Sammy Hagar Recalls ‘Spiritual’ Inspiration for ‘Dreams’
Former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar recalled the “very, very spiritual” way in which the vocals for the band's 1986 single “Dreams” came to him.
He was walking on a Malibu beach with Mick Jones of Foreigner, who was trying to help co-write the track for Van Halen’s 5150 album. However, things were not going well, as Hagar told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show.
“I’m going, ‘I just really don’t know what to sing to this,'” he said. “And [Jones] didn’t either, and, you know, he’s a great songwriter. I’m going, ‘Help me out, gimme a melody idea, what you got? Gimme an idea and I can write.’ We’re walking out in Malibu, we come back and, man, Mick’s got nothing for me.”
He continued, “All of a sudden I went in and started singing in that register, and the lyrics just poured out. When you’re singing in that supersonic range – I’d never sing that high in my life. … Mick Jones said, ‘Wow, where’d that come from?’ ‘I don’t know!’ But I didn’t know what to sing so I just started yelling over the top of the damn thing, and it came out. It was a very, very spiritual moment, and that song is a very, very spiritual song. When I hear that today, I mean, my fur goes up all over, man – and I go, ‘How did I do that?’”
Hagar admitted that while he’s still capable of singing in that high register, “it’s painful!”
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