As Brian May gears up to release the deluxe box set for his ‘Star Fleet Project’ on its 40th anniversary, he took a moment to share his thoughts on the late guitar legend Eddie Van Halen. In a candid interview posted on his YouTube channel, the Queen guitarist provided a glimpse into his experience collaborating with Van Halen in 1983.
“Me being in the studio with Ed, I was in awe. I mean, I gotta be honest. I was. I was in awe. I just thought, ‘Wow! What an amazing thing!’”
May openly expressed his admiration for Van Halen, highlighting the sense of wonder he felt in the legendary guitarist’s presence.
Despite his own status as a guitar virtuoso, May couldn’t help but marvel at the talent of Eddie Van Halen.
“It would be easy to kinda go down the road of being jealous, you know, resenting someone who can do something you can’t do. But for some reason, that doesn’t really happen with guitar players. I’d never seen it happen because we all do different stuff, and we all enjoy each other’s stuff.”
Addressing the potential for jealousy in their musical relationship, May emphasized the camaraderie among guitarists.
He explained that, unlike some other fields, guitarists appreciate the unique skills each brings to the table, fostering an environment of mutual respect and admiration.
“So, though I felt like I’m in the presence of a god here, there was also this feeling of pure joy, pure joy. Just being in the room with that guy and being able to play stuff to him and hear him respond. You can hear us doing it. What a treat. What an absolutely unrepeatable, unique experience that was.”
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May conveyed the sheer joy he experienced working with Van Halen, emphasizing the irreplaceable and one-of-a-kind nature of the collaboration. The mutual musical exchange between the two guitar legends left an indelible mark on May, creating memories that continue to resonate.
Last year, May announced the upcoming ‘Star Fleet Sessions (Deluxe)’ box set, reflecting on his musical journey, including the collaboration with Eddie Van Halen.
In an interview with Variety, he expressed regret about not staying closer to Van Halen after their project.
“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.”
May’s poignant reflection on his relationship with Eddie Van Halen adds a human touch to the music world, reminding us that even guitar legends have moments of awe, regret, and appreciation for the unique talents of their peers.
Keep going for the full interview below: