There may be some unheard Eddie Van Halen recordings in our future, according to Queen’s Brian May.
During a recent interview with Ultimate Classic Rock’s Matt Wardlaw, May revealed that he plans on reissuing his 1983 EP Star Fleet Project featuring Eddie on guitar. Among the recording session tapes are never-before-heard solos from Eddie.
“I haven’t gone back in there yet, but there’s a few tapes of everything, which I’d love to get back into,” said May. “I know Eddie played the solo on ‘Star Fleet’ three times. Each time it was incredible. Each time it was different. So I’m going to go back in and look at that. I think that will be interesting.”
Listen To Brian May & Eddie Van Halen “Star Fleet”
May is in the process of reissuing his entire solo catalog, starting with 1993’s Back to the Light, his first release outside of Queen following the death of singer Freddie Mercury. He’s now making plans for future reissues, which include Star Fleet Project.
“I’d like to get back into [Star Fleet Project]. I didn’t want to do it first, because I wanted to put my proper solo album out first,” said May. “I think I’ll do this first, Another World [from 1998] and then the third one will be Star Fleet.”
Star Fleet Project was recorded April 21st and 22nd of 1983 at The Record Plant in Los Angeles and officially released on October 31st, 1983. It all started when May’s son hooked his dad onto the Japanese television series X Bomber, which was renamed Star Fleet in the U.K. This inspired the elder May to re-record the show’s theme song with some friends.
The three-song mini-album, billed as Brian May + Friends, featured May, Eddie, drummer Alan Gratzer (of REO Speedwagon), Phil Chen (session bassist who played with Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart), and Fred Mandel (session keyboard player who also played as additional keyboard player on Queen’s Hot Space World Tour and The Works). Roger Taylor, Queen’s drummer, provided backing vocals for the title song.
Together, May, Eddie and friends recorded “Star Fleet Theme,” cut an unused May composition called “Let Me Out” and then jammed on a 12-minute tribute to Eric Clapton titled “Blues Breaker.” The whole thing was done in just two days.
“After we played, he called me up about four months later and asked what I thought about putting the stuff out, “ remembered Eddie. “I said, ‘Send me a tape, let me hear it first, because I didn’t remember how it went. And he did and I said, ‘Sure, what the hell? It reeks of fun. Brian is good, he gets a brown sound.”