Brian May Shares His Wish About Eddie Van Halen
One of the most exciting collaborations occurred when Queen guitarist Brian May worked with Eddie Van Halen for his 1983 solo piece, ‘Star Fleet Project.’ The three-song mini-album also featured drummer Alan Gratzer, Phil Chen, and Fred Mandel. May is now making plans to reissue the album, which will include some unheard Eddie recordings. In a new interview with Variety, Brian May shared that he would have wanted to have more contact with Eddie outside of that joint work.
“I’m very excited about it as I’ve opened up these tapes where I’m jamming with Eddie Van Halen and Phil Chen,” the guitarist replied when asked about his plans of reissuing ‘Star Fleet Project.’ “It is highly emotional, again, as Ed’s not around. Neither is Phil.”
May then shared his regret about not building a closer relationship with Eddie Van Halen during the guitarist’s lifetime. He said, “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. He was a wonderful soul – a Peter Pan who never grew up, never wanted to grow up, and never should have grown up.”
“He should still be with us. Listening to him and me, I felt completely outclassed by him in the studio,” Brian May continued, praising Eddie’s exceptional guitar skills. He added, “But in a very pleasant way – what joy for me to be around a guy who could do all that. Such a privilege. So, you’ll hear us in the studio, trading licks. 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.”
The Queen guitarist finally noted, “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. And, even more than ‘The Miracle,’ we are going to give you everything. Every take of every song. The things went wrong, the laughing, the finding new things to do.”
It is for sure that Brian May admired Eddie Van Halen’s guitar playing very much and saw working with him as a privilege. He had a chance to collaborate with him, but May would have also wanted to spend more time with the late musician and be closer to him.