When Sammy Hagar Rocked the Checkerdome in St. Louis in 1983
Those of us that grew up here know that Sammy Hagar was a legend to us long before he became the lead man for Van Halen. The one show that almost defined the pre-Van Halen Sammy happened in 1983 at the Checkerdome in St. Louis.
My first memory of Sammy Hagar was the song "Red". After that, it was my cassette of "Standing Hampton" where I first loved "There's Only One Way to Rock". In Missouri, we grew up fluent in all things Hagar way before he teamed up with Eddie Van Halen.
The solo Sammy Hagar era hit its apex in 1983 when a concert he performed in St. Louis ended up being broadcast all around the world on MTV. It was the March 13, 1983 show at The Checkerdome which someone managed to share in its entirety on YouTube.
The setlist that night had all the big songs of Sammy's solo era prior to VOA and Van Halen.
The comments on YouTube prove that I'm not alone in remembering that show in St. Louis in 83.
John Conrades - "This concert is everything people have already said. Sammy performs with more energy than three nuclear power plants, maybe four. But above all, he performs with more emotion than anyone I have seen. And he saved my favorite Sammy song for the encore, "Remember The Heroes". I wept."
Howard Tate - "I'm from St. Louis. St. Louis loves Sammy. I was not at this concert because I was not yet a Sammy fan. But I always tried to watch the MTV concerts and this one blew them all away. My jaw dropped during the first song and stayed there the whole concert. The very next day I started collecting his albums. Long live the red rocker!"
Howard said it when he said St. Louis loves Sammy. Has always been that way and will likely remain that way.
The concert in March of 1983 at the now defunct Checkerdome might be the night when the rest of the world was introduced to Sammy Hagar. The rest of us who grew up in 1970's Missouri and Illinois were already there.