Steve Perry Loved Van Halen But Turned Down Eddie's Invitation To Jam


Ex-Journey frontman Steve Perry remembers having a great time on tour with Van Halen in 1978, but he shied away from the opportunity to join forces with the band a few years later.

Van Halen opened for Journey for about two months in '78, and Perry told Rolling Stone that Van Halen inspired Journey to be "a better band."

A few years later, in 1985, David Lee Roth had parted ways with VH and Perry was considering leaving Journey. Then Eddie Van Halen called.

"I was living in the Bay Area and not sure what I was or wasn't going to do anymore," Perry said. "Eddie said that I should come down sometimes and we should jam, have a play. Man, at some level within me I felt so honored because I was in awe of Eddie's natural talent. ...I wanted badly to do that. We talked about how cool it would be musically."

Eddie never suggested that Perry should join Van Halen or that the two should try to write together, but it didn't stop Perry from considering those possibilities. He didn't want to be the singer to take Roth's place but he also wasn't sure he'd be able to turn down the situation if he clicked with Van Halen.

"I don't know that I could be the guy to go out and represent the David Lee Roth years with my voice," Perry continued. "It's a different kind of singing."

Sammy Hagar, of course, got the job, shepherding Van Halen into its most successful commercial period. Perry returned to Journey for two more albums before retiring in the '90s.

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