Sammy Hagar has more than 20 tracks left over from his breakthrough album Standing Hampton, but he’s worried that he might lose them if he tries to play the old tapes.
The 1982 LP made Hagar’s name, but only after A&R icon John Kalodner told him to keep working until he had 20 top-quality songs to deliver.
In a conversation with UCR, Hagar confirms that he has unreleased material from that time.
“The problem is that it’s probably on frickin’ cassette tapes, you know. Or maybe a DAT tape and I don’t think there’s a machine that would play it,” he explains. “If I found an old cassette tape that said it had 10 songs that I’ve never heard on it, I’d be scared to death to play it, because I’d lose it! It would be like. ‘Oh no, it ate the fucker!’ So I don’t know. I’d probably go to a professional and have it baked, and all of that stuff.”
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He says there were “20 songs minimum” to be recovered from his tapes – “maybe more. God, I used to just write all of the time,” Hagar admits. “I mean, I can think of some now. A song called ‘Me and My Woman’ right off the top of my head. ‘Saturday Night in the USA’ is one that was pretty cool. All of these almost made a record. It’s crazy – you’ve got me thinkin’ now.”
Hagar has credited producer Keith Olsen with shaping the Standing Hampton project. “You put me in a room, I can just keep writing songs, some better than others,” Hagar said in a 1982 interview with Sounds. “But because I wrote them, I can’t see the value right away, if one’s better than the other. I need some outsider to say, ‘Wait a minute, that’s a piece of shit, that ain’t for you,’ and that’s what Keith [did].”
It was a new experience for Hagar. Before working with Olsen, he’d “write 10 songs, think they were all good, and make an album.” As a result, some of Hagar earlier tracks “never had much feeling,” he admitted. “But Keith, every time I played guitar or every time I did the best I [could], he said, ‘No, no, no – I’ve heard you sing much better. Start again.’ … See, a good producer knows with an artist like me, givin’ 100% all the time, I don’t know if it’s good or bad.”
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Source: Ultimate Classic Rock