Sammy Hagar Reveals What He Thinks Is Van Halen’s “Stairway To Heaven”

Sammy Hagar Reveals What He Thinks Is Van Halen’s “Stairway To Heaven” | I Love Classic Rock Videos

via @SammyHagar / Youtube

Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, two members of rock band Van Halen, recently discussed the band’s best songs and ninth studio album, “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge,” on Hagar’s YouTube channel. During the conversation, Hagar notably compared the band’s less popular song “Right Now” to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.”

Unassuming Anthems: The Legacy of “Right Now”

Hagar noted that, like “Stairway to Heaven,” “Right Now” was not a chart-topping single when it was released but became a pivotal, defining song for the band. He said,

“The funny thing about ‘Right Now,’ it’s like one of those songs like ‘Stairway to Heaven’ for Led Zeppelin. ‘Stairway to Heaven’ wasn’t like a number-one single or anything. I think it was, it wasn’t even really a single. It was just an AOR track played on the radio. But it becomes one of their, you know, biggest hits, staple for the band. And ‘Right Now,’ I believe, peaked in the twenties.”

Despite not being a commercial success comparable to hits like “Jump” or “Panama,” “Right Now” appeared in places like sporting events and still holds significance for the band, as Hagar explained:

“The video got great awards and, you know, won three MTV music awards and all that. But the song itself wasn’t like a giant radio hit or anything. But all of a sudden, you had like, like sports – basketball, Lakers, or different sporting events. They would start playing bits of that song. Yeah. And I’d say the most tracks was… we’d play were ‘Right Now,’ ‘Top of the World,’ ‘Poundcake,’ ‘Judgment Day’ and ‘Runaround.’ Those were kind of like the live hits on this record and the ones we still play today.”

Misconceptions and Challenges: Sammy Hagar’s Van Halen Experience

Hagar, who left Van Halen in 2005, shared his frustration at being mistaken for David Lee Roth, Van Halen’s original lead singer, particularly regarding the band’s popular 1984 album. Hagar mentioned that some people mistakenly assume he sang all the hit songs on the album. He expressed his frustration in an earlier interview, stating:

“People meet me [and go] ‘Oh, you’re the singer of Van Halen,’ and for somebody don’t know sht, and they think I sing fcking ‘Jump,’ and I’m going, ‘Damn!’ That thing haunts me.”

Hagar also opened up about the difficulties in performing some of Van Halen’s songs live. He specifically mentioned “Dreams,” a track from the band’s eighth studio album “5150,” as the hardest to perform night after night, saying,

“Every time I hear a live performance of ‘Dreams,’ I shake and scratch my head and wonder ‘What was I thinking singing in that register?’ The hardest song to sing night after night of any song I’ve written in my life.”

Sammy Hagar’s comparison of Van Halen’s “Right Now” to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” highlights how certain songs can transcend their initial popularity to become iconic for a band. Despite not achieving the same level of commercial success as other tracks, “Right Now” continues to hold significance for Van Halen, while Hagar’s challenges in performing certain songs demonstrate the physical demands of being a rock star. All in all, the interview provides a glimpse into the evolution of one of the greatest rock bands in history and the challenges and joys of the musical journey.

You can watch the video below: