Ozzy Osbourne recently revealed that the late Eddie Van Halen once asked him to sing in Van Halen.
After David Lee Roth left Van Halen in the mid-1980s, Eddie Van Halen was going through all of his contacts, asking people to join one of the biggest rock bands in the world. Patty Smyth told Stereogum earlier in the year that Van Halen had asked her to join. He also made a call to Journey’s Steve Perry.
In a similar fashion, Osbourne recently revealed that Van Halen had called him, too, in an episode of “Ozzy Speaks” on SiriusXM’s Ozzy’s Boneyard. Although he didn’t give a specific timeline about when the conversation happened, Osbourne says it was “way after Sammy [Hagar’s]” tenure in the band. He also acknowledges that Van Halen may not have been completely in his right mind when he made the offer.
“He phoned me up one time and asked me if I wanted to sing in his band,” Osbourne explains. “Way after Sammy. I think he was a bit drunk. We’ve all done one of them calls at four o’clock in the morning.”
Osbourne says that he and Van Halen never got a chance to work together beyond being on stage together at tours and festivals.
During the episode, Osbourne and co-host Billy Morrison remembered Eddie Van Halen and played some of their favorite songs. Ozzy spoke about Van Halen’s guitar-playing skills.
“You think you’ve seen it all. Then out of the blue, somebody comes out with such a revolutionized way of playing,” he said. “To watch Eddie play was, like — his hands would turn into a spider. It was remarkable. He always made it look like it was so easy.”
The episode is available On Demand on the SiriusXM app and will rebroadcast on Ozzy’s Boneyard throughout the weekend.
Van Halen died on October 6 at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. The day after his death, Osbourne paid tribute to the iconic rocker.
“The last time I spent any serious time with Eddie was on the last official Black Sabbath tour I did in ’79, when they opened up for us,” Ozzy told Rolling Stone. “They were such good guys to be around. We had such fun. Every time I ever saw Eddie Van Halen, it was fun.”