Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day 11/05/2019

At one point, the US had a national speed limit established that was only 35 miles per hour. That happened during World War II and lasted from 1942 to 1945 and was implemented to conserve gas and extend the life of rubber tires. To help reinforce the reason for the speed limit, it was referred to as The Victory Speed Limit. After that expired, states were more or less free to set their own speed limits.

The next time a national speed limit was put in place as a result of the oil crisis that began in 1973. That speed limit did have a nickname but it reduced the common 75 mph speed limits to 55 mpg. That limit endured until 1995.

Sammy Hagar has probably been a guitar player and a vocalist for over a dozen different groups beginning as a teenager in the Fabulous Castilles when he was only 14 years old. He was half of the duo Samson & Hagar when they recorded a single with the Peppermint Trolley Company (Baby You Come Rolling Cross My Mind) as a back-up band.

Sammy joined the group Montrose for a pair of albums in 1973, after which he began a solo career. He managed a dozen top ten Mainstream Rock singles by 2001.

He had his own reaction to the national speed limit: I Can’t Drive 55. He was stopped by a cop at 2 am on an empty road who gave him a ticket for going 62 mph:

And he said, ‘We give tickets around here for over-60.’ and I said, ‘I can’t drive 55.’ I grabbed a paper and a pen, and I swear the guy was writing the ticket and I was writing the lyrics.

It didn’t take long to create a video of Sammy frustrated in his attempts to drive his corvette at a “reasonable” speed that all of us could relate to. Some quick airplay on MTV and Sammy had a hit record in 1984 that peaked at #26 on the Hot 100 and #9 on the Mainstream Rock Chart.

The cop probably wishes he had kept that ticket instead of turning it in.

About a year later, David Lee Roth was booted from Van Halen. Eddie Van Halen appears to have tried to recruit Patty Smyth and Daryl Hall as replacements, but when neither of them joined up Sammy was able to join the group. He remained a member of Van Halen for about a decade and then again in 2003 for another three years.

Sammy has played in numerous groups and is currently a member of the supergroup The Circle.


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