How Rick Springfield ‘Pissed All Over’ Sammy Hagar Song
It happened when the rum-selling duo was rehearsing for the pay-per-view performance, which took place on an island beach with the audience on boats in the water around it. But Springfield misjudged Hagar’s 1999 song “Mas Tequila,” and Hagar admitted he almost returned the favor when covering Springfield’s 1981 hit “Jessie’s Girl.”
“I fucked it up, because I didn't know the song well enough,” Springfield told Forbes in a recent interview. “I said, ‘Dude, I'll come onstage and we'll do that.’ He said, ‘No, no, no. ... They just launched into it, and I'm looking at it, going, ‘Uh-uh.’”
Hagar added: “He just pissed all over it. He didn't think there were chord changes to it, I guess.” His friend agreed: “I didn't think there were that many. But I'm looking at Michael Anthony looking at the bass, and he's trying to show me the chords. But he's in a different tuning. It was a train wreck.”
Watch a Clip From Sammy Hagar’s ‘Boat-In’ Birthday Bash
But Hagar, in turn, explained: “For me, same thing with ‘Jessie's Girl.’ My band said, ‘We'll learn it.’ So, we did the rehearsal, and I was gonna play [guitar] on it. And I'm going, ‘That fucking song is complicated as shit.’ It sounds like it's a silly little pop tune, wonderful song, but it sounds so simple.”
After Springfield confirmed it was a “complex song,” the former Van Halen frontman continued: “So, I said, ‘I’m just gonna walk out and sing. I'm not gonna fuck this guy's song up.’ But it's such a great song. My band loved it.”
The two musicians have been connected ever since Springfield's 1981 cover of Hagar's 1978 single "I've Done Everything for You" became a Top 10 hit. Despite having far more commercial success with his version, Springfield told Hagar in 2019 that he preferred the original: "I may be prettier than you," he said, "but you've got a way better voice."