Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens recalls turning down David Lee Roth gig after singer left Van Halen
Billy Idol‘s long-time guitarist Steve Stevens was recently interviewed by Chuck Shute for the Chuck Shute Podcast.
Stevens was asked whether he had turned down some high profile gigs beside working with The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger to which he replied (as transcribed by the Chuck Shute Podcast with slight edits):
“Ummm. The only thing and people probably know that I was approached by David Lee Roth when he left Van Halen and that he flew to New York. We met up but I’m right in the midst of the third Billy Idol record, Whiplash Smile, and I couldn’t… I couldn’t, you know. I had already committed to the album and committed to touring and Iwasn’t just going to pack up and go halfway through the record, I’d see ya with this guy and I don’t think I would have been the right guy. I think Steve Vai was perfect for that. And actually, once they got Steve, they recorded. Ted Templeman was the producer. They recorded in New York and I met with Steve and we hung out. And then I loaned him a bunch of guitar amps for the recording.”
After leaving Van Halen, Roth ended up releasing his debut full-length solo album Eat ‘Em And Smile with the powerhouse line-up of Vai on guitar, Billy Sheehan on bass and Greg Bissonette on drums.
You can listen to the interview with Steve Stevens on the Chuck Shute Podcast below: