Van Halen Rejected New Singer For Being On Drugs

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legendary Deep Purple vocalist and bassist Glenn Hughes recently confirmed that Eddie Van Halen nearly asked him to join Van Halen back when the Southern California rock act was looking for a new singer nearly four decades ago following the departure of David Lee Roth.

Eddie died in October 2020 at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. The iconic Van Halen axeman passed away from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.

In a new interview with “The Classic Rock Podcast“, Hughes said:

“Well, Eddie was newly sober at that time… And we spoke about it,” Glenn said (via Blabbermouth). “I had no idea. Eddie had been a friend of mine from the beginning.”

“Look… Wow… Would it have worked? I’m not sure,” Hughes admitted. “Unless I was completely sober — and I’ve been sober now for 24 years. Yeah, it would have been interesting, wouldn’t it? [Laughs] You never know.”

Glenn previously mentioned the hypothetical Van Halen collaboration in a 1996 interview with Swedish journalist Mike Eriksson. Reflecting on some of the bands that had asked him to join in the past, Hughes said: “Eddie Van Halen told me last year… He said to me that, when they were auditioning Sammy Hagar, that if I would’ve been clean and sober I would’ve gotten the gig.”

Later this month, Hughes will embark on a U.S. tour celebrating music from “Burn” and other classic hits from Deep Purple’s rich back catalog, a run of shows that will mostly see him co-headlining with guitar great Yngwie Malmsteen.