The instrumental members of VAN HALEN singer David Lee Roth's solo band reunited last night (Saturday, January 26) for a two-song performance at "Ultimate NAMM Night" in Anaheim, California. Guitarist Steve Vai, bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Gregg Bissonette were joined by singer Jeff Scott Soto (SONS OF APOLLO, TALISMAN, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN) to play a cover of the QUEEN classic "Tie Your Mother Down" and the Sheehan-penned TALAS headbanger "Shy Boy" which appeared on Roth's "Eat 'Em And Smile" album.
Last night's surprise appearance came more than three years after Roth's aborted "Eat 'Em And Smile" reunion in Hollywood. The November 2015 show at the Lucky Strike Live, which was called off at the last minute by the fire marshal, would have marked the first time in 30 years that Roth joined Sheehan, Vai, Bissonette and keyboardist Brett Tuggle to perform some of the hits from the classic LP.
While fans were disappointed that the show was scrapped, Vai later told Ultimate Classic Rock that there was still hope the "Eat 'Em And Smile" musicians might reunite at a later date. "We tasted a little bit of the forbidden fruit there," Vai said. "We all decided that it would be nice, why not? It was a great era. It was a great record, we were a great band. So it's on the radar. It's just a matter of getting everybody's schedules to align. That's the tough part."
"Eat 'Em And Smile" was the first of two Roth albums to feature the duo of Vai and Sheehan on guitar and bass.
Billy said in a 2017 interview with Songfacts that he was "ready to go" if Roth ever decided to do some shows with the "Eat 'Em And Smile" band. "We have a great respect and love for Dave and what he did for us," he continued. "There's no secret undercurrent thing going on that I'm not talking about. The fact of the matter is it's Dave's call. If he chooses to do so, I couldn't be happier."
ULTIMATE NAMM NIGHT
EAT EM AND SMILE BAND featuring Jeff Scott Soto!
Jeff Scott Soto #SteveVai Billy Sheehan Brett Tuggle Greg Bissonette Ultimate Jam Night #namm2019Posted by Jessica Chase on Saturday, January 26, 2019