Sammy Hagar spoke to Philadelphia's WMMR radio station about the lyrical inspiration for "Devil Came To Philly", the opening track of "Space Between", the first album of all-original material from his THE CIRCLE supergroup, also featuring Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham and Vic Johnson.
"Well, let me tell you something," Sammy said (hear audio below). "I don't wanna make no enemies, but originally I called it 'Devil Came From Philly'. And then, about in the middle of it, I'm going, 'You know what? I can't do that. They're gonna take it wrong.' So I said, 'He came to Philly.' The devil came to Philly. And what he did is he started printing money. The Federal Reserve, the first printing place was from Philadelphia."
Sammy continued: "Everyone thinks money is the root of all evil. So this album is about money, it's about greed, it's about enlightenment and it's about truth, in that order. And it comes out at the end — the truth comes out. In the beginning, [money] is the root of all evil, but it's a misunderstanding. Money is not the root of all evil. It depends on what you do with it. Greed is the root of all evil.
"So the whole chapter starts with 'Devil Came To Philly'. And then it headed out West — it went to San Francisco, it went to Denver, and then to Fort Knox, Kentucky and stashed it all away, man. He took all of the silver, he took all the gold and started printing money. That part's about the devil. But he just came to Philly — he wasn't born there, I don't think. [Laughs] The Philadelphians getting down on Uncle Sammy here, man.
"The root of all evil is not money — it's greed," Hagar repeated. "Just remember that. You'll see. When you listen to all 10 chapters on this CD, 'Space Between', you will get it exactly what I'm trying to say. Money is beautiful. You can change the world. You can feed the poor with money. You can heal the sick. You can buy happiness. You can make someone happy. You see some guy down and out, you say, 'Here, buddy. Here's some money. Go get yourself something to eat and a change of clothes.' And he's gonna be happy for a while. You can do beautiful things with money. It's when you just hoard it and rip people off for their money. These phone calls you get, guys saying, 'Hey, man, we need your credit card right now. Fraud is happening,' like it's happening right there on the phone. Man, that stuff is horrible. That's why I wrote this record. It's about that ugly side of life, where people just rip each other off. We need some truth and some enlightenment on this planet and get rid of the hate."
"Space Between" will arrive on May 10 via BMG.
THE CIRCLE previously released a concert album, "At Your Service", in May 2015. Recorded on tour in 2014, it featured live performances of hits from Sammy's four decades of rock (MONTROSE, solo, VAN HALEN, THE WABORITAS, CHICKENFOOT) as well as classic tracks from the LED ZEPPELIN catalog.