Patty Smyth Turned Down Van Halen Because They Drank Too Much
"They were heavy drinkers," she told Stereogum. "I don’t drink." In addition, she didn't want to leave her hometown: "I never saw myself living in L.A. I was like, 'I’m from New York, we don’t move to L.A.'"
The offer came from Eddie Van Halen, with whom she'd become friendly. But even though she declined, there was a scenario that she would have accepted.
"It’s all semantics because if [Eddie] had said to me, 'Let’s make a record,' then I would have said yes to that," she said. "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.'
"And I never said anything about it for years," she added. "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, 'OK.' 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."
Earlier today, Smyth announced that she's putting out her first album of all-new material since 1992's self-titled effort, which featured her hit duet with Don Henley, "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough." It's About Time will arrive on Oct. 9 and features the new single "Drive," embedded below and covers of Tom Waits' "Downtown Train" and Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billie Joe."