The Deep Six: Why Sammy Hagar’s Music is Inexcusable‏‏‏

0000sh1 - The Deep Six: Why Sammy Hagar’s Music is Inexcusable‏‏‏

by Ryan Meehan

Through the years, we’ve all heard our share of classic rock.  We’ve been treated to the revolutionary sounds of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and The Who.  But as you well know, classic rock stations can’t play those artists all day, and in most cases will ignore Sabbath altogether.  What this means is there’s a lot of artists that you’ll never buy records from, such as your .38 Specials and your REO Speedwagons.

Another artist that I would put in that category would most certainly be Sammy Hagar.  The guy is a constant source of average cookie cutter rock music who thinks that his music is much heavier than it really is.  It’s pompous, obnoxious, and above all it’s boring.  In short, it’s just gone on for way too long.  We’ve all sat here and taken it in the butt while this joker has stretched this party band thing into a three and a half decade career in an industry that clearly used to know better.

That shit stops right here.  Now, I’m not going to make any outrageous claims here that suggest this guy was behind the 9/11 terror attacks.  I think we all know by now that was Al-Qaeda’s doing because they believed such an attack would delay the new Limp Bizkit record.  But I plan to give it to this guy pretty hard by pointing out a few things that I’ve noticed about Sammy’s ear torturing artwork over the years. From everything that you hear within the industry, Sammy is a nice guy.  But he’s also a huge douchebag, and an awful songwriter.  I wouldn’t shit in his mouth even if the only way I could ever get paid for anything for the rest of my life was to shit in his mouth.  I say all this understanding that Sammy Hagar has sold more records than I ever will, has millions of adoring fans, and has more money than I ever would if I could print bills off with my home computer.  But just because lots of people love it doesn’t make it great.  That shit doesn’t work in Celine Dion’s favor and it won’t work here either.  Fuck Sammy Hagar. So what I’m going to do here is go Deep Six style on why Sammy’s music has never really tripped my trigger.  I know that there are some who will debate whether or not these are legitimate, and I just want those people to understand that when you’re wrong you’re wrong.  Let’s start with the obvious…

1. The argument over who was the better singer in Van Halen is not a valid one


I never get into arguments about which singer in Van Halen was better for the band, because in my eyes it’s not even close.  David Lee Roth WAS Van Halen.  That’s a hefty compliment when you consider the band was named after two other members in the group – that’s how important Roth was.  Even though Eddie is a legendary guitar player who transformed the instrument, Roth was the show that provided the entertainment.I can’t say that Sammy was the worst singer that Van Halen ever hired, that designation belongs to former Extreme frontman and resident “I’ll hold your balls while you cough” guy Gary Cherone.  But Sammy’s arrival in Van Halen signaled the beginning of the end of a great rock band, and you can tell because the titles of the albums began to get insanely stupid.  Names like “OU812” and “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” are fine when you’re in eighth grade, touring with Degrassi sensations The Zit Remedy, and desperately need a title for your demo cassette.  If you’re supposed to be one of the biggest rock bands in the world, somebody at that label has to pull you aside and tell you that a decision like that could very well cost you a couple hundred thousand units.

Van Halen went from being a rock band to something you’d hear on an easy listening station while you were getting your teeth cleaned.  With Hagar in the band, the songs relied more on keyboard and piano to get by and the rock element of the project suffered greatly.  Let’s just put it this way:  What’s more rock n’ roll to you – “Right Now” or “Hot for Teacher”?  “When It’s Love” or “Jamie’s Crying”?  “Finish What Ya Started” or “Everybody Wants Some”?  I think I’ve made my point.

2.  Tequila is disgusting

Alcohol doesn’t taste very good anyway, but of all its different varieties tequila is definitely the worst.  Tequila comes from the blue agave plant, shown here:


Does that look delicious to you?  If it does, this is what I want you to do:  Go outside and wait for a car to come by, particularly a very large one.  Then when it’s about to cross your path, jump in front of it because it is very important to the rest of society that you don’t ever reproduce.

My sister used this as a perfect example of why it’s not a good idea to drink tequila:  Have you ever noticed how every time you mention tequila, one person in the room begins to talk about how “crazy” they get when they drink tequila?  That should tell you something:  Tequila is never a good idea.  The only thing that tequila has done for this country is increased the number of teen pregnancies.  Planned Parenthood has probably made a fortune off of tequila drinkers.  They’re probably the reason why PP finally decided to change the heads on that vaccuum more than once a month.Anyhoo, Sammy has made no secret that he loves tequila.  He has songs with “Tequila” in the title, proving that he is indeed the patron saint of bad decisions.  He had a company that made tequila called “Cabo Wabo”, but he sold it back in 2007 for eighty million fucking dollars.  I’m not trying to bring the room down, but when I read that fact I wanted to start tracking down some of Hemingway’s relatives to see if they could give me any of Grandpa Ernie’s shotgun cleaning tips.  There are entire African nations that don’t have that much money, and they also have a high percentage of HIV infections in a world where if anybody deserves to get AIDS it’s Sammy Hagar.

3.  His lyrics are beyond awful


This came to light for me back in 1999 when my college roommate informed me that Sammy Hagar had a song where the first line was “Headbangers in Leather”.  I couldn’t believe it.  What’s more un-rock n’ roll than the mental image that sentence is supposed to induce?  As it turns out, that song is “Heavy Metal” and is from the soundtrack to the 1981 film of the same name.  If you’ve never seen the movie, it’s an anthology of several science fiction and fantasy stories that were adapted from Heavy Metal magazine as well as original stories that fit the same theme.  I suppose I could have just said that it was a gay porn.  Here’s the video for that track

Pretty awful, huh?  But then again, it shouldn’t surprise you coming from a guy who at 44 years of age wrote the following sentence in the 1991 Van Halen song “Judgment Day”… “It’s my life, get off my ass, get out of my face.”  That sentence should never be uttered by anyone who isn’t a twelve year old pissed off because his mother asked him to clean his room.  And that kid will need to know how to organize his stuff anyway when he’s living out of a shopping cart in seven years.

