By Mike Faloon
Many people would argue that the Minutemen's Double Nickels on the Dime is the greatest record ever. I'm one of them. Ironically, Double Nickels has two Chickenfoot connections. The sixth song on side four, also known as “side chaff,” is a cover of Van Halen's “Ain't Talkin' ‘bout Love.” Also, the album's title was inspired by Sammy Hagar's “I Can't Drive 55.” Wildman Sammy declared that he would not, could not drive the speed limit. (For the record, neither does my mom.) The Minutemen figured that the rule breaking should come across in your art—your band, your writing, etc.—not your motor vehicle skills.
The speed limit may have been increased to 65 but Sammy hasn't changed much. He's still boisterous and outwardly crazy but really, when you scratch the surface, not so much. And maybe that's the appeal. How much do we want our favorite bands to change? The other night I watched The Panic in Needle Park . Al Pacino plays Bobby, a junkie and dealer. At the start of movie he's in desperate straits. At the end of the movie he's in desperate straits. The only change in his life is that he's pulled his girlfriend, played by Kitty Winn, down with him. I was hoping for change or redemption or a glimmer of potential but there's none. That's what makes it such a remarkable movie. Bobby's not built for change. A happy or hopeful ending would have been fake. Am I arguing then that the authentic Sammy Hagar is the party boy who doesn't change? I wasn't intending to do so, but I think that's where I've landed.
This makes five days in a row where I've not listened to or thought about specific Chickenfoot songs. Approaching the wrap up.