Archive for Sammy Hagar

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Sammy Hagar- VOA

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2018 by 80smetalman

Sammy Hagar was most definitely a busy boy in 1984. In the early part of the year, he made the one album with HSAS along with Neil Schon from Journey. When I reviewed that album, I wrote a follow up post of what music life would have been like if HSAS had stayed together and released more albums. On the plus side, there would have been a couple more great albums from that quartet and we would have have been spared from Van Hagar, whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to the individual conscience to determine. Furthermore, Neil Schon’s career would have been still going strong because Journey was fading from view by then. On the minus side, had that band remained in tact, we might have not been able to feast upon Sammy’s solo album from later on in 1984, “VOA.”

As a result of the big single from the album, Sammy would be described as the “red haired rocker who couldn’t drive fifty-five.” “I Can’t Drive 55” received constant airplay on radio and MTV, not that I ever complained about that. It is my favourite Sammy song of all time, a great tune about driving really fast. Funny thing was that I have no recollection of anyone calling for the song to be banned because it encouraged people to break speed limits. All I know is that I love that song.

Seven other songs also adorn the “VOA” album and all of them are really good. “Rock is In My Blood” is a good power song where Sammy declares that rock is in his blood and his soul. It also demonstrates that Sammy can play a guitar a little bit as well. Two songs come closest to being a power ballad here. One of them is “Two Sides of Love.” It’s not slow enough in my opinion to be a ballad but it is a song about a failing relationship. The guitars are good and the keyboards punctuate the song very effectively. Sammy’s solo is pretty good too.

Now let’s talk about the hidden gem on the album and man, do I love this song. I’m talking about “Dick in the Dirt.” The song is about a man named Richard to is a bit of a ladies’ man. The innuendo behind the lyrics is comical and remains so throughout the song. I always laugh my ass off whenever I listen to the song, even after more than thirty years! Apart from that, it is a good power song and comes with another cool guitar solo. So, I guess you could say that the song hits you from both sides.

For me, the least strongest song, (I call it such as none of the songs are weak), is the title track. Maybe it because it was used so much for patriotic purposes in the days of 80s Reagan America. Actually, it’s because the keyboards take over too much of the song. It’s good but not as much as the other seven songs. Fortunately, the last two songs are much stronger and end the album on a high. “Don’t Make Me Wait” is another song that comes near to being a power ballad but not near enough. It starts as if it’s going to be one but it just rocks. There is some great  guitar work from Sammy and the closer, “Burning Down the City,” all I can say is “Wow! What a great song to end the album with.”

Track Listing:

  1. I Can’t Drive 55
  2. Swept Away
  3. Rock is in My Blood
  4. Two Sides of Love
  5. Dick in the Dirt
  6. VOA
  7. Don’t Make Me Wait
  8. Burning Down the City

Sammy Hagar

Sammy Hagar- lead vocals, lead guitar

Gary Pihl- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Jesse Harms- keyboards, backing vocals

Bill Church- bass, backing vocals

David Lauser- drums, backing vocals

Whatever your thoughts might be on the path Sammy Hagar took in 1984 and after, you can’t fault that “VOA” is a great solo album. Things have moved on in the past three decades and in most American states, the speed limit is above 55. Maybe the big single influenced government to raise the speed limits.

Next post: Waysted

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Your Opinion: Would It Have Been Cool if HSAS Continued After One Album?

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2017 by 80smetalman


Thinking more about my previous post on the only album from HSAS, I continue to speculate what would it have been like if they didn’t stop at one album. In the last post, I put forward the historical evidence that Journey went completely downhill and that Sammy went onto join Van Halen and received a lot of unfair criticism for it. My feelings are that they would have gone on to make at least two more killer albums before any super group egos began to get in the way. Hopefully, I might be wrong there. So, what I’m doing is putting the question out there to the cosmos. Would any of you liked to have heard more albums from HSAS and gone to see them live? Let me know your opinions and don’t be shy! I will look at both sides of the argument with equal eyes.

Now, in two days I’ll be off to Download and have come to an interesting situation. It was my intention that on the Sunday, I was going to see the top four bands on the main stage so I can get a good position for Aerosmith. Having not seen them since 1990, I was prepared to give Slayer who are headlining on the second stage a miss. Particularly because I have seen them at Bloodstock twice in the past three years. However, Slayer will be on before Aerosmith so I do have the chance to see them. To throw a further spanner in the works, I really want to see Airbourne and Steel Panther who are on the main stage before Slayer but had not heard of the band between Steel Panther and Aerosmith, Alter Bridge, who are on when Slayer goes on. I know that I can easily move stages but I fear I won’t get a good place for Aerosmith if I do. Furthermore, I have familiarized myself with Alter Bridge and am very impressed with what I heard. So, I’m tempted to stay and see them. What would you do?







Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1984: HSAS- Through the Fire

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2017 by 80smetalman

Late in 1983, Sammy Hagar and Journey guitarist Neil Schon did a project together along with bassist Kenny Aaronson and drummer Michael Shrieve. Together, they formed a band called HSAS which was short for Hagar, Schon, Aaronson and Shrieve and the result was their one and only album, “Through the Fire.” Was it a success? Maybe not according to the charts but it made my spring in 1984 and continued to do so for years after.

Confession, I never bought the “Through the Fire” album, I cheated. Instead, I recorded their full performance from an MTV concert. Besides, they played every song on the album plus a few songs that didn’t get on it. Having finally listened to the album, I feel no shame as it simply brings back all the great memories of that taped concert.

While most trendy types might not remember HSAS, I’m sure that a lot of metalheads and a few non ones do. When Sammy Hagar toured solo at the end of the year and even during his first tour with Van Halen, there were signs around many a concert venue that read, “Sammy Hagar, Top of the rock.” That’s because it’s the best known song from the album. He played it that night I saw him and it is a brilliant song. However, it’s only my second favourite. The top slot goes to the very next track, “Missing You.” That song really cooks and Neil belts out great guitar solo on it.

Hearing the next three tracks, I am now convinced that when the band played live, they played all three together as one song. Each track quickly goes from one to the next so you don’t really get a break. Furthermore, all three are in the way out space rock mode and they fit very well together. In the MTV concert, only the title of the first song, “Animation” was introduced but it went on for far longer than the four minutes it says the song lasts on the label. Actually, I am pretty sure that the song lasted for the duration indicated by the three songs.

There is one blip in comparing the album with the concert and that comes in the form of the band’s cover of the classic, “Whiter Shade of Pale.” The song closes the concert and I think it was a great song to close the show with. However, it’s not the closer on the album and now I wonder if it should have. It’s still done very well and I think that Procol Harum would have been impressed. After that comes the hard rocker, “Hot and Dirty,” which Sammy stated in the concert that it was about Kenny the bass player’s girlfriend. Can’t fault the song, it’s really good and Neil Schon shows his talent up and down all of it. While not a ballad, “He’ll Understand” is, to quote Sammy, on the tender side. It starts out as a ballad but that changes not far into it and has a smoking guitar solo. The irony is the closer because I am fairly certain that it was the opener for the concert. However, it works both ways.

HSAS in concert

The reason why all nine songs are so good is down to the talents of the four men who comprised HSAS. Sammy’s vocals and Neil’s guitar work were always going to be a lethal cocktail, no doubt about that. But we should raise a glass to the rhythm section of Aaronson and Shrieve because together, they make a fine one.

Track Listing:

  1. Top of the Rock
  2. Missing You
  3. Animation
  4. Valley of the Kings
  5. Giza
  6. Whiter Shade of Pale
  7. Hot and Dirty
  8. He’ll Understand
  9. My Home Town


Sammy Hagar- vocals

Neil Schon- guitars

Kenny Aaronson- bass

Michael Shrive- drums

For the last 33 years, I have been asking myself “What if?” What if HSAS went beyond this one project and put out more albums? I think that they would have made a huge impact on the music of metal’s golden decade. History does sort of support me. When Neil went back to Journey, they didn’t make any impact after, at least not on me. Then there’s the case of Van Hagar, although I’ve always said that Sammy can’t be blamed for that. What we are left with is one fantastic album and three decades of me wondering, what if.

Next post: There will be no post at the end of the week because I am off to the Download Festival this week. I’m going to rock to Aerosmith, Steel Panther, Rob Zombie, Suicidal Tendencies and many more. Of course I will give you a day by day report once I return.

Still no new link for buying Rock and Roll Children direct but it’s still available on Amazon.




















