Kiss’s Gene Simmons claims that he once had to talk Eddie Van Halen out of leaving Van Halen and joining Kiss. Gene has repeated this story a few times over the last 20 years, but we’ve never heard what Eddie Van Halen has to say about this story…until now!
The Van Halen News Desk has dug up a rare interview in which Eddie was asked about this rumor! This interview, embed below, was conducted by Alan K. Stout of The Times Leader. Alan states, “It’s not everyday that a guy who, as a kid, wore a Van Halen t-shirt to school all the time and wore a “VH” necklace gets to chat at length with the guitar legend. But that’s what happened to me at The Times Leader back in the spring of 1995.”
It’s a typical Balance era interview until the interviewer pops the off-the-record question (at the 15:45 mark). Here’s the transcription of the Kiss – related segment:
Interviewer: I have this book [Kiss's coffee table book] KISSTORY, and there is a passage in there about you.
It said back around ’82, you had dinner or lunch with Gene and Paul in L.A., and Ace [Frehley] had just quit, and you weren’t happy, and they talked about bringing you into the band. Is that true?
Not that I know of.
[Laughs] I didn’t think it was!
Unless I was so fucked up I don’t remember…? They might have asked me…?
I thought that’s a fascinating Eddie Van Halen story that I don’t think anybody knows.
Not even me! Wow. No, I don’t have a clue. They might have just asked me in passing, and I just kind of laughed it off, probably.
[Laughs] Yeah! I didn’t think it was something that was being seriously talked about.
If it happened I’m sure i would have remembered.
[Laughs] Funny story.
Thats hilarious. Maybe they did ask me and I just thought they were joking…?
So, there you have it. Eddie’s answer was about what we figured it would be. What do you think is the real story? Gene insists this happened. Paul Stanley was just asked about this rumor, and said he never heard anything about it before. Eddie has never publicly said anything about ever wanting to join Kiss. Who do you think is telling the truth? And who’s telling a different kind of truth?