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  1. #1
    General Administrator Cool Rides Online's Avatar
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    Default Continued: Best Songs to Play With the Top Down: Van Halen Panama

    Best Songs to Play With the Top Down: Van Halen Panama

    Posted on July 16, 2012 by PeteRizzo


    Unlike some entries likely to be penned in this series, the inclusion of Panama as one of the best songs to play in a convertible is a bit of no-brainer. The songs big airy sound and chugging percussion make it all but built for cruising with the top down (and having one or more passengers hanging out of the vehicle).

    But, the songs history reveals that this is exactly what the band intended. Despite the songs later use in video game promotions and even military offensives aimed at toppling dictators, the famous tune has nothing to do with the Central American country, and like most of Van Halens work, doesnt touch on any political issues. Rather, Panama is about singer David Lee Roths love of a certain vehicle.

    According to Van Halen lore, Panama was the name of one of Roths beloved cars. However, it was guitarist Eddie Van Halen who helped give the song a more highway-ready feel. For the recording, Van Halen allegedly drove his Lamborghini into the studio and hooked microphones to the exhaust pipe, providing an added background detail that can be heard during the breakdown of the song.

    If those car-inspired moments werent enough, the band can be seen cruising in a classic red sports car in the songs official music video while Roth lets his long hair whip in the wind on a motorcycle. These images likely inspired countless drivers to first let loose in their automobiles while enjoying the classic tune.

    And while the song has been a point of contention in Roth and his relationships with past and present band members Roth once reportedly quipped after seeing his replacement Sammy Hagar sing the song that he always thought that song should be sung by a girl it remains a definitive classic for both Van Halen and car enthusiasts the world over.


  2. #2
    Senior Moderator cor66vette's Avatar
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    I remember reading that the "Panama" vid cost $900.00 to make!

    ANYWAY ...

    I can attest first hand that Sammy Hagar's "I Can't Drive 55" is a kick-ass, down-with-the-top driving tune.

    But it has to be kinda loud especially with side pipes!

    Drive fast and leave a sexy corpse


  3. #3
    CRO Senior Moderator Justa6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cor66vette View Post
    I remember reading that the "Panama" vid cost $900.00 to make!

    ANYWAY ...

    I can attest first hand that Sammy Hagar's "I Can't Drive 55" is a kick-ass, down-with-the-top driving tune.

    But it has to be kinda loud especially with side pipes!
    AGREED>>>>>>
    Always keep em smokin,,,,then let er drift!

  4. #4
    Classic Member B_hix's Avatar
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    If I'm playing tunes with the top down it's a funeral march cause half my truck or car is missing :smile: Never had a vert - yet!
    I may not do it all right, but I'll do it myself the best I can - THATS HOT RODDING!


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