Today we can hear a Van Halen song we’ve never heard before! Above, listen to a newly unearthed Van Halen demo from 1996 with Mitch Malloy singing. But is this a true “unreleased song” from Van Halen? Not really. Eddie gave Mitch an instrumental demo, and then later, after they parted ways, Mitch ended up putting his own lyrics and background vocals on it, turing it into a complete song (albeit, still in demo form). Listen to the song “It’s The Right Time” above.
Van Halen fans all know the the two major eras of the band — the original era featuring lead singer David Lee Roth, the “Van Hagar” era with Sammy Hagar. And there was also the album and tour with Gary Cherone in 1998. But most fans are unaware that during the Summer of 1996, the band auditioned singer Mitch Malloy.
In 1996, Mitch Malloy auditioned for Van Halen by recording a few tracks at 5150 studios with Eddie, Alex and Michael Anthony. His joining VH as replacement for Sammy Hagar was overridden by then manager Ray Danniels, who wanted Gary Cherone (whom he managed). Van Halen then went with Cherone.
Never-heard Van Halen/Malloy piece: In 1996, Van Halen gave Malloy an instrumental, which he now recorded vocals to. It’s called “It’s the Right Time.” [Embedded above]. Knowledgeable Van Halen fans will recognize the music from his track is a rougher demo of “That’s Why I Love You“, the unreleased Van Halen song from Van Halen III, with Gary Cherone. What do you think of it?
Malloy Singing “Panama” at 5150: Last year, and audio recording leaked of Mitch singing “Panama” with Van Halen. Listen to it here. What do you think of it?
More stuff to ponder: So Van Halen fans, what do you think of Mitch Malloy? Was he smart to decline Van Halen’s offer? If he didn’t decline, would Van Halen have actually gone through with it and released an album with Malloy as their singer? Would the band have faired better than they did with Gary Cherone?
Watch Mitch explain his Van Halen audition from this time period.
The legacy of Van Halen has never had a shortage of drama or die-hard fans…and rocker Mitch Malloy (official website) has a unique place within the still-unfolding drama. Following the ousting of Sammy Hagar from the band Malloy was tapped as the lead singer replacement, but subsequently declined this rock royalty position. For years Mitch Malloy’s story was touched on but never fully revealed, mostly by Malloy to avoid conflict with his current musical pursuits. After the publication of “Everybody Wants Some: The Van Halen Saga,” which mentions Malloy, fans and media continually asked about his Van Halen experience. This is Mitch’s story. Mitch Malloy: Van Halen’s Lost Boy.
Before Van Halen hired Gary Cherone in 1996, they first asked Mitch to be their singer. But as Mitch recalls, “When I saw Dave come out with them [on MTV], that was it for me. It was over. Everybody think Dave’s back in the band. I’m out!” Listen to Mitch’s story in the video below.