Guitarist Brian Young thinks wouldn’t have landed David Lee Roth gig if he wasn’t in Van Halen tribute band
Former David Lee Roth and Atomik Punks guitarist Brian Young was recently interviewed by Metal Mike for the 80’s Glam Metalcast podcast. Wikipedia indicates that Young was in David Lee Roth‘s solo band from 2002 to 2006 and played guitar on eight of the 14 tracks on Roth‘s solo album Diamond Dave (2003).
On playing with the Atomic Punks and trying out for the DLR Band, Young indicated (as transcribed by the 80’s Glam Metalcast podcast with slight edits): “Ralph Saenz [who went on to become Michael Starr in Steel Panther] was the singer. Their guitar player was leaving to go to David Lee Roth, and they called me based on a few recommendations. I had to learn a lot of Van Halen songs in a short period of time. That was a fun band. Ralph really channeled David Lee Roth, even with the stage banter. If it’s something that Dave didn’t say, it’s something he would have said! Obviously, David Lee Roth knew about the Atomic Punks because he took the first guy. Dave‘s manager had seen me at a show before and knew I could play the stuff. Then eight months later, Bart [Walsh] gets fired. I auditioned and got the gig.
I never would have got it if I wasn’t in the Punks. I was definitely on their radar. I was stoked to do it. I never would have guessed that one. It was very surreal looking over and seeing that your on stage with David Lee Roth! I remember being at the US Festival along with 300,000 people watching Van Halen. Little did I know that someday I’d be in a band with Dave. It kinda makes sense though. There were so many bands that got huge in the 70’s and 80’s. Then the 90’s is the era of the tribute bands. Then by the 2000’s, the 70’s guys are getting older and some guys have dropped off the map. So along come these tribute guys who have been copying it for years. So they end up being the perfect replacements.”
In terms of his first tour with Roth which included Sammy Hagar on the bill, Young stated: “The first year , the entire set was just all classic Van Halen songs and one solo tune [“Yankee Rose”]. That was just a total blast! That was also the tour we did with Sammy Hagar. They didn’t communicate much with each other. They stayed in their own areas. Dave usually would show up last minute before we played and then left. Dave didn’t wanna deal with Sammy Hagar too much, so we had our separate camps. There were a few rough spots here and there, but it was good tour. That was a great package. People called it “Fan’s Halen Tour“. That was the way to do it.”
You can listen to the interview with Brian Young on the 80’s Glam Metalcast podcast below: