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04 September 2022

David Lee Roth Shares New Solo Version Of Van Halen’s ‘Panama’

David Lee Roth Panama
Photo: Reuters/Alamy Stock Photo
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David Lee Roth has shared a previously unreleased solo version of the Van Halen classic Panama, originally recorded for the band’s 1984 album. According to the Van Halen News Desk, the track, which was uploaded to Roth’s YouTube channel on Thursday night, was laid down on 3 May 2022 during a session at Henson Recording Studio in Hollywood, California. You can listen to it below.

Joining Roth in the studio were Al Estrada on guitar, Ryan Wheeler on bass and Francis Valentino on drums. A total of 14 songs were recorded in two hours. The music and the vocals were tracked live with “no samples” and without the pitch-correction technology Auto-Tune.

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Roth’s version of Panama comes more than a month after he shared a previously unheard solo recording from 2007, Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Back Then Anyway, in which he looked back nostalgically on his days in Van Halen. The latter song was recorded in 2007 with guitarist John 5 and drummer Gregg Bissonette for an album that never came out.

Back in 2020, Roth included five previously unreleased songs in The Roth Project, an online comic narrated by the legendary Van Halen singer, with music from John 5 on guitar and bass, Bissonette on drums, Brett Tuggle on keyboards, and Luis Conte on percussion. The tracks “Giddy-Up!”, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bar And Grill”, “Alligator Pants”, “Lo-Rez Sunset” and “Manda Bala” were recorded at Henson Recording Studios in Hollywood, California.

Three years ago, Roth was asked by Meltdown of the Detroit radio station WRIF if his LP with John 5 will be made available at some point. He responded: “It will. There’s been a revision of things, and I can start making real plans and start marching into the future. And, of course, you’ll start hearing that material. This is material that we wrote variously for me solo and for Van Halen, and it’s quite a bank of stuff.”

Roth canceled a series of Las Vegas residency shows in January because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Three months earlier, he had announced in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he was planning to retire after the residency.

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