Brian May has shared another video giving insight into his 1983 side band Star Fleet Project, this time introducing folks to his bandmates, Eddie Van Halen, Alan Gratzer, Phil Chen and Fred Mandel.
In the clip, May calls Van Halen “a phenomenon,” sharing that they met through Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi and that he saw him play for the first time when Van Halen opened for Sabbath.
May says his first reaction to seeing Eddie play guitar was, “Wow, what is this, what is this guy, what is he doing. I can’t even begin to figure out how his fingers are moving,” adding, “It was a bit like seeing Jimi Hendrix for the first time.”
May says they got to meet up after and he felt there was an “instant bonding” there, with Eddie telling May he had been “massively influenced” by Queen.
As for the rest of the group, May recalls bassist Chen as “full of sunshine, full of life,” and says Gratzer “hits the drums pretty much harder than anyone I’ve ever known.” He describes Mendel as “a character,” adding that he’s also “a virtuoso keyboard player.”
May will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Star Fleet Project with the release of a new box set, Brian May + Friends: Star Fleet Project, on July 14. It is available for preorder now.
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