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David Lee Roth has released this alternate version of Van Halen’s “Panama”

I’ve always been fascinated by how a song evolves and mutates through all the stages leading up to the final version that we all know. “Panama,” one of Van Halen’s signature tracks, has been heard untold times in this form.

But before it got there, it went through many changes and versions. David Lee Roth just released this live-off-the-floor rendition. Note the differences. This illustrate why it’s so important not only for bands to jam together a lot, but also the role a good producer has in finessing a recordings session.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38165 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

4 thoughts on “David Lee Roth has released this alternate version of Van Halen’s “Panama”

  • Love your show. Been listening to decades. Grew-up in Sarnia. Sorry for asking here, but do you know why Robert Plant never included the song “Far Post” on the initial release of “Pictures at Eleven”?


    • Aw, thanks. I appreciate it. And that’s a good question. Let me see if I can find out anything.

    • Aw, thanks. I appreciate it. Let me see what I can find out.

  • DLR is a rich kid who is very entertaining.
    Sammy Hagar is a musician and respected guitarist.
    And I too am a long time listener and I used to listen to my radio shack transistor radio every night. Thanks for a great program Alan.


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