Brian May says he’s working on an expanded version of his 1983 collaboration with Eddie Van Halen. That Starfleet project the box set would include “every take of every song” along with conversations, outtakes and musical experiments recorded during the sessions.
That Queen guitarist have said it was a “moment of great joy” to gather in the studio with Van Halen, REO Speedwagon drummer Alan Gratzer and the late Rod Stewart bassist Phil Chen and said they were all “smiling and smiling” as they worked.
It expanded Starfleet the box set will be “No. 3 in the Brian May Gold Series, and will likely be released halfway through next year,” May says Variety in a new interview, “and I’m very excited about it when I’ve opened these tapes where I’m jamming with Eddie Van Halen and Phil Chen. It’s very emotional, again, because Ed’s not around. Neither is Phil. ”
May confirms he was “never happy” with the mix on the “Star Fleet” single, so he took the opportunity to clean it up. “Now EVH’s sound is larger than life,” he enthused. “You’re going to hear the progression of Eddie’s solo, which I’ve always thought was one of the greatest things he did — a real immortal classic of Ed Van Halen pieces. And we’re going to give you everything, every take of every song – the things that have gone wrong, the laughs, finding new things to do.”
He says he marveled at Van Halen’s artistry while going through the old sessions, and also admits he regrets not doing more together. “I have talked to Alex [Van Halen] and started thinking about how I wish I’d gotten closer to Ed,” says May. “I’m terribly sorry for 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,” added May, “but in a very pleasant way. What a joy for me to be with a guy who could do all that. Such a privilege .”
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