Brian May is truly a guitar expert and seems to possess a vast knowledge about everything related to the guitar. Every so often, an artist emerges with an extraordinary talent, a set of abilities that appear to be gifted by the gods. One such individual was May’s dear friend Eddie Van Halen, whom he believed to be almost otherworldly.

Back in 1983, May had the opportunity to collaborate with Van Halen. During a break from his role in Queen, he got an chance to work on his Star Fleet Project. At that time, Queen was possibly the biggest band globally. The pressures of such fame can take a toll on its members.

This allowed May to step out of his comfort zone and team up with like-minded talents like Van Halen.

The Star Fleet Project recorded over a brief span of two days. Alongside Van Halen, Brian May collaborated with Alan Gratzer on drums, Phil Chen on bass, and Freddie Mandel on the keyboard.

Following the passing of Eddie Van Halen in 2020, Brian May made a personal commitment to re-launch the album and bring it back into the limelight.

Upon learning about Eddie Van Halen’s demise due to throat cancer, Brian May expressed his emotions, saying, “He was the greatest. No one could match him; there will never be another like him.” He also shared how he felt after the news and how revisiting the album helped him cope.

“A few days after Eddie’s passing, I revisited Star Fleet. It allowed me to reconnect with the studio moments and heal my soul. It felt like the right thing to do at that time” Brain said.

In the summer of 2023, Brian May kept his promise and re-released the album. During an event at Abbey Road Studios, he spoke about the record and his feelings. “I was pleasantly nervous—a fine line between nerves and excitement. We were all naturally excited.” In a separate conversation with Guitar World, Brian May discussed the recording process and his favorite guitarists, including Ed Van Halen.

He briefly praised their collaboration and Ed’s guitar skills, saying, “Every time he played, it was stunning.”

Beyond their musical partnership, Brian May recalled a memorable incident with Van Halen involving a hotel room and Southern Comfort whisky. He recalled, “He started drinking, and I followed suit. Suddenly, I lost control and found myself on the bathroom floor after hitting my head on the wash basin. It was a rare moment of losing control.”

In remembering Eddie Van Halen, Brian May’s feelings of admiration and the poignant moments they shared continue to resonate, with the Star Fleet Project remaining a testament to their musical synergy and camaraderie.

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