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The Rockstar Ramblings: Wild Thing

This week a new video from Sammy Hagar and Friends and a rock and roll hair flashback that goes way, way back. It’s been 25 years since the classic Sam Kinison version of “Wild Thing.” Putting these two videos together confirms what I’ve suspected: EVERYTHING has changed since 1988!

For his new album, ‘Sammy Hagar and Friends’, the former Van Halen singer has brought along pals Nancy Wilson (Heart), Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead), Toby Keith, Neal Schon (Journey) and others. His first single and video, “Knockdown Dragout”, also includes Kid Rock and Joe Satriani.

The song is only 2:25 in length and the video is shot in black and white. So far, so good. Hagar uses mostly boxing and wrestling images to portray his rock and roll attitude. I was really hoping for a LL Cool J “Mama Said Knock You Out” cameo, but I guess he isn’t one of Hagar’s friends. Kid Rock sings along on the chorus and Satriani has a solo near the end; honestly, it’s just nice to hear Sammy screaming again.

Speaking of screamers…In 1988, Sam Kinison recorded a novelty version of The Troggs' "Wild Thing", which appeared on his album ‘Have You Seen Me Lately?’ The video was a hit on MTV, as it featured cameos of Rodney Dangerfield, as well as many well-known rock musicians, including Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Ratt, Slash and Steven Adler of Guns N' Roses, Billy Idol, Steve Vai, Dweezil Zappa, Richie Sambora, Jon Bon Jovi and Tommy Lee. Oh, and let’s not forget about the naughty, naughty Jessica Hahn. In typical Sam Kinison fashion, his version changed the song to a misogynistic rant against Hahn, with lines such as "Why didn't you tell me you were a demon from Hell" and "The only thing that gets you off is to see me in pain."

The video begins in a bar with Rodney Dangerfield, Jon Bon Jovi, and Sam Kinison. Sammy is looking for a party; Rodney and Jon stay behind until Rodney hits on Jon. Cut to Jessica Hahn slithering on the floor surrounded by the likes of Steven Adler, Billy Idol, and many others including Stephen Pearcy and Ratt. Questions: Does Slash know where he is? Did Kinison orchestrate the whole video shoot just to make out with Hahn? What is the name of the store that sold Sam Kinison his polka dot trench coat? DOES SLASH KNOW WHERE HE IS?

The oddest thing about this video is that I remember when this came out and it seemed very normal that this would happen. There are many reasons this would not happen today, most related to political correctness and lack of drug use. Again, EVERYTHING has changed since 1988!

Rockstar_Scribbler's avatar

David S. Grant (aka Rockstar_Scribbler) is the author of several books including Rock Stars, Happy Hour, and Corporate Porn. For more information please go to www.rockstarbooks.net or www.davidsgrant.com. You can also follow David on Twitter @david_S_grant.

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