Sammy Hagar Admits to ‘Goofing Off’ While Writing Van Halen Songs

Sammy Hagar admitted to “goofing off” sometimes when it came to writing lyrics for Van Halen tracks.

The singer explained that having fun with Eddie Van Halen was more important than delivering strong words during his early days with the band. “I think I write better lyrics now than when I was in Van Halen,” Hagar told Guitar World in a recent interview. “I mean, some of those songs were great; but a lot of times, I was clowning around because Eddie and I were always goofing off so much.”

He continued: “Back then, Eddie and I were doing these crazy acrobatics where I would sing crazy lines, and he’d go nuts on the guitar. When I was in Van Halen, at least in the early days, it was all about having fun.” Hagar added that his latest album, Crazy Times, didn’t include any “silly lyrics,” emphasizing: “I hate to say I did that in Van Halen, but I did.”

Asked if he’d ever “needed to make things up” if inspiration abandoned him, Hagar said: “I wouldn’t say I like doing it, but I’ve done it my whole life when I’ve needed another song or two to flesh out a record. It’s something where I’d write a love song that’s not necessarily coming from the heart, but you gotta do it. You make up some cool rhymes, remember when you were madly in love, and then you get a song.”

The Red Rocker recalled how Van Halen assembled 5150 and OU812, his first two albums with the band. “With those, we jammed, and boom, it was done,” Hagar said, before explaining that For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge was his favorite of the catalog. “I think it’s even better than 5150 because the writing, vocals, and the way the band was playing tops it.”

Van Halen Albums Ranked

A ranking of every Van Halen album.

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