SINGER PATTY SMYTH DISCUSSES BEING ASKED TO JOIN VAN HALEN
Stereogum spoke with former Scandal front woman, Patty Smyth, about being approached, in the 80s to join Van Halen, after original singer, David Lee Roth, departed the group . Highlights from the interview appear below (via blabbermouth.net).
Smyth recounted, “They were heavy drinkers. I don’t drink. I never saw myself living in L.A. I was, like, ‘I’m from New York. We don’t move to L.A.’
“It’s all semantics because if [Eddie] had said to me, ‘Let’s make a record,’ then I would have said yes to that. But joining the band — to me then, ‘Oh god, they fight all the time, him and his brother, and I don’t want to get into a volatile situation.’ And I was probably heavily hormoned out because I was eight months pregnant, so there was a state of mind that I was in of how I need to take care of myself. But I regretted turning him down. For a long time, I regretted it. When you start to have regrets, I was, like, ‘Oh, man. I would’ve made so much money.'”
When asked if she thinks her prior negative experience in a group dynamic might have given her pause to join another way more publicly rambunctious band, she said,”Yeah, that definitely has something to do with it. I’m sure. And also just the fact that it was, like, ‘I’m going to have to move to L.A.’ I should have just had the conversation [with Eddie]. It was such a weird conversation. But if he had said to me, ‘Look, just come out for a few months and make a record. Have the baby, come out and let’s make a record.’ That to me would’ve been more doable.
And I never said anything about it for years. I got a call from Ed, and he was, like, ‘Look, I’m not saying that I asked you to join because I don’t want Sammy Hagar to look like [he was] second choice,’ and I was, like, ‘Okay.’ So I never spoke about it after that. I’m, like, all right I don’t need to tell people. If someone asked me, I didn’t lie but I didn’t really talk about it that much.”
Photo credit: Melanie Dunea