David Lee Roth has unveiled a previously unreleased song called “Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bar and Grill” in dedication of his late bandmate Eddie Van Halen. The track was recorded several years ago with guitarist John 5 as part of a full album’s worth of material that was shelved.
The song features John 5 on acoustic guitar as DLR reflects on his pre-fame days on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California. A still graphic accompanying the YouTube clip contains the words “Hey Ed, I’m gonna miss ya … See you on the other side.” Previously, Roth shared a photo of himself with Eddie Van Halen on Twitter, along with the caption, ‘What a long great trip it’s been.”
Around six years ago, Roth and John 5 co-wrote and recorded an entire album, but it never saw the light of day. Last year, Roth promised the material would eventually surface. “There’s been a revision of things, and I can start making real plans and start marching into the future,” he told Detroit radio station WRIF (via Blabbermouth). “And, of course, you’ll start hearing that material. This is material that we wrote variously for me solo and for Van Halen, and it’s quite a bank of stuff.”
John 5 got his first big break as a member of David Lee Roth’s solo outfit, writing and playing on the 1998 album, DLR Band. Shortly thereafter, John 5 famously joined forces with Marilyn Manson and eventually became a member of Rob Zombie’s band, where he still remains the lead guitarist.
The release of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bar and Grill” also comes as part of a new virtual comic book experience dubbed The Roth Project, which the Van Halen singer just launched. It’s one of five of his previously unreleased collaborations with John 5 that are featured in the multimedia 17-chapter series, which is narrated by David Lee Roth.
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bar and Grill” marks the second song featuring John 5 to be unveiled in the past couple of days. On Friday, Rob Zombie released the single “The Triumph of King Freak (A Crypt of Preservation and Superstition)” while announcing his new album, The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy.
John 5 also honored Eddie Van Halen recently, releasing a video clip from one of his solo concerts in which he was joined by Corey Taylor and Michael Anthony for “You Really Got Me”.
Listen to David Lee Roth and John 5 on “Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bar and Grill” below.