Patty Smyth Explains Why She Turned Down An Invitation To Join Van Halen

After David Lee Roth exited Van Halen in 1985, Eddie Van Halen invited Scandal’s Patty Smyth to join the band. However, Smyth ended up declining the invitation. Now, during a recent interview with Stereogum, she revealed that her decision was related to the group’s drinking habits and the fact that she didn’t want to move to Los Angeles.

Smyth said the following:

“They were heavy drinkers. I don’t drink. I never saw myself living in L.A. I was, like, ‘I’m from New York. We don’t move to L.A.’

It’s all semantics because if [Eddie] had said to me, ‘Let’s make a record,’ then I would have said yes to that. 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.'”

She continued after being asked if her negative experiences in Scandal influenced her decision:

“Yeah, that definitely has something to do with it. I’m sure. And also just the fact that it was, like, ‘I’m going to have to move to L.A.’ I should have just had the conversation [with Eddie]. It was such a weird conversation. But if he had said to me, ‘Look, just come out for a few months and make a record. Have the baby, come out and let’s make a record.’ That to me would’ve been more doable.

And 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, ‘Okay.’ 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.”

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