The new Spotify podcast "In The Studio With Redbeard" commemorates VAN HALEN's "5150" album, released 35 years ago today.
In 1985, the shock of David Lee Roth's announcement that he was leaving the lead singer slot of America's most popular band, VAN HALEN, was equaled (but not eclipsed, interestingly) by the band's announcement that multi-platinum rocker Sammy Hagar had agreed to fill the role. How did that musical merger happen? Why did Hagar, already a platinum-selling solo artist, even consider it? What were the risks/rewards for both? "In The Studio With Redbeard" podcast reveals those answers in this episode for the 35th anniversary of "5150". This program contains archival interviews with the late Eddie Van Halen, brother Alex Van Halen, original bass player, backing singer Michael Anthony, and the Red Rocker himself Sammy Hagar.
VAN HALEN had practically ruled the hard rock throne with the album "1984" selling over 10 million copies in the U.S. alone, spawning VAN HALEN's first and only No. 1 pop single "Jump". But at the height of it all, original singer David Lee Roth quit the band to go solo, leaving America's biggest band's future dangling in midair. Enter Sammy Hagar. Having just completed a sold-out tour for his most successful solo album to date, "VOA", Hagar was not looking for a "band" to join. But after an invitation to Eddie Van Halen's home studio put Sammy together with the two Van Halen brothers, the magic was just too good to resist, evident in the album "5150" producing five hit singles: "Why Can't This Be Love", "Dreams", "Love Walks In", "Best Of Both Worlds" and "Summer Nights". It sold millions and fueled VAN HALEN's ability to fill stadiums for the next decade.
Sammy Hagar shared his thoughts with "In The Studio" host Redbeard: "That first (1985) meeting was probably the roughest I've ever seen Eddie. The (Van Halen) brothers were both drinking pretty hard back then…I think I provided some discipline to the band… The vocal on 'Dreams' is probably the best vocal I've ever done, or will ever do in my life…The bottom line is '5150' was a great record… and I think if we had made a crap record, then it wouldn't have worked, flat out. That's what wouldn't have worked. And I had no doubts that we were going to make a great record."
Redbeard said: "Ever since Eddie Van Halen passed away in October 2020 after fighting cancer for many years, I have been asked by media and fans alike about what Eddie was really like off stage. The answers are in these incredibly revealing series of interviews from brother Alex, from original Van Halen bass player Michael Anthony, powerfully and honestly from Sammy Hagar, and from Eddie Van Halen himself."