Written By Braddon S. Williams
Sammy Hagar: Standing Hampton
Sammy Hagar hit a high point in his solo career with Standing Hampton (1982).
Hagar had made a name for himself with Montrose in the ’70’s, but Standing Hampton showcased a more melodic mix of rockers and ballads that translated into his first platinum success.
Some of the best tracks on Standing Hampton are Can’t Get Loose (my favorite!), Baby’s On Fire, Heavy Metal, I’ll Fall In Love Again, Inside Lookin’ In, and the biggest hit, There’s Only One Way To Rock.
The Red Rocker went on to enjoy even bigger success as David Lee Roth’s replacement in Van Halen, but I have always preferred the first Montrose album and Standing Hampton as my personal highlights of Sammy’s rockin’ career.
On this date in history, 10/23/1978, Boston and Sammy Hagar converged on Market Square Arena in downtown Indianapolis to play a show together. In my humble opinion, the Red Rocker blew the headliners off the stage. No disrespect to Boston…they sounded amazing and they sounded just like their first album, which I believe was the only one they had released at that time. Tom Scholz had a gargantuan guitar sound and Bradley Delp certainly had an amazing set of vocal chords. Pulling off those crystalline highs on a live stage gets major kudos from me. I respect any band that can duplicate live what they lay down in the studio, but I also kind of need something extra. I need passion, and energy, and that is where I feel that they failed. They just stood there and played the songs…no emotion, just dedication to replicating the studio perfection. Now, Sammy, on the other hand…he came out blazing! He talked to the crowd and ran around the stage with boundless energy and enthusiasm. I learned a lot from this show and I have always tried to play my best, but it’s that passion and energy that people respond to! Thank you, Sammy Hagar…this kid was paying attention and taking notes! Two good friends attended the show with me, both of them huge Boston fans, and they may disagree with my assessment of the concert, but I only know my own point of view. It was a killer good time, though…only time I ever saw either band, so I’m thankful I got to be there!
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic