Tag Archives: Micheal Anthony

SONIC WAVES…Van Halen/5150

Summer of 1985!

I hear on our  local radio station that David Lee Roth exits Van Halen and is replaced by Sammy Hagar! As a VH/ Hagar fan I’m A-Ok with this move as myself and Muc a year earlier in Oct of 1984 saw Hagar Live so we knew he would deliver.

After I heard that Roth was out I called Tbone stat but he was out at his camp for that summer so I wasn’t gonna phone about any silly OL thing but this was warranted!

So I called. Tbones mother answered and called him to the phone.

The first thing T said to me was it must be true,” I laughed and said “holy shit how did you hear about Dave splitting?”

Tbone said that he was hanging out and they’re was a couple of friends that knew he listened to VH  and they told him that Dave was out! Tbone did not believe it but no sooner is he told this by his camp friends than the phone rings,his mother calls him and tells him that its Deke on the phone….

Tbone knew it was true! Hahahahaha…

Now onto 1986!

In these hallowed pages of Arena Rock their aren’t many times I was out scooped but when it came time for Van Halen to release their Sammy Hagar(Dave Rothless) debut 5150 Tbone hooked up with Jack Loaf and skipped out of our first period Grade 13 class (1986) and went down and picked up 5150! I being the scholar did not skip school that day so when second period rolled around that day Tbone and JackLoaf were back with there that fresh copy release of 5150 at our school(Lakeview High School) I was like and this is putting it mildly….”you two sons of Bitches!!”  Ha! That’s the edited version!

Later that day we were bunkered down in Tbones basement for the Van Hagar debut and Wowzers I likey what I heard and still do….

One Two Three Rock Box!

GOOD ENOUGH- “Helloooooo Baaaaaaby” chirps Sammy and were off with a squeal of delight from Edward Van Halens guitar  and here’s brother Alex joining in on his electronic drums circa 1986 and slammimg straight ahead on bass is the Van Halen brothers favourite human kicking bag Michael Anthony. (Side note ..Ed its 2015,your Billboard interview slamming down Anthony’s contributions was to me sounding like sour pissy grapes….take the high road man..) Good Enough kicks some real good serious straight ahead goofy cool lyrics and some deadly music and we all breathe a sigh of relief! Love the song tempo change after the solo and throw down vocally some Woot Woo… It’s 1986 and we’re all digging Van Hagar! Rack a What?

WHY CANT THIS BE LOVE- I remember this track like it was yesterday. We were like I said earlier in Grade 13 when 5150 hit the street and to build hype VH released Why Can’t This Be Love as a single before the actual release of the full album. Now in one of my classes in High School some rock dudes were kinda hemming and hawing about Hagar singing lead and Roth being gone yada yada. For once I kept my musical trap shut and stayed out of it but one classmate who wore fancy dancy sweaters and played sax in the High School band who I didn’t even know listened to rock(or maybe he did?) pipes up and said ‘ I like the new guy (Hagar) better!” Ha I thought the third floor that we were on was gonna collapse! Boom end of discussion! Bell Rang…Class is now in session! Anyhoo this song starts with  Eddie farting around with the  opening on his Halen synth and Bam here comes the rest of the fella’s and Van Hagar drop a great song into our laps! Hagar shows that he’s no slouch in the lead vocal department and nails done a great vocal and Eddie does a chill solo and Alex Pounds the drums and Mikey holds down the fort with his bass!

GET UP- Ed starts off with some guitar hero snaz and brother Al speaking of drums launches into hyper speed and Get Up puts any doubt to rest that Halen is laying off the gas! GET UUUUUUUUUP! MAKE IT WORK…..sings Sam and him and Mike stand toe to toe with each other vocally and before you know it the song chills out with Ed and Al and then ramps up into Eds solo and my heads gonna blow as WTF Is he doing to that guitar! Love this tune…

DREAMS-power rocker tune fuelled by Eds banging tempo on the keys and Sammy gives her vocally big time on this tune and hits registers that even makes the staunchest of Roth supporters say what?! Dreams rocks in a great way. Great writing on this tune,performance. It’s all here folks!

SUMMER NIGHTS- one of my favs from this album! Ed noodles around at the beginning of this tune and does some Guitar hero action and Sammy tosses down some “lines into the fishing hole. Them girls are biting good tonight!” Sam sez that not me! The chorus is awesome Mikey carries the backing vocals and  Ed flings riff after riff and Al power drives the tune at the end to the fade out…

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS-Ed begins what became a staple in the live show in the Hagar era. Great driving Halen song! These were the good OL happy Hagar daze of yesteryear! Great song and better solo with Mike being Freddy Steady on Bass and Alex flinging around cymbals like Keith Moon!

LOVE WALKS IN- hmmmm very interesting. You know Van Halen as in Ed was tampering with keys already with mid tempo rock tracks(I’ll Wait from 1984 is a Classic in moi’s book!) so it didn’t really surprise me that this kinda song would appear along with Dreams and Why Can’t This Be Love on 5150. Sammy could deliver this stuff with ease and great melodic solo from Eddie. Hate using the term Power Ballad associated with Halen so let’s say Melodic Ass Kicker!

5150-Wowzers the title track and Ed starts off with some nifty picking and Al follows suit on the drums and the song picks up its pace for a few seconds and once Sam I Am starts singing that the ” Love line is never straight or narrow” love the tempo change and the chorus ramps up! Ed flings down some cool twirly cool doodle as fuck solos and it ramps back up again!

INSIDE- Ha! No one ever talks about this track! Time to show it some love! It’s a mix mash of Sammys lead vocals and a background of  yakking and Sammy just me being crazy or just a bit too high! Cool little riff! And better yet is that Al chirping the word “Alimony”in the background? Ha! Hey so that’s what’s going down on the Inside! Ed mashes up some synth with his guitar and the song ends! Boom Done!

IN CONCLUSION- the build up and the hype for 5150 back in 1986 was friggin huge! Imagine the pressure of following Roth and the 1984 album but Sam and his new friends deliver this album in spades and just think a few months later here comes Diamond Dave with Eat Em And Smile! 1986 yeah man,a great year musically speaking for myself,Tbone and others!

SONIC WAVES…Sammy Hagar & The Circle/At Your Service!

Yee Ha! 2015 and here comes Sammy Hagar,Micheal Anthony,Vic Johnson and Jason Bonham calling themselves The Circle and pumping out a live album of Sam I Am’s solo hits. Some of Jason’s Dad tunes(John Bonham (RIP)of Led Zeppelin). Mikey Anthony and Sams own Halens hits in Van Hagar! Boom and throw a little Montrose on top with Rock Candy….interested?

Mas Tequila Hombres….

THERES ONLY ONE WAY TO ROCK- so it’s apparently clear that this live album is gonna sound live as you can hear the twangs of Mikey’s bass as the rest of the band opens with a thundering ripping opening and some dude introduces each memeber of The Circle and Hagar is introduced as the C.E.O of Rock ,The Red Rocker…. and wham bam into Theres Only One Way To Rock. Hagars voice is still awesome at what age 67? Geez man the dude does know how to rock and with Vic Johnson on guitar as well they form a real good duo burning and turning on the fret board and Wowzers what a fantastic start! Also of note its good to hear also Anthony’s backing vocals cranked. Good to have Ya around here Mikey! In case you’re wondering these fellas play Theres Only Way To Rock more in line with the version on Sams  Standing Hampton album than the Van Halen version that we all know and love from The Live Without A Net Video!

ROCK CANDY-Hard Sweet and Sticky Sez Sam and he ditches  the guitar and let’s Vic Johnson take over and it’s apparent real quick that Vic can play and man his solo on this tune is so wickedly good goes from fret burning at  the beginning of the solo and changes his tone and boom just plays it so good for a send off! Sammy knows this as he chirps Vic Johnsons name numerous times throughout this record and why wouldn’t Sam do it! Bonham plays a slow burn groove on the drums and Mikey lays down the bass and hey its Rock Candy!

GOOD TIMES BAD TIMES- the dudes slam right into Jason’s family tree with Good Times and it’s a great version! I guess it helps when your jamming and you got Bonzos kid slammimg the drums behind Ya! Vocally Sammy pulls  it off he knows his register and he sings the song while Anthony lays down the bass and Vic plays the tune and does not overplay it! Gotta respect that. For these guys The Song Does Remain The Same! Hahaha…ok that was brutal !

