David Lee Roth has released a new “studio live” version of Van Halen‘s “Panama.” According to the Van Halen News Desk, the track was recorded on May 3, 2022 as part of an extremely fast-paced session.
“On May 3, 2022 the Roth band went into Henson Recording Studio and recorded 14 songs in two hours,” the site reports, quoting an unnamed source from within Roth’s house. “It’s all live and it’s Van Halen free. No samples. No autotune.” The singer was joined for the session by guitarist Al Estrada, bassist Ryan Wheeler and drummer Francis Valentino.
There is no word on what other songs were recorded during the session, or when or if they will ever be made public.
The new version of “Panama” – which originally appeared on 1984 and was one of the band’s last hit single with Roth – can be heard below. It was uploaded to YouTube without fanfare under the banner “Roth Lives!”
The 67-year-old vocalist’s status remains unclear after he canceled his farewell shows in January, later explaining: “It’s not about me anymore.” But in June he hinted at involvement with plans for a live tribute to Eddie Van Halen, saying: “I wrote the songs. … I was the one who named the band. … I’m only in the middle of my first retirement.” He added: “There’s always a tomorrow for a singer. … How many times did Rocky retire? Seven. I think number three was my favorite. How many times did Rambo have to come out of retirement in order to make the sequel?”
Since then Roth has released a song titled “Pointing at the Moon” followed by “Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Back Then Anyway,” a clear personal tribute to Van Halen’s glory days which includes the lines “We laughed, we cried / We threw that television off that balcony / That memory means so much to me.”
Listen to David Lee Roth’s New ‘Panama’
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