Justin Hawkins says he and Wolfgang Van Halen had very little time to prepare their mini-Van Halen set before 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in London last year during the Taylor Hawkins tribute. Just one run-through and go.
Here’s an excerpt from an article posted to Ultimate-Guitar by Greg Prato:
Of the many performances at the Taylor Hawkins tribute concerts at Wembley Stadium in London and the Kia Forum in Los Angeles last year, undoubtedly one of the absolute standouts was the mini-Van Halen sets at both. The reason? Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang, playing his father’s parts impeccably on guitar, and The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins quite possibly out-Rothing David Lee Roth on vocals and fashion-wise (sadly, this appears to be the closest we may come to an Eddie Van Halen tribute live performance).
While speaking recently to Q1043 New York, Hawkins admitted thinking that another singer was more the right man for the job when he was initially asked to sing the VH tunes (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar). “I was thinking that somebody like Michael Starr from Steel Panther would be right, but I don’t know whether there was like any sort of connection between [Starr and the Foo Fighters]. Because I don’t really sound like David Lee Roth, and I would never presume to try and pretend to be David Lee Roth. But they were quite happy with me doing my version of it.”
The singer also disclosed that they pulled off the performance with as little rehearsal as possible. “Wolfgang didn’t come in ’til the day before. So, we went to a jam room which was actually at Wembley, and that was the first time we ran it – the day before.” And in case you were wondering the exact amount of “as little rehearsal as possible,” Hawkins added, “We just did one run-through, and then the next day we played it to 90,000 people.”