Walking before writing, heading toward the coffee shop, almost there, I checked my steps and saw 5150. Oh, Van Halen, I thought, which was an immediate invitation for my mind to begin streaming in songs from 5150 (1986).
This was the first album with Sammy Hagar as the lead vocalist, replacing David Lee Roth. I remember that a friend hadn’t like either singer for the band. He thought Roth was too flamboyant and his skills didn’t impress him. However, Sammy Hagar wasn’t the answer in my buddy’s mind because, with Sammy, Van Halen performed softer rock. I recall trying to suggest other vocalists to him, like Ronnie James Dio. We didn’t come up with a new singer.
I never saw him again as our military tours completed and we went separate ways. I always wondered what he thought of Gary Cherone as the singer.
Here’s “Why Can’t This Be Love”.