Mitch Malloy, who in 1996 very briefly worked with Van Halen in 1996, will celebrate Eddie Van Halen’s musical legacy in concert next month.
“Mitch Malloy’s Van Halen Experience” is set to take place on Saturday, October 9th at Mattie Kelly Arts Village in Destin, Florida from 5:30 PM to 10 PM CDT. A portion of the proceeds will go to the new Destin High School Music Program.
Here is what the event’s ticketing website Eventbrite.com has to say about the event:
Mitch Malloy, the lead singer of iconic rock band Great White, hit solo artist, awarding-winning songwriter and producer, was also chosen to replace Sammy Hagar in Van Halen. Soon after Eddie’s death, Rolling Stone Magazine reached out to Mitch to gain insight into his time with the band. Mitch’s story was so intriguing that his interview evolved into a feature for Rolling Stone. For years fans have asked Mitch to perform Van Halen so they can have a glimpse into what the legendary band would have sounded like with Mitch fronting. These requests keeping pouring in, so…For one night only, Mitch will be hosting a Celebration of Van Halen with an A-List band.
Malloy told Rolling Stone‘s Brian Hiatt back in February that his time with the group came shortly after the band had split from Sammy Hagar but before Gary Cherone took over as the lead singer. Malloy had enjoyed some early-’90s success with a pair of solo records and moved to Nashville where he was writing for others and producing when he initially got a call from the assistant of Van Halen’s manager. Some of Malloy’s past music had been passed on to the group’s manager by the assistant, and he was asked to come in for a visit.
Malloy said, “It was like, ‘OK, you can’t repeat anything that we’re about to tell you. Please sit down. Sammy has been fired, and it’s very top-secret.’ And I was like, ‘Holy shit.’ In fact, when I got there, one of the first things Ed said was, ‘This isn’t an audition. We just want to hang out.’ And I just kind of laughed. Like, of course, it’s an audition. I’m just Mitch Malloy and they’re Van Halen.”
Malloy eventually played some music with Van Halen beginning with “Panama”, “Don’t Tell Me What Love Can Do” and “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love.” After a second day with the group, Eddie played him some of the instrumental versions of songs from what they were planning for the next album.
Listen To Mitch Malloy & Van Halen “Panama” 5150 Studio Demo
On the third day Malloy was informed by Eddie Van Halen that he had the gig.
“It was an amazing moment in my life that I will never forget,” Malloy said. “The door closes behind him and he doesn’t step forward. He stays where he is. So I’m sitting in the chair behind the console and he’s maybe 8 feet away, at the front door to the control room, which leads outside. He stops and he goes, ‘Well, we just had a meeting.’ He goes, ‘You’re the nicest guy I’ve ever met. Best singer I’ve ever heard in my life. Congratulations, you’re in the band.'”
But Malloy’s time as singer of Van Halen didn’t last long. After viewing Van Halen’s surprise appearance with David Lee Roth at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards, Malloy decided to decline the offer.
“That moment that Roth walked out behind them, I knew it was over,” said Malloy. “I am not going to be in Van Halen. I just knew somehow. And so that was it for me. I was just like, ‘That’s it. This can’t happen now.’ I just knew it. It was just … a wall came down. But it just felt like it was over, somehow. It was like, ‘This can’t work now.’ Not because people won’t accept me. But there’s just something else going on that I didn’t even fully understand at the time. You know what I mean? It was like a knife sliced through and just, it was over. I think it’s the only time it’s ever happened to me in my life, where it was that definitive. And I had a lot going on at the time, aside from Van Halen. Real promise with my career moving forward. So it wasn’t, for me, my only thing. I wasn’t like, ‘Oh, my God! This has got to happen,’ kind of thing. Of course, I really did want it to happen. But who wouldn’t?”
In 2018, Malloy joined Great White. He relocated to Destin, Florida from Nashville, Tennessee in 2019.
Visit Mitch Malloy’s official website HERE for more info and tickets to “Mitch Malloy’s Van Halen Experience”.
Watch “Mitch Malloy: Van Halen’s Lost Boy”