David Lee Roth
David Lee Roth, photo by Philip Cosores

David Lee Roth has shared a new previously unheard live studio version of Van Halen’s “Panama” recorded live in the studio.

Little else is known about the track, which was uploaded to DLR’s YouTube channel last night (September 1st) with artwork declaring: “Roth Lives!” This new take stays pretty close to the original Van Halen version, with some new vocal ad libs from Roth and a distinctly Eddie Van Halen-esque guitar tone.

Keeping with DLR’s rather enigmatic presence as of late, there’s no information available on which musicians are backing Diamond Dave on the new “Panama” or when it was recorded. It’s the latest in a string of one-off song releases from DLR that have us seriously questioning whether the longtime Van Halen frontman is actually retiring.

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Most recently, we heard “Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Back Then Anyway,” with lyrics referencing Van Halen’s glory days. That track was recorded back in 2007 with guitarist John 5 for a shelved album.

In addition to John 5, those recording sessions featured Greg Bissonette on drums, Brett Tuggle on keyboards, and Luis Conte on percussion. Last year, John 5 mentioned that the rest of the unreleased Roth recordings have a singer-songwriter sound, implying that other recent singles “Pointing at the Moon” and “Low-Rez Sunset” also hail from these same sessions.

While there’s still no official word on a Van Halen tribute tour, DLR has hinted that it could happen. Is this new version of “Panama” yet another hint?

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You can stream the song below.

Link in bio to full version.
ROTH LIVES! PANAMA
DAVID LEE ROTH STUDIO LIVE pic.twitter.com/yWO5h3O1Qa

— David Lee Roth (@DavidLeeRoth) September 2, 2022