“Panama” is a song from Van Halen’s 1984. (stylized in Roman numerals as MCMLXXXIV)
But this is Van Halen, and Van Halen were more interested in fun and excitement than serious political commentary. So, after taking a closer look at the lyrics, I realized that it’s actually about driving a fast car.
Jump back, what's that sound? Here she comes, full blast and top down Hot shoe, burning down the avenue Model citizen, zero discipline Don't you know she's coming home to me? You'll lose her in the turn I'll get her, ah! Panama Panama Panama Panama Ain't nothin' like it, her shiny machine Got the feel for the wheel, keep the moving parts clean Hot shoe, burning down the avenue Out an on-ramp coming through my bedroom Don't you know she's coming home to me? You'll lose her in the turn I'll get her, ah! Uh-oh Panama Panama Panama Panama Ah Yeah, we're running a little bit hot tonight I can barely see the road from the heat coming off it, I say I reach down between my legs and Ease the seat back She's blinding, I'm flying Right behind in rearview mirror now Got the fearing, power steering Pistons popping, ain't no stopping now Panama Panama Panama Panama
From 1984 by Van Halen
Released as single- 18 June1984
Studio- 5150, Hollywood, California
Label- Warner Bros.
Songwriters- Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth
เ1984 holds a special place in Van Halen’s discography, as it marked the beginning of a new era for the band. Eddie Van Halen, dissatisfied with the work of producer Ted Templeman in previous album – Diver Down, decided to take matters into his own hands and build his own recording studio, which he named 5150. “Panama” was one of the first songs recorded in this new studio, and it showcased a new level of power and control for Eddie.
Interestingly, Eddie’s process for writing music was unconventional, often fueled by substances like cocaine and liquor, which made it difficult for him to recall the inspiration behind his riffs.
However, David Lee Roth, the band’s frontman and lyricist, had something more to say about the song’s origins. In typical Diamond Dave fashion, he has spun a colorful tale about the song’s origin, and it’s different sometimes he tells it. You never know what version you’re going to get, but it’s always entertaining.
According to him, “Panama” was a response to critics who claimed that Van Halen only wrote songs about women, partying, and fast cars. Well, Roth realized he had never actually written a song about fast cars and was determined to fix that. And so, “Panama” was born!
but why this song call “Panama”?
it’s the name of Roth beloved blue 1969 Opal Kadett Caravan, which was featured in the band’s “Dance the Night Away” music video. and in his memoir, Crazy from the Heat, he described how he bought the car to transport Van Halen’s PA system to gigs during their early days.
However, the story behind the car doesn’t end there. David Lee Roth revealed that the front of the car had been cut off and mounted on the wall of his house, with a deer’s hindquarters attached to it as a humorous decoration. This artwork was called “My First Deer, Courtesy of Panama,” a nod to the car’s name and Roth’s sense of humor.
There are conflicting stories about how it got its name. David Lee Roth has mentioned two possibilities: in his interview with Howard Stern, it was named after the Panama Express, a race car that he saw in Las Vegas. Either way, the car was named after the southernmost country in Central America, the name fits the adventurous spirit and the band’s love for fast cars and freedom.
When listening to the lyrics of “Panama,” it’s clear that the song is not only about cars, but also about women. It’s a celebration of the thrill and excitement of cruising down the highway in a fast car, with a beautiful woman by your side. The song’s lyrics perfectly capture the band’s rebellious and carefree spirit, making it an enduring classic of the rock genre.
The car’s engines can also be heard in the song. It’s Eddie Van Halen’s 1972 Lamborghini Miura S, which Eddie’s former wife Valerie Bertinelli bought as a gift. Affix the license plate APR 11, which was the couple’s wedding day (11 April 1981). Eddie sold this car in 2018-2019 (Read More detail at Van Halen News Desk)
They drive Lamborghini into the studio cranked it up to 80,000rpm to get the sound and record it
The car seen in the music video is a David Lee Roth’s 1951 Mercedez Benz D named California Girl.