Musician/Producer Frank Meyer has assembled an international all-star lineup to record a Van Halen classic in tribute to Eddie Van Halen.
“In A Simple Rhyme” was originally released on 1980’s ‘Women and Children First’ and Meyer’s cover is available at Bandcamp and all digital platforms today. The one-off project is a tribute to Meyer’s hero Eddie Van Halen and all proceeds go to Eddie’s favorite charity – Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. The video (above) was also made available to YouTube.
“‘In A Simple Rhyme’ and has always been a favorite of mine and many hardcore fans,” said Meyer. “It’s one of the earliest known songs the Van Halen brothers wrote with David Lee Roth, dating back to the band’s club days in 1976.”
Best known as frontman of Los Angeles punk rock ‘n’ roller veterans The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs and Iggy & The Stooges Hall of Fame guitarist James Williamson, Meyer has been releasing a steady stream of digital singles since the pandemic last Spring, all recorded from his home studio in Long Beach, CA. This one, however was unique, as it found him collaborating remotely with musicians from England, Belgium and Denmark.
“I met guitarist Dennis Post (Copenhagen) and JJ Watt (Leeds) when we worked remotely on the new Warrior Soul album Cocaine and Other Fun Stuff,” explains Meyer. “We did a cover of Van Halen’s ‘D.O.A.’ on that, so when Eddie passed away, I felt like these were the right guys to do an Eddie tribute with. They pulled in some of their buddies from Belgium and I pulled in some folks from Long Beach, and we had a superb all-star band in no time. But to be clear, while I am known as a guitarist myself, the blazing axe-work you hear on this track is 100% Dennis Post. This guy absolutely crushed it! I basically got to be David Lee Roth to his Edward.”
The music video was assembled, directed and edited by Meyer — who also produced the song — by having all musicians record in front of a dark background for the heavy parts of the song, looking claustrophobic in black and white, while the lighter, melodic parts were shot outside with Meyer and backing singer Elaine Brackin cavorting on the beach in color.
“We shot the outdoor stuff with cinematographer Jason Valdez, who directed the recent ‘Jammin’ Me’ music video by Spaghetti & Frank, my side-project with Eddie Spaghetti of the Supersuckers,” adds Meyer. “We shot it down the street from my place in Long Beach. I wanted it to have a West Coast look, since Van Halen started here in Southern California.”
All proceeds from “In A Simple Rhyme” go to Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (www.mhopus.org).
“Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation was Eddie favorite charity,” Meyer explains. “He donated 75 of his guitars to them so that kids could learn how to play and be inspired knowing they had the world’s greatest on their corner.”
Meyer also served as copy-editor and interviewer on photographer Neil Zlozower’s book Van Halen: A Visual History 1978 – 1984 and has interviewed Roth many times for POPsmear Magazine and his book On the Road with The Ramones.
Eddie Van Halen photo courtesy of Neil Zlozower