“Look who showed up for the reunion! Guess I’m singing back ups lol” —Michael Starr
Last night (Wednesday, Nov 25th) was to be a very special event at the Ultimate Jam Night at Lucky Strike in Hollywood.
It was to be a one-time event — a concert for the 30th Anniversary of the EAT EM’ AND SMILE BAND, with original musicians Steve Vai, Billy Sheehan, and Greg Bissonette. They were to play the album live, along with Steel Panther vocalist, Ralph Saenz, instead of David Lee Roth. (As many know, Ralph Saenz was formerly the singer of the popular, long running Van Halen tribute band The Atomic Punks).
Two big surprises were in store for the giant crowd that showed up — one good and one bad! The first was that David Lee Roth showed up, unannounced! But the second surprise was that, unfortunately, the fire marshal canceled the show just moments before the’Eat ‘Em And Smile’ band was to hit the stage.
No word yet on just how the two singers might have split the vocal duty last night. Would Starr still sing everything, as planned? Or would he share the stage with his main influence, Diamond Dave? Here’s a couple hint’s that Roth was planning on singing:
- Billy Sheehan posted on facebook: “The fire department shut down the whole show before we got on stage. And did we ever have a surprise for you! Such is life.”
- When leaving, Roth said, “I apologize about this evening. It looks like we were too popular. Should we go to the Hollywood Palladium, maybe?”
Here’s to hoping the band reschedules!
Bassist Billy Sheehan was posting quick updates on facebook, saying that the place was packed and the line continued down to Hollywood Blvd all night, describing it as “Utter chaos!” And finally saying he was heading home and was really wishing they could have played.
Videos of Roth leaving the exiting the Lucky Strike can be seen below. As Dave says in the footage, hopefully they’ll reschedule the reunion show and a larger location in the near future.
Lisa Polisa Rock Doll of the Valley with Starr and Roth
“As many of you now know, this is what Ultimate Jam Night had planned for you last night. Steve, BIlly, Greg, Brett and yes, Dave. To the 2000+ people who showed up last night, many of you spending the night in line never getting into the venue, many of you driving hundreds of miles from other states, I am sorry that you did not receive the show that we promised. However, the story is not over. Happy Thanksgiving.” — Matt Starr, drummer for house band at Ultimate Jam Night
Here’s our original Story, posted the day of the show, 11/25/15:
The place to be on Wednesday Nights in Hollywood is the Ultimate Jam Night at Lucky Strike. And tonight, it’s all about the classic music made by David Lee Roth’s ‘Eat ‘Em And Smile’ Band!
That’s right. Roth’s legendary band from 1985-1986 is reuniting, but for one night only, and without David Lee Roth.
“The 30th Anniversary of the EAT EM’ AND SMILE BAND” featuring Steve Vai, Billy Sheehan, and Greg Bissonette. along with Steel Panther vocalist, Ralph Saenz.
Ultimate Jam Night takes place every Wednesday night at LUCKY STRIKE LIVE Hollywood and Highland. No cover charge.
They’re preparing for a HUGE crowd, and warn people to get there EARLY or they won’t get in.
More articles about the classic album Eat ‘Em and Smile:
Van Halen’s ‘5150’ VS. David Lee Roth’s ‘Eat ‘Em And Smile’ – Great Rock Debates
Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of David Lee Roth’s ‘Eat ‘Em and Smile’
1986: EVH on “5150” vs. Vai on “Eat ‘Em And Smile”
Billy Sheehan Talks Van Halen, David Lee Roth