JASON BONHAM: SAMMY HAGAR Is 'The Most Upbeat, Positive Person I've Ever Worked With In My Entire Life'
February 4, 2021
Jason Bonham spoke to AXS TV's "At Home And Social" about SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE's latest offering, "Lockdown 2020", a collection of covers recorded remotely during the coronavirus pandemic. On the topic of what it's like to work with Sammy Hagar, Jason said: "If somebody doesn't know Sammy Hagar, how could I explain being around him? You don't have time to be miserable. You don't have time to be sad. He is the most upbeat, positive person I've ever worked with in my entire life, and I've worked with a lot of different people. He is such a genuine [person] — what you see is what you get. There isn't an act; it's not false. He is the same way all the time. [He is] hugely generous.
"For an English person who always sees the glass half empty, Sammy always sees it half full," Jason continued. "So he's always, 'Come on!' He knows when I go silent on him, he's the one that goes, 'Come on, let's do this.' It's the same for everybody. 'Let's just do another song and let's keep being positive.'"
SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE's massively popular "Lockdown Sessions" began in March 2020, when the COVID-19 shelter-at-home order went into effect. With time on their hands and their upcoming tour in limbo, Jason challenged Hagar, Michael Anthony and Vic Johnson to record a warmup jam they'd been playing backstage before concerts for several years. Equipped with iPhones and their respective instruments, they each laid down their individual tracks from the den, music room, closet and even showers of their homes, and "Funky Feng Shui" and the band's "Lockdown Sessions" were born.
Over the next eight months, their "Lockdown Sessions" became a hit with critics and fans alike, producing 10 tracks and reaching an online audience approaching 30 million. The sessions gave the band the opportunity to throw down raw and raucous compact covers of classic hits that they'd jammed to backstage but never planned to record, including THE WHO's "Won't Get Fooled Again", Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds", AC/DC's "Whole Lotta Rosie" and more. When plans for an album came to fruition around the holidays, the band came together to record one more track, a cover of David Bowie's "Heroes" which they'd offer as an instant download or single purchase. Last May, SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE's U.S. tour with NIGHT RANGER was officially canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
THE CIRCLE's first album of all-original material, "Space Between", was released in May 2019 via BMG.