34 years ago this week, Sammy Hagar played his first headlining show at the Civic Center He'd been to Portland twice previously. The first show was opening for Boston in 1978. the second appearance was as the warm-up for ZZ Top in 1983 (my first concert evah! BTW)

On April 7, 1985, the Red Rocker returned to Portland on the VOA tour with Dokken opening. The VOA album eventually went platinum and features his signature song, I Can’t Drive 55. 

The show fell on a Sunday. We bet some Blimpsters had a rough first day back to work or school after being up late partying with Sammy! Looks like it was well worth it. Check out what he played.


Later on that year in September '85, Sammy played onstage with Eddie Van Halen for the first time at the first Farm Aid. This was the historic and  public transition from successful solo artist to fronting Van Halen.

His next appearance as a headliner at the Civic Center in Portland was as Van Halen’s new lead singer in the summer of ’86. Fun friggin' times!

Here's that first very public onstage jam with Eddie doing Led Zeppelin's Rock and Roll.

Sammy Hagar returns to Blimpville this next month with his band The Circle featuring Michael Anthony and Jason Bonham. They'll be live at The Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford on May 26th with Night Ranger opening. Red Rocker Forever!! 

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