Patty Smyth being asked to front Van Halen but turning the gig down is easily one of the most unique “What If” situations in rock history. However, Smyth had her reasons for saying no.
In a new interview with Stereogum, Smyth said, “They were heavy drinkers. I don’t drink. I never saw myself living in LA. I was like, ‘I’m from New York, we don’t move to LA.'”
Smyth was also eight months pregnant at the time when Eddie Van Halen reached out to her.
“It’s all semantics because if [Eddie] had said to me, ‘Let’s make a record,’ then I would have said yes to that,” said Smyth. “But joining the band — to me then, ‘Oh god, they fight all the time, him and his brother, and I don’t want to get into a volatile situation.’ And I was probably heavily hormoned out because I was eight months pregnant, so there was a state of mind that I was in of how I need to take care of myself. But I regretted turning him down. For a long time I regretted it. When you start to have regrets, I was like, ‘Oh man I would’ve made so much money.'”
Smyth added, “I never said anything about it for years. I got a call from Ed and he was like, ‘Look, I’m not saying that I asked you to join because I don’t want Sammy Hagar to look like [he was] second choice,’ and I was like, ‘OK.’ So I never spoke about it after that. I’m like, all right I don’t need to tell people. If someone asked me, I didn’t lie but I didn’t really talk about it that much.”
Smyth recently announced she’ll be releasing a new album titled It’s About Time on October 9. It’s the first new material from Smyth in 28 years since she released Patty Smyth in 1992. Her new single “Drive” can be heard below and is available for streaming and download here.
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