People who rock shouldn’t need to tell you about rocking.  We get it, we can see the equipment on stage…you’re in a rock band.  How about singing something that isn’t stating the obvious?  Hagar’s music is littered with this shit.  Perhaps the best example is the song “There’s only one way to Rock”.  Oh really asshole?  Because sometimes I rock when I’m at home in my underwear, and sometimes I do it in my car.  Also, isn’t one of the unwritten rules about rock n’ roll that you’re not supposed to listen to other people tell you what to do and when to do it?  Ball’s in your court, guy who looks like the lead singer of Nickelback.

4.  His nickname is just plain dumb


For those of you who have better things to do than look this up, Hagar is known as the “Red Rocker”.  Here’s my thing with nicknames:  If somebody gives you a nickname that’s stupid, you ask them to stop.  If they don’t stop, you inform them that if this continues you will beat the shit out of them.  And then of course, step three is where the physical violence comes into play.

This is what pisses me off about Sammy:  His nickname is the only thing cornier than his lyrics, and he just accepts it.  I don’t care if his favorite color is red.  I don’t care if all of his signature guitar models are red.  I don’t care if red is the color his face turns when his wife claims she needs another $20,000 for more plastic surgery.  “Red Rocker” is a bad nickname.  You’re basically saying that you are cool with everyone calling you something that Mountain Dew wouldn’t even name one of their sodas.  What a total jobber.

I also can’t help but notice how close “Red Rocker” is to “Red Rocket”, which of course is slang for the tip of a dog’s dick.  Did nobody run that by him?  Actually now that I think about it, maybe that isn’t such an inaccurate nickname after all…

5.  Chickenfoot

I’ll save you the trouble of looking this one up as well…For those of you who aren’t familiar with Chickenfoot, it’s the band that is fronted by Sammy and features Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, professional guitar wanker Joe Satriani, and Van Halen bassist and future “The Biggest Loser” contestant Michael Anthony.  I can live with Smith, but the rest of that band can fuck right off.  Satriani may be one of the best guitar players in the world, but there’s no room for what he does in modern music and this band is further proof.  Michael Anthony can shove his tacky Jack Daniels shaped bass up his asshole so far that it comes out right between his nipples for all I care.  He was a founding member of Van Halen and he got replaced by Valerie Bertenelli’s fat fifteen year old son, who eventually left to go work with the guitar player from Creed.  Let that sink in for a second.


The point here is that none of these guys should be wasting their time with a project like this, and Sammy is right there telling them they all should.  He’s the leader of this shit show, and they are cranking out pure cock rock in an age where cock rock has been dead for almost a quarter of a century.  Why is it that when musicians have other projects that they are clearly dedicated to they think they can form these super bands and it won’t sound exactly like all of their projects got thrown into a blender after somebody hit the record button?

Hagar has continued with the theme of coming up with dumb names, and how bad were the other suggestions that Chickenfoot is what they ended up going with?  How shitty does your band name have to be for everyone to think you’d be better off naming it Penguinsnatch?  Was Pelicancooter taken?  Were they worried that there were going to be a lot of other bands who wanted to use the name Goatvulva?  Chickenfoot is the most stock band name that you can think of.  Here again, whoever put out this record should have suggested they call the project something else.  Michael Anthony even admits it’s stupid, saying “it was just supposed to be a bullshit name that we’d used for a while, and then [when] the rumors spread about the band, everybody used that name so we thought, ‘fuck it, let’s call it Chickenfoot’ – it all comes down to the music anyway.”  What a corny quote from a corny guy in a corny band.

6.  “I Can’t Drive 55” is one of the worst rock songs in the history of recorded music


Speaking of corny, what makes me mad about a lot of these songs is the fact that all of them have really tired premises.  However, “I Can’t Drive 55” is by far the worst.  That whole “I like fast cars and hot girls” angle is so tired, and this track is just totally playing to the collective emotions of the general public.  “Yeah, he’s right…fuck that police officer!  I can’t drive 55 either!”  And if you think that’s bad…check out the video

Anybody who dresses like that should be put in a straight jacket, no exceptions.  I especially hate this track because I think it was intended to be this classic driving anthem, and instead just turned into a video where his backup band dances in court.  Rock license revoked.  Anybody trying to write a song like this needs to understand that nothing they do will ever match up to Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild”, or Slayer’s cover of that song.

And for a track that is supposed to convey this guy’s frustration with the posted speed limit, it sure sounds awfully happy.  This is a problem that I have with a lot of Sammy’s songs…they utilize major chords and that’s not what rock n’ roll is about.  You think of any classic rock and roll song and remove the minor chords, and it just sounds like children’s music.


Sammy Hagar is living proof that we party too much in America.  That can be the only possible explanation for how a guy that was in Montrose is still on the radar of a music industry that passed him by a long time ago.  He’s old news, and in my opinion he was never really that good to begin with.  And all of this talk about him what happened when he left Van Halen isn’t even a good story.  I could care less who said what, and it makes all of these guys look like bickering teenage girls.  In the meantime, I’ll stick to listening to guys who don’t wear sunglasses inside.

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