POUNDCAKE- just read my review of Poundcake from  this album that was dropped into my ITunes library when I preordered it….read it here..https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/cool-lil-numbers-the-circlepoundcake/

I CANT DRIVE 55-SAMs real big solo tune! Ah Muc do you remember that V.O.A Tour of 84? Anyways Vic and Sam double down some lean mean fighting duel guitars and Mikey man like i said earlier it’s good to have Ya back thumping on Yer bass and nailing down the backing vocals! Life is once again A ok at Arena Rock!

MIKEYS BASS SOLO- 3 minutes of Mikey’s distorted sometimes note playing solo thrown into the mix here! That’s ok folks Anthony deserves this man,he’s Rock Royalty! The coolest thing is his solo ends in a huge wall of sound like a UFO is landing and it goes into …

WHEN ITS LOVE- watch the clip that is posted! Sammys vocals are locked and loaded on this tune! The chaps beside him on stage deliver this tune on how it should be delivered and that’s with style! Great track still after all these years!

WHOLE LOTTA LOVE-back to Jamsville with some more Zep and Vic plays guitar and keeps himself in check meaning he stays true to the classic but when he needs to he adds little bolts off lightening when duty calls! That’s the cool thing and I can listen to these tracks (Zep Covers) no probs as it’s a Bonham drumming them,Sam singing them,Johnson guitaring them and Anthony laying it all down using his bass as the anchor!

LITTLE WHITE LIE- cool little slide guitar action tune from Sams Marching To Mars record! Love the beginning of this track tons o slide,cool lead and backing vocals and then it slams head straight into Bonhams drum kit and he beats the shit out of it and this song just rocks in all the right ways! Well done Mr Hagar!

WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS- how about Sam and Vic nailing down some dual slide guitar action on this song and watch them destroy the Levee on their own! 8 minutes of pure Hagar Zep mash up! These Guys  take the song build it up smash it down and build it up again! Great great stuff! Love how at the beginning they actually use John Bonhams actual drum intro and than Jason plays along with it. Cool stuff …..

MOBY DICK- Bonham gets to shine and kick his drums into submission during his solo spotlight. Dude can play! Hello !

WHY CANT THIS BE LOVE-love it Hagar introduces this song from 1985 hahaha…thats two songs Sam that you have introduced with the wrong year! (Poundcake)Hahaha..that’s ok man your Sam Hagar and this is the tune that we all know that put the version of Sammy Halen on the rock map! (Damn I still gotta review 5150!) 2014 Sam and Crew play this song to T and Anthony throws down a few lead vocal lines as well! Another classic dose brought to you by Club Sam!

FINISH WHAT YA STARTED- dada da…da da brurup bup bup..or something like that that’s me making guitar noises on my iPad! But as a VH fan we all know this song and these fellas on this track like all others are having fun man!  Love the driving bass of Mikey during the chorus the guitar finger pickin of Sam and Vic and Bonham punches the gas so the bus won’t stall and keeps the song driving! Love this version and Ya I can say …I miss Sam in Halen! Say what Ya want but they wrote many classic tracks …this is one of them!

HEAVY METAL- the fun continues right into Sammys Heavy Metal! What a great tune! Now that’s a power riff if I ever heard one! “Headbangers in leather! Sparks Fly in the dead of the night” it’s all there! Sammy sings and jams his guitar and shares the lead vocals with not only Mikey but Vic  throws down a few lead vocals as well and these guys are not taking themselves too serious! “It’s your one way ticket to midnight…call it HEAVY METAL!!” Well said Sam!

VICS GUITAR SOLO- Vic plays a little under a minute and half solo! He knows his deal and Yep it’s a good solo I mean he takes the Kiss philosophy (Keep it simple silly!)

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS- love this song and it’s a good rock out! It’s just good to hear these Halen tunes again since the bros in VH don’t wanna know about them! When Sammy hollers “it’s 5150 time,” you know he fuckin means it! Great song man …..

RIGHT NOW- oh man Sammy he proclaims “here’s a song from 1993” Ummm Nope Sam it’s 1991 and that’s Right Now! I mean these guys could have corrected Sammy introducing the years wrong  in the studio bit they choose to leave it… good on Ya ..warts n all! Sammy sings this one and the band knocks it out of the park! Great song,great solo…well done!

ROCK N ROLL-Bonham leads the charge just  like his dad did on the Zep Classic and these guys send everyone home happy! They rock the song like there’s no tomorrow!  Great endimg as well. Hagar like he has always done as the band is walloping out a final grande finale introduces everyone and tells the crowd he’s “At Your Service!”  Great end to a great disc!

