Tag Archives: bill church

Sammy Hagar/Live 1980

Friday it was Sam’s 1984 big breakthrough album V.O.A that was reviewed but let’s rewind a few year’s back to 1980 in the recording’s of Sammy…


After being blown away by Hagar’s Live show in the fall of 1984 as soon as my feet landed back in Thunder Bay it was off to the record shop and purchase anything live Hagar….

It was Kings Stereo that I purchased Live 1980 a live Sam album from well ….1980! Recorded  at the infamous Hammersmith Odeon in London England.

The Tunes…

“Trans Am (Highway Wonderland)” (Sammy Hagar) – 5:15
“Love or Money” (Hagar) – 3:57
“Plain Jane” (Hagar) – 2:26
“20th Century Man” (Hagar, Gary Pihl) – 3:59
“This Planet’s on Fire (Burn in Hell)” (Hagar) – 5:14
“In the Night (Entering the Danger Zone)” (Hagar) – 1:26
“The Danger Zone” (Hagar) – 5:00
“Space Station #5” (Hagar, Ronnie Montrose) – 4:28

The Dude’s who don’t look like Ladies…

Sammy Hagar – lead vocals, lead guitar
Gary Pihl – rhythm  guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Bill Church – bass guitar, backing vocals
Chuck Ruff – drums, backing vocals

This album blew me away for one thing you can see pre 1981 Sam was all old school hard guitar rock! No keyboards except for some dabbling In The Night/Danger Zone.

Ok so  when I spun this the very first time the thing struck me right off the hop was the intro to the first song of the show and thats Trans Am.  Great opening number with the intro(you can hear a Motor revving) and some dude on the mic introducing the “Red Rocker Sammy Hagar” and bam the curly-haired dude is singing about his Car?! Hahaha…whatever yanks the crank I suppose! But still a great live number listen below…

So as soon as Sam gets off the Highway Wonderland it’s into another  Gem of a tune called Love Or Money. “I may be crazy but I ain’t no fool!” Sammy hollers and boom were off. Nice shuffle of the drums by Ruff as well as backing vocals.  Sammy 1980 is a serious Hard Rocker!

Plain Jane has a real cool vibe not an all out rocker but Plain Jane still packs a real good oomph! Super cool verse’s with a real cool bass line that follows the lead vocal!

Big rock riff’s lead the way and that song is called 20th Century Man  No radio fodder her on this tune as Sam and Gary weave the guitars in and out while flexing some serious muscle live. Another standout track that no one ever talks about! Even Hagar himself!

Side 2 begins with one of my favourite Hagar tracks and that’s This World Is On Fire. Boogie woggie riff a roo and this was even Sam’s opener when I seen the show in 84. It’s basically a tune about selling your soul to the music business…lyrics  below…

‘Cancelled flights, limousines
Hustle bustles, crazy scenes
First you’re here, then you’re there
Pretty soon man, you been everywhere

Ooh, this planet’s on fire
Oh, Satan’s desire
We’ve seen the rise, we’ll see the fall
He’s here to see us all
Burn in hell…’

Even better I’m going to post a live clip of a young Sam from 1978 blasting this tune live.  People tend to forget what a great Lead/Rhythm Picker Sam is …..watch it man its Rock Gold!

Form there it gets trippy with a short interlude awash with keys called  In The Night which goes right into The Danger Zone which is more spacey and crazy with the album ending with the Montrose classic Space Station Number 5 which is a rip snorting rock attack as the band is on an all out rock attack! More huge guitars and this is Hard Rock done to perfection with a chorus that is gold!

As with the end of every Sam show he introduces the Boys in the band something he still does to this day! Props all around!

This is a quick snap shot audio assault from Sam and he’s a rocking beast as is his band.  The performance on here is top-notch and Sam as he entered the 80’s shifted his musical chops somewhat with a more commercial hard rock sound. Fair enough as you gotta make cash!

Check this one out folk’s!









Sammy Hagar/V.O.A(1984)

Circus Magazine was the first time I had seen the name Sammy Hagar and that was back in 1982 for an advertisement for his current album at the time  Three Lock Box.

It wasn’t until the summer of 1984 when I had first seen Sam’s video for I Can’t Drive 55 on MuchMusic and I was sold. The song featured a crunchy guitar not overtaken by the keyboards and the video was fun as well with Sam blasting around in his Ferrari/Eluding the Cops/Being tossed in the Slammer and then busting out and there’s Sam in the cool car while the boys in his band follow him a truck! You know who’s cutting the cheque’s!

I was 16 and Sam was badass in a Hard Rock kind of way as it seems  Sammy wasn’t  taking his shit too serious by making a cool goofy video!

Off to  fetch my first Hagar record and that was Voice Of America or V.O.A for short!

Sammy already had a slew of solo albums under his belt as well as two Montrose albums so he had been in the game for a while!

