March 24th, 1986: Van Halen release 5150
It was widely presumed that Van Halen would collapse after David Lee Roth left the group in 1985. With the exceptions of Genesis and AC/DC, few bands had survived the departure of a high-profile frontman. Undaunted, Eddie phoned up former Montrose vocalist Sammy Hagar and asked him if he’d be up for the job. They held a quick jam session at Van Halen’s 5150 studio, and afterwards Hagar listened to the tape. “I got the goose bumps all over my body,” Hagar writes in his new memoir Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock. “There was something about it that was slow, confident, almost majestic. On March 24th, 1986 they released 5150, which contained the classics “Why Can’t This Be Love,” “Best Of Both Worlds,” “Dreams” and “5150.” It sold millions and for the next decade Van Halen remained one of the biggest names in rock.