Watch David Lee Roth’s ‘Eat ‘Em and Smile’ Band Reunite Onstage
The members of David Lee Roth’s solo band who played on Eat ‘Em and Smile reunited at the NAMM music convention in Anaheim, Calif., over the weekend.
Guitarist Steve Vai, bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Gregg Bissonette were joined by singer Jeff Scott Soto for renditions of Queen’s “Tie Your Mother Down” and Sheehan’s “Shyboy,” the latter of which appeared on Roth's 1986 LP.
You can watch the performance of “Shyboy” below.
Eat ‘Em and Smile was Roth’s first solo album following his departure from Van Halen after increased bad feelings during their 1984 tour. Vai, Sheehan and Bissonette planned to stage an unrehearsed reunion in 2015, but the amount of attention it generated caused chaotic scenes outside the Hollywood venue, and fire marshals called ended up calling off the show.
Vai later told UCR that, though they’d never confirmed it, Roth himself was due to take part – a suspicion that had been raised when the singer was seen at the venue as a line formed outside a regular open-mic night at the club.
“Billy was telling me about it,” the guitarist recalled, “and he said, ‘What if we just showed up and played a few songs?’ Like ‘Shyboy’ and ‘Yankee Rose,’ you don’t need to rehearse those. So I said, ‘Yeah, let’s do that.’ And then I thought maybe Dave would be interested. So I just floated it out there and he was. We didn’t do a proper rehearsal, but Dave came over to my house before we went there, and we reviewed it all and we just kind of went over it so that there was a comfort level.”
Speculating on the chance of a future reunion, Vai said, “We tasted a little bit of the forbidden fruit there. 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.”