Gary Cherone says he was able to revive his friendship with Eddie Van Halen before his passing in 2020.
“[Eddie and I] rekindled our relationship end of 2015, ’16,” Cherone said during a recent appearance on Sirius XM’s “Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk” (Thursday, June 16th). “I reached out to him, and we picked up where we left off. It was wild, because we went back and forth, and we talked. And then when I went out to L.A., I finally got to see him, and it was great. He was going through [his cancer treatments at the time]. All he said to me was, ‘I’m kicking its ass.’ And at the time he was. He’d have good days. There was one time I saw him, and he was just getting back, and he was just, like, ‘Ah, man. I’m not feeling great.’ And [I was, like], ‘That’s cool. We can just hang for a little while.’ But he was great. I think the last six months it got real quiet. I reached out to him a few times. And he got back to me later. I just had a feeling something was going down.”
Cherone later added that his conversations with Eddie were personal than professional.
“It was [mostly us talking as] friends. But there was a couple of conversations [about future Van Halen projects]. Little did I know, until it was confirmed by [Eddie’s son] Wolfie after Eddie passed… I remember hanging out with Eddie and he was talking about the [proposed] ‘kitchen-sink’ [tour] — not in those terms. It was around the time [of their] 40th anniversary and they were talking about getting together to do something, I think with Dave [Lee Roth]… So the conversation I had with him was I said, ‘Yeah, when you do that, Ed…’ — it wasn’t the kitchen-sink thing. When they were talking about doing something again with those guys, I remember saying to him, ‘Hey, if it doesn’t work out, I know a singer for cheap.’ And he laughed. And he looked at me, and at the time he goes, ‘You never know.’ And I remember thinking, ‘That was odd.’ I just remembered him saying that, and then when Wolfie said it, after he passed, I go, ‘That was his reference.'”