Writing Rock

Sammy Hagar, former singer of Van Halen and a solo artist, did an interview with grammy.com about his writing style.  It is a quick interview, but his form of writing is another form of writing for publication that is often ignored.  No matter when he is writing, his songs are always coming from his life. He talks about how his music writing evolved as he came to accept himself more.  Prior to working with Van Halen, he had a hit song called “I Can’t Drive 55”.  This song is very straight forward — it is about how Sammy Hagar thought the national speed limit of 55 was stupid and he wouldn’t follow it.  In the interview, he references this song to talk about his lifestyle when he would constantly be flying in his Ferrari living the rock star life.

Hagar then proceeds to tell us about his realisation — that he hated putting on all of the make-up, tight clothes, and putting on a performance.  He wanted to just be himself and perform in what he felt comfortable in.  After leaving Van Halen, Sammy Hagar kind of fell off of the face of the mainstream rock and roll planet.   This is better for him though, he says he loves it.  Now his writing process revolves around who he truly is, a “beach bum” that writes on the shores of Mexico, Hawaii, and many other places.

I think this interview is so important for publication because it shows that when you are working and trying to become famous, you often lose yourself trying to put on a face for someone else.  Maybe the publisher wants you to change a line or theme in your book, often times the writer has to follow the publisher because they’re paying the bills until the book sells.  Point being you have to follow that persona that has been established even if it is not an accurate depiction of how you feel.


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