The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday Music Sammy Hagar "I can't drive 55", and a busy weekend.

I am going to do this week Sammy Hagar "I can't drive 55",  I spend this weekend at camp working the range and the troop was from central Florida, Troop 787 and they were an absolute joy to run a .22 range for.  I will talk about it in a subsequent post. 
     I have been away from Germany since 1991 and I still can't drive the "dreaded double nickel".  I am pleased that they raised the speed limit to 70 on the interstate, I honestly believe that artificially low speed limits are a revenue generation device for the municipality that is running the police in that area. 
    I do have a funny story to go along with this logo,  I had this one on the back window of my 1991 F150 that I had.  it was the late 90's and I had a bad day at the Ford Plant and I was on my way home and I was in the left lane doing down I-75 and it was 2:00 in the morning and I saw this car right on my bumper, so I stomped the gas petal and took off.  A moment later the car was back and the blue lights came on.  I looked at the speedometer and the needle was bouncing off the peg, you know the one that was way past the 85 MPH on the speedometer and I thought "Oh Crap".  Well I turned my turn signal on and moved to the far right and onto the shoulder.  I looked at my side view mirror and saw 3 police cars.
   Yeah kinda like that....Well I turn the truck off and am thinking "I am soo going to jail..."   I was going double the speed limit.   My record was clean though.  Well I saw the police officer with his maglight briefly illuminate the back window of my truck.  He then came to the window and I handed him my drivers license and my insurance card.  He then asked me "Mr XXXXXX, do you know why I pulled you over..?"  I replied "Yes sir, probably speeding."   he chuckled and then asked me " Do you know how fast you were going?"  I replied in the negative "Sir, I don't think my speedometer went that high."   The police officer again chuckled "I tend to agree with you and by the way I do like your can't drive 55 sticker on your back window.....very appropriate..Now you want to tell me why you were going soo fast?".  I figured I would be totally honest, and if I am going to jail, it will be for the proper reason.  "Well Officer, I had a real bad day at work at the Ford Plant, and I just wanted to get home and pretend that today never happened."  The officer nodded, "truthful answer.Now wait in the truck and I will be back."  I cringed and slid lower in my seat and mentally playing the phone conversation with the spousal unit "Hey Honey...I am in jail for speeding, can you bail me out?".  A few minutes later I saw him coming back and I was thinking.."dang...here I am, fixing to go to jail...Will I have a record?   My insurance will skyrocket, and the spousal unit will be pissed."   The officer handed me back my license and commented" Do me a favor...don't speed until you get out of my county.  Have a nice morning..."    I was in a total state of shock....that was the last thing I was expecting.  Well I saw 3 cruisers turn off their lights and move back into traffic.  I waited a few more minutes then headed home.....and I didn't speed until I got out of the county.

"I Can't Drive 55" was the lead single and first track from Sammy Hagar's eighth studio album VOA in 1984. Perpetuated by a very successful music video, it became a concert staple that continued throughout Sammy's tours as a member of Van Halen. The song is a reference to the National Maximum Speed Law in the United States, that originally set speed limits at 55 miles per hour (89 km/h).
It is the 100th song on VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs.

"I was in a rent-a-car that wouldn't go much faster than 55 miles an hour. I was on my way back from Africa. I did a safari for three months throughout Africa. A really great vacation after Three Lock Box. I was traveling for 24 hours, I got to New York City, changed planes, Albany, New York. Got in a rent-a-car. Had a place in Lake Placid at the time, a little log cabin, I used to go there and write with my little boy. Aaron, at that time, went to North Country school when I was on tour. I would go there and see him. It was a really cool getaway. But it took two and a half hours to drive there from Albany. And I was driving from Albany, New York at 2:00 in the morning, burnt from all the travel. Cop stopped me for doing 62 on a four lane road when there was no one else in sight. Then the guy gave me a ticket. I was doing 62. 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. I got to Lake Placid, I had a guitar set-up there. And I wrote that song there on the spot. Burnt."
—Sammy Hagar, 1994

The song's music video was directed by Gil Bettman. The video was shot on location at the Saugus Speedway in Santa Clarita, California.
The song's video includes Sammy and his band being chased and jailed by the California Highway Patrol for traffic violations. The video shows Sammy driving a black Ferrari BB512i which is later tuned up by Sammy's mechanic, Claudio Zampolli. Claudio was driving the Ferrari during the video's opening shot, where the Ferrari fish-tails across the speedway. Sammy claims in the commentary for the video on the DVD, "The Long Road to Cabo" that he burned out his clutch during the video. Sammy drove a 512, but a 308 was also used. Sammy claims it cost him $5800 to fix.
A trial scene is presided over by a judge played in a cameo appearance by John Kalodner. The judge's props were borrowed from director Robert Zemeckis, who had filmed the movie, Used Cars. Sets were built and the video was shot during the summer. There was no air conditioning in the jailhouse set, so the cast and crew were hot.
The yellow jumpsuit worn by Sammy in the video, can be seen at the New Orleans Hard Rock Cafe. A stuntman was used for Sammy's stunts. An exploding ramp was used to throw Sammy across the courtroom.

The song has been a signature track for Hagar during and after his tenure with Van Halen, and is commonly used on TV programs and commercials related to automotive racing. Most recently, the song was featured in a NAPA Auto Parts commercial, where NASCAR drivers Michael Waltrip and teammate Dale Jarrett are asking Hagar to keep the noise down during a recording session; in response, Hagar asked Waltrip if he could drive faster. Waltrip's car number at the time of the 2007 commercial was #55 and he had failed to qualify for some races.
In 2001, NBC Sports had Hagar record a "corrected" version, now known as "I Can't Drive 65," reflecting the common 65 MPH speed limit on freeways, for use during Budweiser Pole Award presentations on Winston Cup Series broadcasts on NBC and TNT. It was used from 2001 to 2003 during the broadcasts.
The accelerated version of the song was also available as a download for NHL Rivals 2004.
In 2008, Hagar recorded a newer version of the song that was used in NASCAR Dirt to Daytona 2008 called I can't drive 195, reflecting to the speeds used on NASCAR's biggest tracks Daytona and Talladega.
In 2011, the song became the opening theme for ESPN's NASCAR coverage for the 2011 season.
"I can't drive 55" was an achievement and Easter egg found in Forza Motorsport 4 for owning a Ferrari GTO, the car used in the music video.
The song also played in the 1989 science fiction movie Back to the Future Part II.



  1. It's amazing what honest answers will do... :-) I was out in Texas this weekend, running about 80 and got passed by a little old lady in her F-350 like I was sitting still!!!

  2. Mr G:
    Now THAT is music...my FAVORITE Hagar tune.
    (and the video is a hoot and a half).

    Excellent choice.

    Roll sade out there.

  3. Great tune! I live by it. I think. LOL. Great music trivia. Thanks for the smile today!

  4. Hey Old NFO;
    I was very surprised that I didn't get hauled to the pokey. But it was the 90's and the Police had more latitude back then.
    Hey Bob G.
    Thank you for your kind words:)

    Hey Momma Fargo;
    I still have that affliction....the need for speed:). And you are welcome for the smile comment, I will do whatever I can to bring a smile to you;) and anybody else brave enough to visit my blog.