33 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!)

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


Later on that year in September, Sammy played onstage with Eddie Van Halen for the first time at the first Farm Aid. This was the historic 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.


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