STEVE PERRY Explains Why He Turned Down EDDIE VAN HALEN's Invitation To Jam After DAVID LEE ROTH Left VAN HALENOctober 19, 2020
Former JOURNEY singer Steve Perry has revealed to Rolling Stone in a new interview that he was invited by Eddie Van Halen for a jam session in 1985 after David Lee Roth left VAN HALEN.
"Man, at some level within me I felt so honored because I was in awe of Eddie's natural talent," Steve said. "He was just born with it. I wanted so badly to do that. We talked about how cool that could be musically. This was before Sammy [Hagar]. The next day, and in the weeks to come, I thought, 'I don't know that I should do that. If it goes creatively to what I know it can go to…' Whatever I could bring to that, I know it would be something I'd really love doing."
He continued: "My only problem I had with it was the thought, 'I don't know that I could be the guy to go out and represent the David Lee Roth years with my voice. I don't know if I want to be that guy.' I think representing their legacy up to that point would have been something vocally that I don't think I was really suited to doing. It's a different kind of singing. David had something vocally that I would say was in kinship with Louis Prima. Later on, he did 'Just A Gigolo' and sounded more like Louis Prima. He was a real character."
VAN HALEN was the support act for JOURNEY on Perry's first tour with the band in 1978.
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.
Steve's first solo album in more than two decades, "Traces", was released in October 2018 via Fantasy Records (a division of Concord Records/UMG).
Perry reunited with JOURNEY for the first time in years as they were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April 2017. The iconic singer appeared onstage with his former bandmates as they each gave speeches, but did not perform with the group later in the event.
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