Mitch Malloy Refused Van Halen’s Offer Because Of David Lee Roth

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In a recent interview with The Real Music Observer, Mitch Malloy discussed his new album, “The Last Song,” which was announced in May. The singer said during the conversation that he turned down Van Halen because of David Lee Roth and cited some of the artists he had previously collaborated with, using Desmond Child as an example.

Malloy began by speaking about the songwriter’s influence on his career and said:

“I wrote with [Desmond Child] a lot. I mean, you know, he is amazing. In fact, people don’t know this and not the transition into Van Halen ’cause, you know, whatever. I mean, we can talk about it in any other – But he was part of that, and that’s kind of not widely known that he was part of that.”

When he witnessed the band members presenting the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards alongside Roth, the singer gave up on the notion of joining Van Halen in the 1990s. He said that Child’s notion for a letter to inform them of his rejection of the post came to him after the fact.

He continued by discussing the letter he sent to the band following the incident, which occurred without his knowledge:

“In fact, he’s the one who suggested I write the letter to them saying, ‘Thanks, but no, thanks.’ That was his idea. He said, ‘You know what?’ – ‘Cause I called him, and I’m like, ‘Look, man! They just went on MTV, and they did this thing, and bla bla, and it’s like getting weird, and I don’t know what to do.’

He goes, ‘What do you want to do?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t think I wanna do it because I don’t think it’s gonna work.’ And he goes, ‘I think I agree with you. Write them a letter and pass on the gig.’ I was like, ‘What?’ Yeah, that’s a good idea. I think I’d already decided [to leave], but he was the one who suggested the letter.”

This incident was described in full by the former Great White member in a 2021 Rolling Stone interview. He spoke further about what caused him to leave Van Halen in that interview by stating:

“He never did tell me though that they were gonna present with David Lee Roth. I was back in Nashville and turned on the TV to watch. They came out, and Dave came out too. I was like, ‘What? My jaw just dropped. I was like, ‘Why are they with Dave?’

This’s not good for me. The whole world thought that Dave was back in the band and wanted Dave in the band. I wanted Dave back in the band. I mean, I grew up on Van Halen with Dave in it. Those first albums were amazing. It did it what they are today. When I saw Dave come out with them, that was it for me. That was over.”

Malloy and Eddie Van Halen became tense as a result of this event, however, relations improved after he and Gary Cherone attended the band’s 1998 Nashville show. However, after the vocalist turned down Ed’s subtly extended invitation to join Van Halen a second time, the two lost touch.

The video below is Mitch Malloy’s most recent interview; you can read his complete account of the incident here.

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