Van Halen – ‘Right Now’
  • Writers: Sammy Hagar, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, and Michael Anthony
  • Producers: Andy Johns, Ted Templeman, and Van Halen
  • Recorded: Early 1991 at 5150 in Hollywood, California
  • Released: June 1991
  • Players:
    Sammy Hagar — vocals
    Eddie Van Halen — guitar, keyboards, vocals
    Michael Anthony — bass, vocals
    Alex Van Halen — drums
  • Album: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (Warner Bros., 1991)
  • Also On:
    Live: Right Here, Right Now (Warner Bros., 1993)
    Best Of, Volume I (Warner Bros., 1996)
    The Best Of Both Worlds (Warner Bros., 2004)
  • The second single from Van Halen‘s ninth album, “Right Now” stalled at Number 55 on the Billboard Hot 100 but became one of the band’s best-known songs due to heavy radio play, an MTV Video Music Award-winning video that employed a series of affirmations building off the song’s chorus, and its use in a Pepsi commercial.
  • Frontman Sammy Hagar noted, “It’s been used in every football game, every baseball game, every basketball game, and by Pepsi. It wasn’t because we sold out — it was just because all these people wanted to use our song, which is very flattering.”
  • The album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge spent three weeks at Number One on the Billboard 200 chart and has sold well over three million copies.
  • It was, however, the first Van Halen album during Hagar’s time with the band to not feature any Top 10 singles.
  • Hagar says that For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge was supposed to be Van Halen’s “masterpiece.” They started working on it in the summer of 1990, with the band producing the album themselves and Andy Johns engineering. But when that didn’t work out, they brought in original Van Halen producer Ted Templeman for the first time since the 1984 album.
  • [STATIONS: Please note the following line contains language your listeners may find objectionable.] Hagar said that the censorship movement directed at musicians in the late ’80s and early ’90s inspired the album’s title. The group originally wanted to call the album F***, which, not surprisingly, didn’t please their label. They changed the title after boxer RayBoom BoomMancini, who was a friend of Hagar’s, told him that the term was a British acronym for “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.” (Which actually isn’t true.)

FAST FORWARD:

  • Hagar left Van Halen acrimoniously in 1996, and he was replaced by Extreme singer Gary Cherone. Cherone was ousted from the band in November 1999.
  • Eddie Van Halen has made more headlines in recent years for his health than his playing, as he’s undergone hip-replacement surgery and successfully battled cancer.
  • Roth and Hagar united for a successful tour in 2002, though they didn’t get along all that well and there are no plans for any more work together. Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony has often performed with Hagar.
  • After years of bad blood, Hagar rejoined Van Halen in 2004 for the anthology The Best Of Both Worlds, which contained three new songs, and for a lengthy North American tour. Things ended badly between Hagar and Eddie Van Halen.
  • Van Halen reunited with Roth last year, and a tour was about to be announced, but internal issues put everything on hold at the last minute. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, when Hagar and Anthony were the only bandmembers in attendance, as Eddie was in rehab at the time.

The band eventually reformed in 2007 with Roth as a singer and Eddie’s son Wolfgang on bass, and has gone on a lengthy tour, which has sometimes been interrupted by Eddie’s health issues.