Mitch Malloy with Van Halen sings Panama (1996)

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This topic has 16 voices, contains 20 replies, and was last updated by  ron 1845 days ago.

October 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm Quote #19744


Almost kareokeish….I kind of expected more than my local bar entertainment.

My thoughts exactly.

October 13, 2012 at 1:04 pm Quote #19745


I thought it sounded like a Van Halen tribute band. Interesting, but otherwise unremarkable.

May 21, 2013 at 8:13 am Quote #25701


Malloy: Eddie told me I was in Van Halen!
gbarton at 01:00am May 19 2013

Mitch Malloy on (not) joining Van Halen: “I’d had the kiss on the cheeks, the hugs, the congratulations…”

Born in Dickinson, North Dakota, Mitch Malloy found cult fame with a self-titled debut in 1992. Later the same decade the singer/guitarist auditioned for the job later awarded to Gary Cherone in Van Halen. Malloy now has six studio records to his name, the most recent of which being last year’s Shine On.

Interview: Dave Ling


Let’s talk about your link with Van Halen. So the story goes, the band offered you the position as replacement for Sammy Hagar, but their manager Ray Danniels, who also represented former Extreme man Gary Cherone, railroaded his client through the door.

Ray called me [after the audition] and said: “I think you’re the next singer in Van Halen — I can’t imagine anyone better for the job. But if you don’t get the job then I want to manage you and when people become tired of artists wearing their pyjamas and looking at the floor then you’re going to be a huge star.” Quote unquote.

So what changed?

I don’t know. I only know that Eddie [Van Halen] told me I was in the band. Then the whole MTV presentation with David Lee Roth happened, which I didn’t know about. I got upset and called them and it all kind of imploded. My manager sent them a letter saying that I’d “respectfully passed” on the gig, which they couldn’t believe.

How did it make you feel?

Really sad, I mean… I was actually in Van Halen — even if it was just for that moment. I’d had the kiss on the cheeks, the hugs, the congratulations [from the band]… that had all seemed pretty official to me.

Did the experience cause you to step away from rock music and into the realm of country?

That happened accidentally. I just went to Nashville to write songs. But I was upset. In my life now, that’s not the case. I’m a father, a husband; I love family and my life. But when my career didn’t do what everyone in New York said it would — people had told me, and I hate to even utter these words: “You’re going to be bigger than Bon Jovi” — I was bummed, man.

And yet Edward Van Halen financed your return to the rock arena with 2000′s Shine.

Yeah, Ed was like my big brother back then and he really loved those songs. We’re no longer in contact but I had all of his phone numbers because I was a member of the inner circle.


If you could go back and change anything, would you do so?

Worrying about all of that stuff is a complete waste of energy. People often ask: “Do you still think about Van Halen? Are you haunted by ‘what if’s?’” The answer is no. I’m in a really good place, so why dwell in the past?

May 21, 2013 at 11:45 am Quote #25704


Now I could have sworn that last year, Gary Cherone confirmed that he was in the band during the infamous MTV appearance. Somebody’s lying. Unless Gary and Mitch & Dave were all made offers at the same time. So I blame Ray Danniels, cause everyone in VHland hates him anyway.

Stay Frosty

September 7, 2013 at 11:54 am Quote #29583


September 7, 2013 at 11:26 am
‘I was, like, are you insane?’: Mitch Malloy on winning, then losing, Van Halen frontman job
by Something Else!

For a moment in 1996, Mitch Malloy was poised to become Van Halen’s third lead singer. In fact, he was certain he had the job. Then, all of a sudden, Extreme’s Gary Cherone took over instead.

Malloy says the audition was set up by former exployee Steve Hoffman, who was then working with then-new Van Halen manager Ray Danniels. Eddie Van Halen, he says, liked him enough to offer Malloy the job. Then things got weird.

“Steve called and said: ‘You’re going to be the next singer in Van Halen,” Malloy remembers. “I was like: ‘Are you insane?’ And he said: ‘No, I’m serious. You’re the guy.’ So that went on for a couple of weeks. After a while, I said: ‘Steve, stop calling me and talking about this. If this is real, I want Eddie to call me.’”

Van Halen called, and Malloy flew out for an audition. By “the second or third day,” Malloy says, “he told me I was in the band.”

Unfortunately for Malloy, when Danniels couldn’t be retained because Malloy already had a manager, Van Halen instead passed in favor of Cherone — a singer that Danniels already had under contract.

The subsequent Van Halen album (titled III) stiffed, sending the group into a tailspin that it didn’t pull out of until David Lee Roth returned to the fold last year. Roth, originally with Van Halen from 1974–85, had been replaced by Sammy Hagar from 1985-96.

September 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm Quote #29584


The VH talk runs from about 4mins to 6:30


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