Blimp Time Hop: First Shows For “Van Hagar” In Portland
After Dave Lee Roth left Van Halen in 1985, Eddie was on the hunt for a new singer. Rumor has it he asked Patty Smyth of Scandal and she passed, then Eddie asked Daryl Hall after a Hall and Oates concert to sing in Van Halen, and he also declined. That was two strikes.
But Eddie gets third time lucky when he’s introduced to Sammy Hagar. Sammy was already riding high with his biggest hit album yet, VOA featuring his signature song I Can’t Drive 55. An established rock star was just what Van Halen needed to fill the Diamond Dave vocal void.
Now the front man in VH had a focus on soulful rock singing as well as screaming, to go along with Eddie’s one-of-a-kind guitar pyrotechnics. The absence of Dave’s showmanship was replaced by the incredible wide-range vocal power of Sammy Hagar. He’s also a great guitarist freeing Eddie to play synth as seen in the video below.
33 years ago, the die-hard VH fans of Portland Maine got to witness the greatness of live ‘Van Hagar’ for the first time! Eddie, Alex, Michael, and new guy Sammy brought the 5150 tour to the Civic Center for 2 nights on August 23 & 24 1986. The opener was Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Both nights were SOLD-OUT!
The set list included only three Dave era tunes…You Really Got Me, Panama, and Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love and 8 new songs from 5150. They closed each night with Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll. This was unquestionably one the most historic rock weekends ever at the CCCC!