Inara George: Van Halen Through a Pop Prism

Jan 7, 2020

Inara George of The Bird and The Bee.

I discovered The Bird and The Bee through a covers site, and heard their version of the Roth-era Van Halen classic "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love."

I was smitten.

I love the irony, humor, disposition of musical elements of a good cover song, but this was something else: this was a true tribute. This was love.

But first, we must step back in time.

It's no hyperbole to say that in 1978, Van Halen's self-titled debut album split the rock world in two. Eddie Van Halen was the most prodigious and game-changing electric guitarist since our beloved Jimi Handrix. It was like hearing a jet plane take off and leaving all the copycats, who were to follow in their wake, as mere shadows of the VH craftmanship of chops, songwriting with great hooks and charisma.

Enter The Bird and the Bee forty one years later. (NB: Inara was ten years old when "1984" was released and thought Panama was about the Panama Canal. The videos she saw were "both terrifying and exciting." Check longer interview.)

Formed in 2005, when Greg Kurstin was hired to assist with her first solo album, All Rise, they "just clicked over musical interests" and "we wrote a couple of songs together and maybe we'll see if somebody else wants to play them." The rest, as it said, is history.

The Bird and the Bee will be featured on this week's Eclectopia radio program. Listen to Eclectopia on WVPB Radio Fridays at 10 pm, with an encore Saturdays at 11 pm.

Inara, DLR, and Greg at a special invitation-only DLR show. Follow them on Instagram.

Bird&Bee Official: https://www.thebirdandthebee.com/home

Get the album: https://thebirdandthebee.lnk.to/Interpretingthemasters

A very fun live version: