Sammy Hagar explains how John Bonham almost got a songwriting credit on The Circle's new album
Sammy Hagar and his band The Circle's released their first studio album last month, Space Between, which debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200.
Among the album's 10 tracks is a blues-flavored tune called "Can't Hang," which Hagar reveals was inspired by the drum track that the late John Bonham -- father of The Circle's drummer, Jason Bonham -- played on the classic Led Zeppelin song, "When the Levee Breaks."
Sammy explains to ABC Radio that The Circle often performs "When the Levee Breaks" in concert, and when they do, Jason plays along to a recording of the original drum track created by his dad. Hagar says he had the idea of coming up with an original song while jamming to the track, and then crediting it as being co-written by John.
"I had to OK that with Jason," Sammy points out. "I said, 'Jason, man, would everybody be mad at me or would they think it was cool?'…So he said, 'This is freaking awesome.'"
Hagar went ahead and wrote "Can't Hang" to the "When the Levee Breaks" drum track, but he says plans to credit John Bonham with co-writing the song changed when Jason got into the studio to record his part, during a session that interestingly took place on Father's Day.
"[H]e played to his dad's part all day and then…he took his dad's part out and took one take [and] played it different," Sammy recalls. "And it just made it our own song."
Hagar says he thinks Jason's dad "would be so proud" of the originality he brought to the track while still paying homage to John's style.
"It's beautiful. It's a dream come true," declares The Red Rocker. "['Can't Hang' is] kind of like my favorite song on the album."