The Red Rocker’s seventh solo LP boasted the hit single “Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy,” which reached No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, the best placement of his solo career. But this new level of success also came with its fair share of complications.
“There was a serious problem, and that’s that MTV came out and was starting to be big,” Hagar said in a video uploaded to his YouTube channel on Friday. “If you had a big MTV hit, you could sell millions of records without having a hit on the radio. … Tons of bands broke off MTV that way.”
Watch Sammy Hagar’s ‘Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy’ Video
For Hagar, who had already enjoyed a good deal of solo success, MTV changed the way the way he navigated life in the public eye. “Here I am, a rock star, selling out pretty much arenas in any city in America, basically in the world, in 1982,” he said. “[In] ’83, all of a sudden, I’m walking through an airport and people are going, ‘Hey, there’s that guy!’ People are recognizing me. People that don’t even look like rock people, people that don’t even probably know my music. ‘Oh, there’s that guy! There’s that guy!’ Half of them didn’t even know my name.”
Suddenly, Hagar went from being recognized at other concerts or occasionally at the mall to being flagged everywhere. “All of a sudden, because of MTV, having all that video exposure, rock stars became mainstream,” he continued. “Everyone knew who you were. The bigger your video, the more people had seen you. You’d walk down the street, all of a sudden you’d get recognized, [with people] asking for autographs, asking for photographs — all these things that never happened before unless you were in a place where your fans were.”
Hagar also bemoaned the music video for “Three Lock Box,” which features him decked out in all red and roaming between pillars as he sings and plays guitar. “I sure look silly in that video. I was so fucking uncomfortable,” he said. “I’m kind of slinking around, had some pretty stupid moves.”
Watch Sammy Hagar’s ‘Three Lock Box’ Video
Still, Hagar looked awed when he reflected on the success of “Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy” (which also benefited from a splashy live video), marveling, “Biggest Top 40 hit I think I’ve ever had.”
Van Halen Albums Ranked
A ranking of every Van Halen album.