1983- Triumphs and Tragedies

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2016 by 80smetalman
The Alamo

The Alamo

The only tragedy I remember from 1983 actually happened the year before. Due to my military service, I didn’t find out about it until 83 when I read about all the fallout from it. I’m talking about when Ozzy Osbourne pissed on the Alamo. He claims he was drunk as a skunk, (I’ve never seen a drunk skunk so I have nothing to compare it to.) Ozzy also said he didn’t know it was such a national shrine, well it is in Texas. The result of his action got him banned from the city of San Antonio for ten years, although that was lifted a few years later when he made a large donation to the Alamo charity.

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy was already getting himself a reputation outside the heavy metal world for the wrong reasons. His infamous biting the head off a bat was making its rounds. Of course, the religious element in America embellished things further. There were rumours he blew up goats on stage and at one show, he supposedly threw a puppy into the crowd and said he wouldn’t sing anymore until the audience killed the puppy. While this was all untrue hype, it didn’t help Ozzy when he actually did something for real. So for Ozzy and somewhat in the metal world, this was a bit of a tragedy because it overshadowed the two albums he released in the year. I’ll be covering those soon enough.

Now for the triumphs. It seems that 1983 was a cool year for festivals. I got to go to two of them. The first one, I mentioned when I posted about the Nantucket and Doc Holliday albums a few months ago. Those two bands topped the bill at the Mayfair Festival at Jacksonville, North Carolina. The other five bands remain pretty much unheard of with the bottom three being cover bands. So, I thought I’d include them in this little piece of history. They were Skeet Kelly, Roxy, Avalanche- who did a great cover of Sammy Hagar’s “Heavy Metal,” Peer Pressure- who did a reasonably decent cover of John Cougar’s “Hurt So Good” and Eraxle- who closed their set with a fantastic cover of Van Halen’s “Ice Cream Man.” I consumed loads of alcohol and there were some interesting events between the bands like a wet t-shirt and a men’s ugly legs competition. A fine day from what I remember.



Military commitments kept me from attending this festival but my sister went. I tried to pick her brains but she didn’t remember much. In the June, Journey headlined in Philadelphia and with them were John Cougar, Sammy Hagar, The Tubes and Bryan Adams. From what she can remember, my sister says that Journey sounded great and had a fantastic light show. John Cougar and Bryan Adams were both very good as was Sammy Hagar despite his red spandex. Unfortunately, The Tubes weren’t up to the rest of those who played that day. If this line up played in more cities than Philly, I would love to hear your account of the day.

Journey Live

Journey Live

It didn’t matter that I was in the military for this one, I couldn’t have gone to the US Festival because it was 3000 miles away in California. The US Festival was a three day festival where the first day consisted of new wave bands, the second day’s line up was heavy metal and the third day’s was a rock line up. From what I heard, all three days were fantastic although I do recall an interview with a local sheriff saying that he was going to try to ban such events following the festival. I didn’t think about it then, but that was the first salvo fired at music in the 1980s. I think the best thing to do is just to let you look at the line up for the three days and I’m sure you will be just as awestruck as I was.

Us Festival Showbill

Us Festival Showbill

I did get to the final festival in 1983. This was my first Donington Festival as I happened to be in England at the time. From my memory, I can recall that Diamond Head were all right and Dio were very good. I didn’t twig on who the lead singer was until they played “Heaven and Hell” but that was okay. They were brilliant. Then came Twisted Sister. I can still remember Dee Snider’s quip: “We’re not Culture Club or any of those gay boys or Duran Duran nor any of those other wimps. We’re Twisted Sister and we play heavy metal rock and roll!” Of course I knew there must of been something about them when they were introduced as Twisted Fuckin’ Sister. Their music was great too.

For me, ZZ Top took the concert. They played a magnificent combination of old and new material during their time on stage. Of course it helped that they played my two favourite ZZ Top tunes, “Jesus Just Left Chicago” and “La Grange.” They also played quite a few songs off their new “Eliminator” album so they basically rocked. The big let down after ZZ Top was Meatloaf. I was not impressed, he just sounded terrible that day. Worse, my friend’s English girlfriend didn’t realize that they ran a special train after the concert so out of fear of getting stuck, we left early and missed headliners, Whitesnake. I remain gutted but overall, Donington 1983 was a kick ass day and proved that Great Britain could rock.



That was 1983 in a nutshell. The only real tragedy was Ozzy pissing on a national shrine but all the great concert festivals more than compensated for it. Just posting about it has me psyched for Bloodstock in two weeks. It was no wonder I was super excited when I got out of the marines that year.

