Queen’s Brian May and Eddie Van Halen collaborated on a project nearly 40 years ago. May told Total Guitar that it happened during a time that members of Queen had taken a break from each other in 1983. He was spending time in LA and out of the blue, he called Van Halen and told him of his idea and said, “My little boy had been watching this science fiction series and I always thought that the theme tune for it would be a great vehicle for all-out guitar playing. And Eddie said, ‘I’m up for it!’ So that was the beginning.”
May also recruited REO Speedwagon’s drummer Alan Gratzer, Rod Stewart bassist Phil Chen, Queen keyboardist Fred Mandel and Queen’s drummer Roger Taylor.
According to May, he had constructed the basic tracks, leaving room for Van Halen to do his thing. From there, May and Van Halen discussed what else could be done and they decided to jam out some blues.
By the end of the session, they had 3 songs. The title track, “Star Fleet,” and a May original that Van Halen liked called “Let Me Out.” And “Blues Breaker,” a nod to their mutual love of Eric Clapton.
About Eddie Van Halen, May said, “He was the greatest. All I can say is I miss him. I miss his presence in the world.”
The EP, Star Fleet Project, was conceived and completed in a 2 day period of time. A video of one of the songs is posted online.
- In 1983, Van Halen had just had a hit with “Dancing’ in the Street.”
- At the time, Queen’s most recent hits were, “Under Pressure” and “Body Language.”
- Perspective: Eddie would have been 28, Brian around 36 years old.
- Another Quote: The Queen guitarist revealed in the interview that he had recently considered reissuing some of his solo works including the Star Fleet Project EP, but adds, “At some point it would be lovely to revisit it in depth, but at the moment I’m not. It doesn’t feel right now.”
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