Sammy Hagar and Neal Schon Go Through The Fire in 1984
by Jody Haskins for the Laguna Spectator
In between tours with Journey, Neal Schon teamed up with Sammy Hagar to form a 1980s super-group. This is a very strange project in that the album is really live performances either with the audience removed or they were taken from soundboard recordings of pre-show rehearsals.
I remember being really excited about HSAS: Through The Fire when it was announced that an album was forthcoming. At the time I was really into Montrose and later day solo Sammy Hagar. Especially Standing Hampton. Add to that the fact that Journey’s ‘Escape’ cassette was the soundtrack to many wonderful memories of backseat love affairs on the front bench seat of the legendary 1974 Laguna SS. So the thought of a new album with Sammy Hagar and Neal Schon was something to get excited about. I was at Odyssey Records inside the old Hoover Mall throwing my money down the day it was released. I raced home and put the album on my dad’s old turntable and blasted it through all four speakers of his Sanyo DCX3300KA
QUADRAPHONIC STEREO SQ RECEIVER. Back in those days I owned the finished basement with the full bar, poker table and regulation size pool table. I was quite the billiards player in the 80s. I should have hustled pool in college for beer money. I would buy a new album and play it over and over all night while shooting pool and getting high.
Fast forward thirty one years and I am no longer a 19 year old kid with my whole life in front of me who thinks he knows everything. Instead I am rapidly pushing 50 and looking for old albums and receivers like this at highway flea markets and garage sales. As luck would have it as I found HSAS ‘Through the Fire’ as well as BLT, Y&T’s ‘In Rock We Trust’ and Aerosmith’s ‘Toys in the Attic’.
For some reason I had been thinking about the HSAS album recently and I was wanting to hear it again. So there was no way I was going to pass up a very good condition copy for only 5 dollars.
I have been listening to it quite a bit the last three days and I think it might just be growing on me. I can’t even figure out what it was that I didn’t like back in 1984. Regardless, I gave it another chance and I have to say it is quite good. The fact that they could throw something this good together in a month is amazing. I saw on YouTube recently that HSAS was coming back but this time with Michael Anthony of Chickenfoot and Van Halen fame would be on bass replacing Aaronson on bass and Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Chickenfoot fame would be replacing Shrieve on drums.
The acronym works so why not? Of course that news was from 2013 and it looks like it won’t happen anytime soon. Sammy has a new thing with Jason Bonham on drums, Michael Anthony on bass and Vic from the Waboritas on guitar. I haven’t heard it but I think I would like it better with Schon on guitar. That Vic guy just does nothing for me. Maybe he has gotten better. I will eventually give it a listen and find out.
So if HSAS ends up being a one off project so be it. At least we have their album to give us a look into this unique and interesting moment in classic rock history. It has the right amount of cheesy lyrics, bad rhythms, cliche’s, synthesizers, hard rock vocals, bass, guitar and drums to remind you of Montrose and Spinal Tap at the same time. I mean that in a good way.