Next post: Great Soundtracks

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Great Rock Albums of 1983: John Cougar Mellencamp- Uh Huh

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2016 by 80smetalman


One type of person whom most other people in the world find annoying is the guy who acts all tough but clearly isn’t. This was a major problem for John Cougar Mellencamp back in the early 1980s, especially in the eyes of many metalheads. My sister saw him live in 1983 along with Journey (who headlined,) Sammy Hagar, The Tubes and Bryan Adams. Anyway, while Cougar was on stage, ( he hadn’t reclaimed is family name yet), someone threw something onto the stage. In response, John called out, “Hey mother f*cker, throw some shit up here again and I’ll come down and stomp on your ass.” While this was amusing, I remember one friend who said that he would have thrown something else at the stage so he could kick John Cougar’s ass because Cougar was a wimp.

JCM’s 1983 album “Uh Huh” established him as a true American rock act and many of my British friends agree. My thoughts on the album was while it wasn’t a metal album, it was still hard enough for metalheads to enjoy. I have always enjoyed “Uh Huh,” even the singles, which are the first three songs on the album. “Crumblin’ Down,” “Pink Houses” and “The Authority Song” were all good tunes that stretched across the barriers that were being erected in music back then. They had a commercial appeal and a hard rock enough sound that no one who liked those songs would be accused of leaving their chosen camp. Of the three, “The Authority Song” is my favourite because it highlights perfectly the phase I was going through at the time. It was kind of and I stress kind of my theme song for a brief period.

After the three singles, there is still plenty of straightforward American rock and roll to be had. “Play Guitar” and “Lovin’ Mother Fo Ya” definitely qualify but the best song of all on the album has to be “Serious Business.” The lyrics alone make the song for me. I mean how could one not like lyrics that go :

“This is serious business, sex and violence and rock and roll.”

Hell, I’m singing those lyrics now as I type this. This is why I found “Uh Huh” to be such and enjoyable album. John Cougar Mellencamp has a bit of fun on it.

Track Listing:

  1. Crumblin’ Down
  2. Pink Houses
  3. The Authority Song
  4. Warmer Place to Sleep
  5. Jackie O
  6. Play Guitar
  7. Serious Business
  8. Lovin’ Mother Fo Ya
  9. Golden Gates
John Cougar Mellencamp

John Cougar Mellencamp

John Cougar Mellencamp- vocals

Larry Crane- guitar

Kenny Aronoff- drums, percussion

Toby Myers- bass

Mike Wanchic- guitar, backing vocals

Louis Johnson- bass

Carol Sue Hill- vocals

Maggie Ryder- vocals

Jay Ferguson- vocals

When I was teaching full time, I did an American theme in a cookery lesson which the class was making sloppy joes and corn dogs. One of my British colleagues remarked at this, “Sloppy Joes and corn dogs, it sounds like a John Mellencamp song.” Yes, many people outside the US regard John Cougar Mellencamp as truly and American artist, especially with some of the topics he sings about in later albums. That was before “Uh Huh,” where while there are some hidden themes, it’s still a fun rocker of an album.

Next post: Dave Edmunds- Information

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Great Metal Albums of 1982: UFO- Mechanix

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2015 by 80smetalman


Confession time, when I posted about UFO’s “The Wild, The Willing and the Innocent” album nearly a year ago, I promised to listen to more of UFO. The fact is, I haven’t done so, not as much as I would have liked to. My admitted lameoid excuse is the fact that 2015 is in serious danger of being the year 80smetalman disappears up his own asshole. Work, family and other commitments like my hobby I get paid for doing, (I referee American football here in the UK) have made even posting twice a week difficult, though not impossible. Excuses aside and to quote a famous saying from the marines, “Excuses are like assholes, everyone’s got one and they all stink,” I did listen to the 1982 UFO “Mechanix” and that might go someway into making up for not listening to UFO more.

Everything I said on their 1981 “The Wild, The Willing and the Innocent” can be echoed with the “Mechanix” album. This album is another reason why I should kick myself for not listening to more UFO, (maybe I was a monk in a previous life on account of all the self harm I’m threatening myself with here.) The album just flat out rocks. UFO are definitely one tight band and that comes through with every song. The opener, “The Writer” is a great one to grab you and make you listen to it. The second track, “Somethin’ Else” provides the perfect bridge between the opener and the more softer, not too soft, third track, “Back Into My Life.” However, it is the fourth track, “You’ll Get Love” that really gets me going with that blistering guitar solo. Of all the solos on the album and there are many, this one stands out for me the most. Saying that, the solo on the next track, “Doing it all For You” isn’t bad either.

