Sammy Hagar and his band The Circle take on the rocking 1995 Van Halen song “Don’t Tell Me (What Love Can Do)” in the ninth installment of their series of remotely recorded performance videos that have been posted at the Red Rocker’s YouTube channel in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The @Home Sessions videos, formerly called the Lockdown Sessions, feature Hagar, bassist Michael Anthony, drummer Jason Bonham and guitarist Vic Johnson recording their parts separately with smartphones while self-isolating at home.
“Don’t Tell Me (What Love Can Do)” originally appeared on Balance, the last Van Halen studio album Hagar recorded with his former band. The tune reached #1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs chart.
In a message accompanying the video, Hagar writes, “When I heard that [Nirvana frontman] Kurt Cobain had taken his own life, the first thing I thought of was I wish I were there and could have tried to save him. The original title for these lyrics were ‘I want to show you what love can do’ but because it was such a dark horrible thing I just couldn’t shine a light on it.”
He adds, “It was also the time of the breaking up of Van Halen…so it added a lot of emotion, negativity and pain in the original vocal performance which surfaced the second I started singing this song for the first time since 1995.”
Hagar and The Circle recently were announced as headliners for the “Rockin FORE the Kids” concert, scheduled for September 18 at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. The outdoor event will raise money for children fighting cancer and their families in the Northeast Ohio area, and for MusiCares. According to a press statement, the show “will be produced according to all COVID-19 guidelines.”