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Guitarist Steve Vai Recalls The Time When The David Lee Roth Band Almost Reunited On Stage

Updated: Jan 29, 2023


For The Metal Voice, Neil Turbin spoke to guitarist Steve Vai at The Metal Hall of Fame, which happened on Jan 26, 2023 at The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills.


Watch full interview Here

Camera person Kumiko Yoshitsugu

Guitarist Steve Vai was asked about what he remembered at the Ultimate Jam Night at the Lucky Strikes in California when the David Lee Roth band almost reunited in 2015. Vai said, "I was standing out on the stage with the curtain, just about to hit the first Cord of Yankee Rose when they shut it down. And then when we couldn't play I had to go back and say Dave this thing it's not going to happen because the Fire Marshal is here. It's a mad house and he (Roth) goes perfect, (Roth Laughs) We'll get more press out of it, by not playing than by playing. And man was he right."


The Fire Marshal on Nov 25, 2015 shut down Lucky Strike during the Ultimate Jam Night before the DLR solo reunion do to over capacity. The cancelled performance would have marked the first time in 30 years that David Lee Roth of Van Halen guitarist Steve Vai, bassist Billy Sheehan, drummer Greg Bissonette, and keyboardist Brett Tuggle, to perform some of the hits from the classic “Eat Em and Smile” album.


Organizer of the Ultimate Jam night Chuck Wright told The Metal Voice on Oct 26, 2022


"To be the big feather in the cap was to get the 'Eat 'Em and Smile' band (David Lee Roth band original Lineup) back together. The word got out and the club wouldn't listen to me, they kept letting people in, they would not listen to me. I said you guys, the Fire Marshal's gonna close us down. All the guys from 'Eat' Em and Smile', Steve Vai, Billy Sheehan, Greg Bissonnet and the late Brett Tuggle (keyboards), were all there. David Lee Roth shows up, he's sitting in the Green Room, they're ready to go. They're on stage, curtain's about to open and the Fire Marshal says you can't play. It was just heart-wrenching for me and that's when things started to go south with that particular venue. I mean they took away a great thing from us by just not listening. They were thinking more about let's get more people in or, sell more booze or whatever. There were way too many people, we pleaded. Hey listen if some of you people could just leave. "


'Eat Em and Smile' record which was David Lee Roth's debut solo album released in 1986.


Steve Vai and Favored Nations/Mascot Label Group have announced the release of "Vai/Gash" digitally and on CD January 27, 2023.

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