years now, not only as a solo artist, but also as front man for a variety of supergroups and major bands, including more than a decade as the singer for Van Halen. First fronting for the Fabulous Castilles at just 20 years of age, Hagar’s first major break arrived in the early ‘70s with the band Montrose, writing hits such as “Bad Motor Scooter.” By the mid-‘70s, Hagar launched his solo career, and after signing with Geffen Records, he released a string of big hits, including “There’s Only One Way To Rock” and “Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy.” However, as gear heads and car lovers know, there’s one song in particular that gets our attention – “I Can’t Drive 55,” off 1984’s VOA.
Featuring Hagar behind the wheel of a jet black Ferrari BB512i, “I Can’t Drive 55” is an iconic driving song. The video shows the Red Rocker doing hot laps around Saugus Speedway, a race track in Santa Clarita, California. On the way home, Hagar has a run in with the California Highway Patrol, who promptly haul the wild man to jail for his high-speed antics. It’s an anthem of automotive rebellion, a relatable tale for anyone who’s ever been tempted by the siren song of the long loud pedal in a fast car.
These days, Hagar is busy touring with his latest project, The Circle, formed in 2014 and featuring Michael Anthony on bass, Vic Johnson on guitar, and Jason Bonham on drums. Joining him as the opening act is his son, Andrew Hagar, a talented singer-songwriter in his own right.
Happy Birthday, Sammy!