DREAMS – oh wait not just wait Vic and Sam do an acoustic version of Dreams and why not change it up! Dreams in 1986 Sam sang pretty high so why not mix it up for the dudes 67-year-old throat! Cool and well done!

IN CONCLUSION-as far as live albums go this one has to be one of the funnest live albums of just pals getting together and rocking it out! These guys play the Zep tunes very well but loose and Jason Bonham keeps the train on the tracks! Vic Johnson has been Sams lead guitarist since 1996 and he knows his spot. Play the tunes and keep them in check to the originals but add some of your own  flair and by golly he does! I mean the cat is playing Zep and Halen no mean feat but he’s the MVP here folks! Mikey Anthony like I said Welcome back! It’s good to hear those backing vocals and bassing again!

Sam is about fun! He has no worries! He just enjoys life and he wants you to know that! He sings great and plays a good guitar still! It’s like he’s 27 years old! The dude can sing no doubt …….I mean how many guys can say “PoundCake” and you believe it! Sam can!

Now the comparison to the recently released Van Halen live at the Tokyo Dome will be asked and my verdict is…..

The VH Live album I love and some day I will tackle it all here for ya’s! Tokyo Dome has songs from the  7 studio albums Dave recorded with Van Halen.  See I grew up to all those songs(especially the first 6 VH albums)and to hear them live now recorded  and with no fixer ups In the studio  is awesome and I love Wolfies Bassing on it! I have no probs with that or his backing vocals for that matter!

BUT

The Circles album is a live album of genuine fun and it comes across in the playing and between song banter that Sam lays down with his band mates and crowd. I mean we all know as VH fans the deal with the VH Bros and Dave(they not likey each other!) . With Sams bands it’s just friends hanging out and playing music and that as well totally  comes across. In other words I got sonically the……..

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS! (With both of these Live albums!)

Ha…..that was kinda pathetic but that’s all I got!

Check out this album folks!

Cool Lil Numbers….The Circle/Poundcake

Hmmm…

1986-Sammy Halen releases 5150/David Lee follows suit with Eat Em And Smile…

1988-DLR unleashes Skyscraper/Sammy Halen fight back with OU812

1991-Mr Roth puts out A Little Ain’t Enough/ Sammy Halen cranks out the F.U.C.K album.

2015-Yo! So Van Halen does the most crazy thing and decides to put out a double live cd with Diamond Dave! What’s even crazier is that Sam I Am teamed up his longtime sidekick Micheal Anthony on bass along with guitarist Vic Johnson(Hagars lead dude since 1997) and Jason Bonham(we all know who his Pop was!) on drums and KABOOM here comes the live album from these cats called The Circle!

Lets backtrack here for a sec…

So on a recent Sunday I read on Blabbermouth what  Hagar and crew are up to and than 2 days later on iTunes is preorder for The Circles Live Album called At Your Service!

Now back to the present…

Click the  preorder button (album release is not til May) and also with the click of the preorder comes The Circle doing Poundcake!

I have spun this track a few times now and I will tell you it sounds way better than the live album that Hagar/Anthony did back in 93 with VH (Right Here/Right Now) Poundcake here sounds live real live and gotta give Sam credit he announces to the crowd here’s a song from 1993 …Poundcake! Hey Sam, Poundcake came from the 1991 release F.U.C.K so there Ya go people. Good on Sam he could have touched that glitch up in the studio but nope he leaves it warts n all . Good on the Red Rocker!

Vic Johnson well man he plays Poundcake as if EVH was but he kinda gives it a redo job and well the fella can play! No doubt about it! Anthony and Bonham lay down the bottom end and they groove this tune with the simple sounding bass line driving the bus froward! Hagar is amazing folks! He along with Steve Tyler are around the 66 year old mark and there voices are still intact! Impressive! Plus any dude that sings the line ‘…….I love my baby’s Paoundcake” at the age of 66 is alright in my book!

When I preordered the album i seen the track listing for the album it’s got Solo Sam,Sam Halen,Sam Montrose,Zep tracks. I guess that’s what Sam means when he talks about his musical career coming full Circle!

Poundcake version 2015 is a winner here at Arena Rock!

The video posted is not the actual release ..its the only thing that was out there! I howled at video on the screen behind the band showing actual clips from the Poundcake video except Al and Edward Van Halen are totally edited out of  the clip! Hahahaha …

Silly Ol Buggers!