Billy Sheehan Addresses Van Halen Offer Controversy

William Lee | 02-17-2020

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Billy Sheehan continues to speak out about headlines that were sparked by an interview answer that was interpreted that he had been offered the bassist position in Van Halen three times.

After a portion of his interview with The Metal Voice was picked up by various outlets, Sheehan clarified that he was never officially been offered the gig and he touched on the subject again during an interview with the Noize In The Atticradio show.

The former David Lee Roth bassist told the show that a headline from a guitar website upset him. "It bothered me very much," he said and then explained that a site ran the headline, "'Billy Sheehan Declines The Offer...'". He said, "That's complete, utter, total bullsh*t. I never said that; I never implied that. And it's just clickbait bullsh*t. It's very, very disheartening."

In the original Metal Voice interview, Sheehan was asked, "Were you ever offered the position as bassist for Van Halen?" and he responded, 'Three times through the years. And I considered it a great, great honor. However, I'm torn, because I love Michael Anthony, and I think he's the best bass player for Van Halen. And as much as I would have loved to do that, I wanna see Michael in the band. And I'm not even sure why they asked me in the band, 'cause I think Michael is an awesome player and a great singer. Who knows what the situation was? But it was just a great honor to be associated with them in any capacity."

In the new interview with Noize In The Attic, Sheehan explained, "I spoke with Ed three different times about joining the band, so three different times.

"Twice back in the day in the '80s, and then again in the '90s, I believe, we talked. I went up to the house and jammed with Ed and Al. And I love that band, I love all those guys, and for years, I never said anything about it, because I felt bad.

Billy then shared, "I think, in a way, it might have just been a negotiating thing for them with Michael, by saying, 'Well, we've got this other bass player. You'd better...' I don't know. But I love all the Van Halen people. I love Michael, I love Ed, Al, Dave, Wolfie, Sammy, everybody. And it just bothers me that the press would just run with it and make something completely up, that I declined."

Billy then explained, "Yeah, we talked about it, and there was an offer, but they never gave me some official piece-of-paper offer. And then, as time went on, they changed their mind and said no, and then they asked me again later, changed their mind, said no, and asked me again later, changed their mind and said no. And I'm not the only one. Jeff Berlin and Tim Bogert said they were both approached by Eddie at one point or another. A lot of other singers, a lot of other people had been in and out...

"Now, at this late stage of the game, it's okay to mention it or talk about it, but it really is bothersome that [a guitar website] would say I 'declined'... I would never have declined an offer to play with Ed. I love Dave and I'm so thankful that I played with him. Well, Dave and Ed, I'm lucky to even know them at all.

"And then, of course, there's a couple of web sites where they're known for... their comments are the most hateful, vile, evil, just terrorist threats. And, of course, they had a field day with it."

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