The top Sammy Hagar driving songs show that his love of automobiles is anything but an image-enhancing pose. For almost forty years the Red Rocker's been singing about how his beloved fleet of cars has been helping him satisfy his needs for speed, sex and even privacy. In honor of his birthday today (Oct. 13), and complete with it's own Spotify playlist, we take a look at the Top 10 Sammy Hagar Driving Songs:
'Turn Up the Music'
From 'Musical Chairs' (1977)
One of Hagar's earliest concert anthems (check out the version on 1978's live 'All Night Long' album) finds Sammy and his buddies driving down the highway all night, pushing buttons on the radio waiting to hear their favorite song. It's the simple pleasures in life, isn't it? When their jam comes on, of course the only proper thing to do is crank it up as loud as possible.
From 'Standing Hampton' (1981)
Sammy picks up a long-legged blonde all dressed in red from the side of the road. He's either very trusting or very horny. Also, Is it OK for us to say that as much as we love his work in Van Halen
and other bands, we really miss Hagar's guitar work when he's only serving as the singer? Both the riff and this solo on this track totally rip!
'Cruisin' and Boozin''
From 'Sammy Hagar' (1977)
OK, there's some mothers looking at this title and probably getting pretty mad (or MADD, more specifically). Look, 1977 was a more innocent time, maybe people weren't as tuned into the perils of drunk driving. Besides, Sammy never specifically says that he's doing both at the same time. Let's hope he means drive to a bar, THEN drink, as his designated driver sullenly sips on diet soda.
'Baby's on Fire'
From 'Standing Hampton' (1981)
Of course, with the right company, and in the right darkened parking lot, you can have fun in a parked car just as easily as you can in one doing 120 on the freeway, as Sammy finds out here: “Shut off the lights / I turn off the key / No sooner set the brake, she jumps onto me!” One tip, watch out for the stick shift.
'Let Sally Drive'
From 'Ten 13' (2000)
Sammy hands the keys over to his girl on this rubber-burning track from the second phase of his solo career. (Again we'll note how good it is to have him back playing guitar.) As for his lady friend, apparently she's earned her place behind the wheel, hitting 111 mph and laughing as she dares the boys to keep up with her.
From 'I Never Said Goodbye' (1987)
Oh, the perils of being a rock star! Where can one hide from all the adoring fans and platinum album ceremonies? Well, Sammy's found a place, behind the wheel of a blacked-out Ferrari doing 120 in the California desert. With help from Eddie Van Halen (!) on bass, Sammy writes the perfect escape song for whenever he needs a break from the prying eyes of the media.
Chickenfoot, from 'III' (2011)
The list of excellent Sammy Hagar driving songs continues to grow with this “man on a mission” tale from his current supergroup Chickenfoot
's new album 'III'. As Joe Satriani locks into an undeniably grooving riff, Sammy's got the Zeppelin
cranked in the middle of an all-night road trip in search of someone to have a deep conversation with. Oh, wait, check that, he wants sex.
'Bad Motor Scooter'
Montrose, From 'Montrose' (1973)
We go from the latest to the very first Sammy Hagar driving song, which finds our young hero imploring his girlfriend to hop on her two-wheeled driving machine and make the day long trip to his town for some romance. Must be nice, being a rock star, any other guy would be the one doing all the driving. Which, come to think of it, is what happens in 'Big Foot.' You'd think he'd have more say now, wouldn't you?
'Trans Am (Highway Wonderland)'
From 'Street Machine' (1979)
As you can imagine, Hagar's graduated to more expensive cars now that he's a big tequila mogul, but back in 1979 the good old Trans Am was the object of his adoration. The big, chunky Bo Diddley beat of the song gave Sammy the ideal platform to talk all about his custom “I EAT Z28″ license plates, which as the photo above proves, he really did have! Extra points for spelling out the name of the car in the middle of the song.
'I Can't Drive 55'
From 'VOA' (1984)
Any discussion of Sammy Hagar driving songs starts and ends with this enduring anthem, which some could say helped move speed limits up into the 60s and 70s on most major highways. Eddie Van Halen once joked that Hagar should write a follow-up called 'I Wanna Drive 180.' Reportedly inspired by a real-life traffic stop in upstate New York, we're sure the royalties from 'I Can't Drive 55' have paid for the fine he got on that fateful day many times over.