Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Rack of What? Well, I'll Have Some of That

'Hey waitress, eh, er- ma'am. You got any specials here tonight me and the fellas might be interested in? What's that? What? A rack of what? Well, I'll have some of that!!'-  Van Halen's Good Enough

It was with much trepidation that I bought the very first album to feature Sammy Hagar on vocals for my (then) favorite band, Van Halen. I had heard the first single from 5150 ("Why Can't This Be Love") early that spring, 1986, and I wasn't exactly blown away; but being a fan, I did what fans do- I bought the record. My fears were relieved at the very first notes of "Good Enough," the album's opening track. I said it then, and I still believe today, that the track is the one Van Hagar song that I could easily see (or, hear) Diamond Dave belting out. Perhaps that's because the origins of "Good Enough" date back to the Wild Life movie score, which Eddie penned in 1983 while Roth was still in the band. Well, that, and it, lyrically,  just sounds like something Roth would write.

The band would go on to much success with the Red Rocker at the mic, though to this day there is still that debate about whether or not the lineup during this era should be considered 'Van Halen.' Whether you loved it, loathed it, or were just plain indifferent about the lineup, there's no denying that, while it was a different lineup, it was still Van Halen to the core.

I didn't collect cards in 1986 or 1987, but I've got to believe that the reception that 1987 Topps baseball received was kind of similar. You would have a group of collectors who loved the design- not to mention the strong rookie crop- because it reminded them of their youth ('62 Topps, '55 Bowman). You also had a group who probably hated it because it was a rip-off of a set from their youth (yes, '62 Topps or '55 Bowman) or because it looked like the cheap wood paneling found in the basement or like the paneling on the side of the old family station wagon.

Had I been collecting at the time of its release (and been an adult with income), I would have been all over this product- buying it by the case. Instead, I bought a box years later... and just recently picked up this rack pack for the Dale Murphy collection.

I would have preferred that the Murphy card be his regular card from the set (#490), but won't deny it a home in my office. Besides, with as much of this product as there is out there, it shouldn't be too tough to find a pack with that base card.

Just as 1987 Topps baseball pays homage to the 1962 set, Van Halen's 'Good Enough' pays homage to the Big Bopper's 'Chantilly Lace'

And here's the original track, as recorded for the Wild Life soundtrack


  1. Loved seeing the Van Halen title reference, I am a huge fan. I may also be the only person who likes both the Roth and Hagar editions equally. They were each distinctive, almost a different band but I also wonder if the band would have evolved musically similarly had Roth stayed with the band. Thanks for the link to Nearly Good Enough, had kind of forgotten about it. I can say with certainty that the Gary Charone edition was terrible.

    1. Yeah, I don't know if they would have evolved had Roth stayed in. He was so much against the use of keyboards by the time he quit (or got fired). Then, of course, a lot of his solo stuff was quite a bit different than what they had been doing. I actually got to meet the Hagar lineup my senior year ('86)- check out a reference in this post...

  2. I'm a fan of Van Halen... and depending on my mood will listen to both lead singers. As for 1987 Topps... that was my introduction into cardboard investing. I invested every single dime to my name in that product and broke more than 10 boxes. Back then, the design was okay. However over the years, the set design has grown on me, more and more... kind of like the 1989 Topps design. Today, I'd rank the 1987 design in my Top 10 Topps base card designs of all-time... ahead of even the 1962 set.