The Darkness singer Justin Hawkins admitted he nearly talked himself out of guesting with Wolfgang Van Halen at the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert, even going so far as to consider suggesting an alternate vocalist for last weekend’s event.
Hawkins performed the Van Halen tracks “On Fire” and “Hot for Teacher” in a moment that saw Wolfgang representing his late dad’s guitar work live onstage for the first time.
In a new episode of the Justin Hawkins Rides Again vlog, the singer admitted he’d been nervous about all the appearances he was asked to make during the event at London’s Wembley Stadium. “When Dave [Grohl] initially called me he was talking about … Dave Grohl on bass, Josh Freese on drums, Wolfgang Van Halen on guitar – I was like, ‘Fuck, that’s going to be fucking amazing. There’s no way I’m turning that down.’”
Then the singer experienced a moment of hesitation.
“I actually thought it might be good to ask my friend Michael Starr, who sings with Steel Panther, to do … those ones because he’s really great at doing the David Lee Roth vocal style,” Hawkins explained. “But then I talked myself into doing it myself – it was a great chance to reinterpret those songs in my own style.”
You can watch the video below.
The Darkness frontman said he had to only “refamiliarize” himself with “Hot for Teacher” but had to learn “On Fire” because he “wasn’t that familiar with the stuff on the first Van Halen record.” “I was looking forward especially to doing ‘Hot for Teacher’ in the English style,” he admitted. “We had one run-through before the show with Wolfgang, and it sounded exactly like I was hoping it would… it went really well.”
The second Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert takes place in Los Angeles on Sept. 27.
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