Sam’s career by 84 was picking up steam and as well just a few  months later in Oct 1984 I caught Hagar headlining in Ladano’s favourite city Duluth Minnesota  with Krokus opening. Sammy delivered an exceptional live show to this day I still recall fondly..

Hagar Tunes…

“I Can’t Drive 55” (Sammy Hagar) – 4:12
“Swept Away” (Hagar) – 5:36
“Rock Is in My Blood” (Hagar) – 4:29
“Two Sides of Love” (Hagar) – 3:41
“Dick in the Dirt” (Hagar) – 4:19
“VOA” (Hagar) – 4:29
“Don’t Make Me Wait” (Hagar, Jesse Harms) – 4:06
“Burnin’ Down the City” (Hagar) – 5:32

There ya have it. 8 Hard Rockers with Don’t Make Me Wait being the bona-fide token Power Ballad but other wise a pretty kick ass album.

Sam nicked Ted Templeman for this album and Ted of course produced the 6 Roth Halen albums and just a short year later Wham Bam Ol Thank You Mam! Sam I Am becomes the new VH singer after Dave Roth gets the boot/quits ..yada yada…

Hagar’s Honcho’s…

Sammy Hagar – lead vocals, lead guitar
Gary Pihl – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Jesse Harms – keyboards, backing vocals
Bill Church – bass guitar, backing vocals
David Lauser – drums, backing vocals

The great thing   when I started buying Sam’s albums was that these guys  were his backing band for many years.  Sam remained loyal to them and it wasn’t like the Dave Coverdale  Whitesnake switch aroo member changes from album to album tour to tour it seemed which I got so sick and tired of.

V.O.A like I had mentioned blasts of with I Can’t Drive 55 and once Lauser rolls that snare intro it takes you the listener all of 5 seconds to know that the Production is going to be top-notch as well as the performances! Love this tune as 55 is just plain old fun Rawk! No Frills’s as Sam is smart as he buy’s into the don’t bore us get to the chorus philosophy and I’m ok with that as my attention span is short to begin with…

Swept Away is a Gem! Sam nails one out of the park with this track. Love the big power chord that  begin’s  the song and it shifts into a decent balance of keyboards and acoustic before Sam ramps it up on the chorus. Check out the Live 1984 audio clip I posted to hear it for your self….

Rock Is In My Blood lyrically is kinda silly but the music is slow with a bit of  hard rock thrown in to keep the music somewhat raunchy. It’s a decent track musically but after Swept Away Sam can be forgiven for writing some Dumbo Like Lyrics…. Sam must have found some of  Gene Simmons leftover Animalize lyrics lying around!

Sam and the boys deliver a real decent hard rock single written all over it track called Two Sides Of Love. Driven by keyboards and drums along with some ripping guitar Two Sides is a great fun summer time hard rock track. Love the pre chorus  that segues right into the catchy happy chorus. Great tune….Another video posted below…

Dick In The Dirt wins funniest song title in 1984..  Sam sings about a down on his luck dude named Richard  so come chorus time the lyrics go “She Knocked Dick In The Dirt” hahaha,,,that silly ol Red Rocker. The music is good as well and when I caught the VOA show this was the second track played that night….

The title track V.O.A is Sam rolling up with Rock Troops and they will kick anyones ass that is in the way! Sam even name drops the USSR as well and I remember reading back than interviews asking him about being political etc which was kinda funny because these lyrics are kinda just goofy words like Triumph wrote with there Allied Forces lyrics. No harm no foul right? But by Sam name dropping a country I guess he stirred someones coffee the wrong way…than again as with a lot of music back than it was probably a calculated move. I  bought into it!

Don’t Make Me Wait is the big power slobbery tune on this album and it’s not a bad track actually! Everyone was doing this back than and so it falls into that heap of song’s I can’t handle but some I can. Today I can’t though…

Burnin Down The City was a tune I kinda neglected as I would pick up the needle after the tune V.O.A and would move onto something else. Having said that it’s not a knock as this tune is a mid tempo end of the album rocker. Features Sammy yammering on about some-crazed ass dude Burning Down The City…Case in point… Here’s some lyrics ….

Every night he rocks this place
He burns the best, but never shows his face, oh, no.
Burns the walls, burns a truck,
Burns a trian, don’t give a fuck, no, no. 

Aren’t those lyrics classic? HAHAHA….

Still though a great revisit and you have to hand it to solo Sam as he was basically putting out album after album followed by tour after tour and building up the fan base. Plus writing all the tunes and such the dude no matter what you think of Sam he  has a great work ethic even though at times he get’s a little sloppy with the lyrics! But who cares I love Big Dumbo Rock  look at KISS’s 80’s output especially that Asylum album…haha….

My  next post will be the second ever album of Hagar’s I purchased on Monday Folk’s …A Double  Sam Shot….

Mas Tequila!