In a new interview with "The Classic Rock Podcast", legendary DEEP PURPLE vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes 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.
"Well, Eddie was newly sober at that time… And we spoke about it," Glenn said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "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."
Eddie had repeatedly cited DEEP PURPLE as a musical influence, telling Billboard magazine in 2015 that "Burn" — which was written and recorded during Hughes's tenure with PURPLE — was one of his favorite guitar riffs of all time.
Hagar replaced Roth in VAN HALEN in 1985 and recorded four studio albums with the band — "5150", "OU812", "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" and "Balance" — all of which topped the U.S. chart. The highest-charting Roth-led VAN HALEN album was a No. 2, and it took until "1984" to achieve that. (2012's "A Different Kind Of Truth" also landed at No. 2.)
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.
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.
Billed as "Glenn Hughes Performs The 50th Anniversary Of Deep Purple's Burn Live", Hughes will perform classic hits from the legendary album, and the addition of DEEP PURPLE MKIII and MKIV songs.
Glenn's band will feature Søren Andersen (guitar),Ash Sheehan (drums) and Ed Roth (keyboards).