The singer was being interviewed on New York radio station Q104.3 to promote an upcoming solo tour with Todd Rundgren and a new archival album entitled ‘BeforeAfter’. Jim Kerr, a DJ at the station, claimed that he came across the rumour while doing research online for his interview with Hall, before asking the singer if it was true.
Hall laughed at the question, before clarifying the situation between himself and Van Halen. “I knew those guys really well,” he said. “We actually shared some… crew and things like that. David [Lee Roth] had just left the band, and Eddie [Van Halen] asked me, ‘Do you wanna join Van Halen, man?’
“He was half-joking, but I think he was serious. I really do believe he was serious, and I took it seriously. I said, ‘Man, I think not. I think I’ve got my own shit going on.'”
Listen to the full interview below, with the Van Halen talk starting around the 9:14 mark:
Roth, Van Halen’s original lead vocalist, famously and acrimoniously left the group following their sixth album ‘1984’ to pursue a solo career. He would not return until 2007, when he would reunite with the band and record one final album (2012’s ‘A Different Kind of Truth’) prior to Eddie Van Halen’s passing in 2020.
The role that was offered to Hall ultimately went to Sammy Hagar, who fronted the band for four albums and 11 years prior to quitting in 1996. Hagar went on to form the supergroup Chickenfoot, with former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, in 2008.