Sunday, 18 October 2020

Sammy Hagar - I Can't Drive 55

Sunday, time for a classic.

"I Can't Drive 55" is the lead single and first track from Sammy Hagar's eighth studio album "VOA" in 1984. Perpetuated by a very successful music video, it became a concert staple that continued throughout Hagar's tours as a member of VAN HALEN. The song is a reference to the since-repealed National Maximum Speed Law that set speed limits at 55 miles per hour (89 km/h) in the United States.

"I was in a rent-a-car that wouldn't go much faster than 55 miles an hour. I was on my way back from Africa. I did a safari for three months throughout Africa. A really great vacation after Three Lock Box. I was traveling for 24 hours, I got to New York City, changed planes, Albany, New York. Got in a rent-a-car. Had a place in Lake Placid at the time, a little log cabin, I used to go there and write with my little boy. Aaron, at that time, went to North Country school when I was on tour. I would go there and see him. It was a really cool getaway. But it took two and a half hours to drive there from Albany. And I was driving from Albany, New York at 2:00 in the morning, burnt from all the travel. Cop stopped me for doing 62 on a four lane road when there was no one else in sight. Then the guy gave me a ticket. I was doing 62. And he said, 'We give tickets around here for over-60.' and I said, 'I can't drive 55.' I grabbed a paper and a pen, and I swear the guy was writing the ticket and I was writing the lyrics. I got to Lake Placid, I had a guitar set-up there. And I wrote that song there on the spot. Burnt."
— Sammy Hagar, 1994

The song's music video was directed by Gil Bettman. The video was shot on location at the Saugus Speedway in Santa Clarita, California. The song's video includes Hagar and his band being chased and jailed by the California Highway Patrol for traffic violations. The video shows Hagar driving a black Ferrari BB512i which is later tuned up by Hagar's mechanic, Claudio Zampolli. Zampolli was driving the Ferrari during the video's opening shot, where the Ferrari fish-tails across the speedway. Hagar claims in the commentary for the video on the DVD, The Long Road to Cabo that he burned out his clutch during the video. Hagar drove a 512, but a 308 was also used. Hagar claims it cost him $5800 to fix.

A trial scene is presided over by a judge played in a cameo appearance by John Kalodner. The judge's props were borrowed from director Robert Zemeckis, director of the 1980 film Used Cars. Sets were built and the video was shot during the summer. There was no air conditioning in the jailhouse set, so the cast and crew were hot.

The yellow jumpsuit, worn by Hagar in the video, can be seen at the New Orleans Hard Rock Cafe. A stuntman was used for Hagar's stunts. An exploding ramp was used to throw Hagar across the courtroom.

Today's tune "" is taken from the eighth studio album "VOA", the album was released on July 23, 1984 by Geffen Records, this was his last solo album before joining VAN HALEN. The title is a reference to the Voice of America broadcast network. Enjoy!

More info @

Official Sammy Hagar Web

Listen to ”Sammy Hagar - I Can't Drive 55" on Spotify!

Follow on Spotify!

No comments: