STEEL PANTHER have decided to pay tribute to legendary, late guitarist Eddie Van Halen the best way they know how — by going back to their cover-band beginnings. STEEL PANTHER has recorded their interpretations of a couple of VAN HALEN classics in the form of “Beautiful Girls” and “D.O.A.” from “Van Halen II”. The songs have been some of STEEL PANTHER’s favorites to play live and that became the inspiration to actually record them after all these years.
STEEL PANTHER’s versions of “Beautiful Girls” and “D.O.A.” are available via all streaming and digital platforms, and the band filmed a quarantine-style music video for each track which can ve seen below.
STEEL PANTHER said: “When we were playing weekly shows on the Sunset Strip, VAN HALEN music was essential to our set lists to keep the place rocking. The music of that band is what helped shape who STEEL PANTHER is today.
“The loss of Eddie Van Halen has affected each of us in the band and these covers are our tribute to him to say thank you for the joy VAN HALEN music has given us.”
Singer Michael Starr, who fronted ATOMIC PUNKS in the 1990s and early 2000s under the stage name David Lee Ralph, told Rock Titan TV: “You don’t realize how rooted in VAN HALEN one is until one heavy metal hero departs the world, and for me, that’s what it’s been like. I didn’t even know what to post or say or do.
“I didn’t realize how much [Eddie] was a part of my life — inspiration, music-wise. That band was everything for me. And I’m sure it’s the same for a lot of people. I always wanted to David Lee Roth. I always wanted to be Eddie. I can’t play guitar that good, but… And thankfully, I got to meet Dave several times, and I also got to meet Eddie a couple of times before he passed away. And I’m grateful. I only met him briefly, like, ‘Hey, what’s up?’ I met him at a place called Staples, back before Gary Cherone joined [VAN HALEN]. It was him and [his son] Wolfie in the checkout. I’m, like, ‘Hey, Eddie. I’m a big fan.’ He’s, like, ‘I know your band. ATOMIC PUNKS. You guys are pretty good.’ And I was, like, ‘Holy shit! Eddie Van Halen knows our tribute band.’ That was a huge deal. Then I went to [VAN HALEN’s] dress rehearsal when they first rejoined with Wolfie at the Forum [in Los Angeles]. And I was walking in front of the stage, and I saw Eddie walk up, and I just walked to the stage and shook his hand and said hi, and that was the end of it. So, to me, I look at Eddie as this just complete rock god.
“VAN HALEN was everything for me,” Starr, whose real name is Ralph Saenz, repeated. “I love SCORPIONS. I love MÖTLEY CRÜE, DEEP PURPLE, CHEAP TRICK, RATT, BON JOVI, WHITE LION… I love all that stuff, but to me, it all started with VAN HALEN. Everyone tried to copy Dave and Eddie.”
Check The Videos below…