What strikes me as I listened to the album is the similarity in vocals between Phil Mogg and Sammy Hagar. Maybe it’s because I listened to a Sammy album last week but it just sounds like they sound alike, I don’t know. Anyway, there are some real rockers that follow on from “Doing it all For You.” Two really hard tracks in fact before things slow down a little with “Terri.” I emphasise the little here but it is the closest they come to a ballad. However, things pick up again and go out very nicely with the two final tracks. So with an album as great as “Mechanix,” I ask myself, “Why did I wait so long before listening to UFO?”

Track Listing:

  1. The Writer
  2. Somethin’ Else
  3. Back Into My Life
  4. You’ll Get Love
  5. Doing It All For You
  6. We Belong to the Night
  7. Let it Rain
  8. Terri
  9. Feel It
  10. Dreaming


Phil Mogg- vocals

Pete Way- bass

Paul Chapman- guitar

Neil Carter- guitar, keyboards, sax

Andy Parker- drums

This time, I will promise myself to not to wait until the next time I post a UFO album before I listen to these guys again. So far, the two albums I have listened to have been mind blowing and from what I heard, there is better to come.

Next post: Riot- Restless Breed

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Great Metal Albums of 1982: Sammy Hagar- Three Lock Box

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 17, 2015 by 80smetalman


By 1982, Sammy Hagar was attracting the attention of many people in the rock world, including mine. After several kick ass albums and some great songs on a couple of soundtracks, my curiosity was certainly aroused. It was this 1982 album “Three Lock Box,” that allowed me to listen to the Red Rocker in his fully glory.

The opening title track ever most definitely sets the pace for the album straight away. His opening vocals, “Suckers walk, money talks, but it can’t touch my three lock box,” has been etched in my mind for all eternity. It’s not just the lyrics though, that fuzzy blues rock guitar that kicks in a second later propels it through to the ionosphere. The song not only allows me to appreciate Hagar’s vocal ability but I can also give him respect as a guitarist. Funny thing is that “Three Lock Box” isn’t my all time favourite Hagar song, that’s still to come.

“Three Lock Box,” the album, doesn’t depreciate as it goes further down the line with more songs. “Remote Love” has a good intro and I like it as a rock song but it’s the very next song that wins my award for the album’s best hidden gem. “Remember the Heroes” is a true rocker with a great rocking introduction and some fantastic guitar soloing in the middle. What a great song, maybe they should of released that one as a single but instead, the known single from the album is “Your Love is Driving Me Crazy.” The song is what it is, great single material and I did like it when it came on the radio in the day. After the single, the album goes back to some more good Hagar sounding rock. He stretches out a bit with the next song, “In the Room.” Maybe he was trying to sound more new wave here, I don’t know. Saying that, I won’t take anything away from it, I do like it. Things go more hard rock with the next track, “Rise of the Animal” and I can hear some good guitar tweaking in that one. It does go out with a cool guitar solo. That leads the album to the end with the four remaining tracks although I really dig the straight forward rocker, “Growing Up.” It precedes the closest thing Sammy has to a ballad on the album, “With Never Give Up.” That too was released as a single but it didn’t do as well as “Your Love is Driving Me Crazy.” Still, it’s not a bad song and then there’s the closer, “I Don’t Need Love.” Another cool rock song that at first listen had me asking myself, “Why is this the last song on the album?” Then I answered my own question when I heard how the guitars ended the song. In short, after hearing “Three Lock Box,” I was converted to Sammy Hagar.

Track Listing

  1. Three Lock Box
  2. Remote Love
  3. Remember the Heroes
  4. Your Love is Driving Me Crazy
  5. In the Room
  6. Rise of the Animal
  7. I Wouldn’t Change a Thing
  8. Growing Up
  9. Never Give Up
  10. I Don’t Need Love
  11. Sammy Hagar

    Sammy Hagar

    Sammy Hagar- vocals, guitar

  12. Bill Church- bass

Gary Pihl- guitar

David Lauser- drums

Guest musicians

Jonathan Cain- keyboards on “Remember the Heroes”

Mike Reno- vocals on “Remember the Heroes”

Sammy Hagar not only made a believer out of me in 1982, he made one out of many people. “Three Lock Box” is the reason why. It is my favourite album of Sammy’s and listening to it, reminds me why.

Next post: Diamond Head- Borrowed Time

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