The Van Halen News Desk continues to roll out the Eddie Van Halen tributes. This time we have two coming from a few of the biggest frontmen to emerge during the 1980s: Poison singer Bret Michaels and former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach.
Michaels was the first to give his thoughts on Eddie’s passing and the legacy he leaves behind.
“Going beyond the guitar wizardry, the original playing, the sound, the guy was one of the few guys that could mix insane guitar licks with writing great songs, it was like the perfect combination,” said Michaels. “I think all of us, especially me, were just devastated to hear the news. For his immediate family and friends it’s just really painful. He’s such an unbelievable guitarist and guy.”
Bach said Van Halen was more than just a band name. It represented a lifestyle of an entire generation.
“Van Halen was a rallying cry,” said Bach. “Even the words VAN HALEN!!! Just the words Van Halen became like an adjective…Not only was Eddie’s guitar playing other worldly [but] everything about the band was other worldly. From the notes of ‘Eruption’ to watching them on stage and Edwards’s songwriting, it became like a rallying cry of everything that was cool. Not just guitar playing…just being cool.”
Bach also revealed that he was among the singers considered to join Van Halen after Sammy Hagar’s departure from the band in 1996.
“There was a little talk of me maybe joining the band around the Gary Cherone time,” said Bach. “[Skid Row manager] Doc McGhee had me up at the office and Ray Daniels was managing them at the time and Ray and Doc were talking. But they didn’t want Eddie to smoke weed. And I go, ‘That’s funny.’ Because I was smokin’ weed with Ray Daniels. I go, ‘So you can smoke it but I can’t?! What the fuck? The lead singer of Van Halen can’t smoke pot?! WHAT?!’ [LAUGHS] I go, ‘That’s where I learned to smoke pot! Thanks a lot Van Halen!! [LAUGHS]”
“You never rehearsed with them did you? Did you play with them?” asked Trunk.
“No,” responded Bach. “But I was summoned into Doc’s office and there was talk of that. But I didn’t get to audition. I don’t think Doc was into me leaving Skid Row either.”
Hear more Eddie Van Halen memories from both Michaels and Bach below. The interviews begin at the 11:34 mark: