Credit: Neil Zlozower
Brian May says he wouldn’t have released the upcoming Star Fleet Project reissue featuring Eddie Van Halen without Alex Van Halen’s support.
In a new interview with Cleveland.com, May said he thought about releasing the newly expanded and remastered box set shortly after Eddie’s passing in October 2020 but decided the time wasn’t right. Here’s an excerpt from Gary Graff’s interview:
Do you view the box set as also a tribute to Eddie in a way?
May: Yes, it is – but I did hesitate. At the time when I was starting to think about it, it was just about the time Ed passed away and I just couldn’t do it. I just didn’t feel right about it. Then a few years passed and I got to talking to Alex Van Halen, who’s a great inspiration and also a wonderful musician. Alex has become a trusted friend and I have enormous admiration for him. He’s been through such a terrible time because, of course, the two brothers were completely inseparable. For Alex, it’s like losing half of himself. So I wanted Alex’s blessing to do this ‘cause I didn’t want to do anything that felt distasteful.
Earlier, May explained how Eddie became a part of the project:
It’s always nice to hear more Eddie Van Halen playing. How did he become part of this?
May: Ed I knew as a friend but I’d very seldom had a chance to hang out with him; I got very drunk with him one night, very ill-advisedly…but that’s another story. (laughs) With Ed, I set him up. I wanted to hear what happened when you put Ed as a firework on a stage and lit the blue-touch paper and stood back to see what happens. I gave him that stage in the middle of the (“Star Fleet”) song; that to me was the climax of the whole song, the bit where Ed steps forward and does his own thing, unfettered by anything. He steps in and it comes out completely out of his head — that’s not an overdub, he just does it. Every time he does it it’s different, ‘cause his brain’s constantly creating new stuff, which to me is one of the great joys of the (box set). I love to hear the different version of what he came up with. What an extraordinary, extraordinary player he was, just incredible.
Brian May and Eddie Van Halen’s legendary 1983 SUPER SESSIONS are IN STOCK and shipping now at VanHalenStore.com! (Release date is July 14th)
ALL NEW MIXES of the ENTIRE 2-Day SESSIONS from the original multi-track recordings are now available in the COMPLETE BOXED SET of EVERYTHING RECORDED!
Star Fleet Project, the near-mythical, long-out-of-print mini-album recorded by Brian May and Eddie Van Halen, is finally reissued!
Recorded in 1983 with an all-star band that included session bass guitar ace Phil Chen, keyboardist Fred Mandel and then-REO Speedwagon drummer Alan Gratzer, the set has been fully remastered by Brian May, and will be reissued in full July 14th with a multitude of previously unreleased jams and outtakes. NOW SHIPPING!