Brian May Discusses Alex Van Halen’s Approval Of Upcoming Eddie Van Halen Tribute

In a recent interview with Cleveland, Brian May spoke up about his solo project and his upcoming tribute to Eddie Van Halen, The Star Fleet Project, as the album is now marking its 40th anniversary.

When asked about the upcoming 40th-anniversary box set and whether or not it is a tribute to Eddie Van Halen, who passed away in 2020, May replied:

“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 [the tribute]. 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.”

May then revealed whether Alex gave the Queen guitarist his blessings for his brother’s tribute:

“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.”

May also had previously revealed his one regret about Eddie Van Halen while chatting about the box set during an interview earlier with Variety, stating:

“I’m very excited about it as I’ve opened up these tapes where I’m jamming with Eddie Van Halen and Phil Chen. It is highly emotional, again, as Ed’s not around. Neither is Phil. And I’ve been talking to Alex (Van Halen) and started thinking about how I wish I had stayed closer to Ed. I have a huge regret about that.”

In the same interview, he added:

“I was never fond of the original mix of ‘Star Fleet,’ the single, so we cleaned that up. Now, EVH’s sound is larger than life. You’ll hear the development of Eddie’s solo, which I always thought was one of the greatest things he did… a real immortal classic of Ed Van Halen pieces.”

The lineup for the project includes Eddie on guitar, REO Speedwagon drummer Alan Gratzer, Rod Stewart’s bassist Phil Chen, and Fred Mandel on keyboard. The 40th-anniversary edition of the self-titled Star Fleet Project album will be released on Friday, July 14.