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Why Van Halen Took Six Months to Come Up With ‘Right Now’

Sammy Hagar
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Sammy Hagar explained why it took six months for him to connect the piano riff with his vocal idea for the Van Halen song “Right Now.”

Both concepts had been in the air separately as the band worked on its 1992 album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge – but neither the singer nor Eddie Van Halen had been able to make them work to the other’s satisfaction, as Hagar told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show.

“I was writing those lyrics at the starting of the recording process,” he said. “Every day I’d walk in the studio and Eddie would be playing this piano part, and he’d be saying, ‘Hey, this is a cool part,’ and I’m going, ‘Ah, I ain’t hearin’ it.’ So we’d move on and start writing all the other songs. I’d be singing to him, ‘I got this idea, “Right now!” … a melody like that,’ and he’s going, ‘Yeah, I’ll think, I’ll think of something.’

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“I swear to you, it was four months, five months, six months later that he’s in there, during a break, playing that piano. … I’m in the other room, singing it in my head – and I go, ‘Holy crap! It works!’ I ran in and sang it to him while he was playing the piano, and it worked. I think it’s one of our most adventurous pieces in the Van Hagar era.”

Be sure to listen to Ultimate Classic Rock Nights on more than 50 stations across the U.S. from 7PM until midnight, Monday through Friday. You can see the list of radio stations where it airs here.



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