Mitch Malloy explains how David Lee Roth appearing with Van Halen on MTV cost him his gig in the band
Great White frontman Mitch Malloy and lead guitarist Mark Kendall were interviewed by Sally Steele for the Vegas Rocks! website back in November 2018.
Malloy revisited his brief stint as Van Halen‘s lead vocalist back in 1996 as he indicated: “I was actually told, like it says in the documentary, on the third day I was in the band. He actually said the sentence, ‘congratulations you’re in the band.’ Before that he said your this, you’re that, compliment compliment, compliment, ‘We love you. You’re in the band’ and actually kissed me on both cheeks. And hug me. So…” Malloy added: “Yeah at least in that moment it was officially I was the lead singer of Van Halen.”
In terms of what happened next, Malloy advised: “Then I went back. They had told me they were gonna go on MTV and they didn’t say anything about going on MTV with David Lee Roth though (laughs). So, but he told me they were going on MTV cause MTV wanted them to present to support the new Van Halen. We’d really like you do this and (winks eye) well help out the new Van Halen kinda thing. Help us out we’ll help you out. So, that was the deal. And then when Roth walked out. I mean I was at home in Nashville. I’d flown back to Nashville. So, I was like (makes big eye expression) ‘uh oh’. This isn’t going to work.”
On whether he was actually replaced by Roth, Malloy opined: “Yeeeah, well but the weird thing was that I wasn’t replaced by, that’s the misconception. David wasn’t back in the band during that presentation. That’s why things were so problematic because Ed and Al freaked out backstage. They got into a fight backstage because Dave was making it like ‘I’m back in the band’. It was just a like a commercial spoof to get people to buy the best of thing. Dave was never back in the band.” Malloy continued: “Yeah so I was like ‘uh oh everyone thinks Dave is back in the band this is not going to work’. This is like suicide for any singer that steps in. Like the whole world thinks, the whole world saw that. So I talked to them and said ‘I don’t think this is going to work. I think that was kinda put the nail in the coffin for any new singer who comes in.’”
You can read the rest of the interview with Mitch Malloy and Mark Kendall at Vegas Rocks!‘s website or listen to the interview below:
Sally Steele interviews Mark Kendall and Mitch Malloy of Great White for Vegas Rocks! Magazine/ VegasRocksTV.com. The guys talk about Jack Russell, Mitch joining Van Halen and how Mitch joined Great White and much more!
Van Halen‘s “Panama” demo featuring Mitch Malloy:
1996 at 5150 Studios (audio only)
Wikipedia outlines Roth‘s appearance with Van Halen on MTV back in 1996 as follows (with slight edits):
“David Lee Roth called Eddie to discuss what tracks would be included on a planned Van Halen compilation (work on which had actually begun before Hagar‘s departure). They got along well, and Eddie invited him up to his house/studio. Shortly afterwards, Roth re-entered the studio with the band and producer Glen Ballard. Two songs from those sessions were added to the band’s Best Of – Volume I album and released as singles to promote it.
In September, Van Halen was asked to present an award at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards. They agreed, and on September 4, 1996, the four original members of Van Halen made their first public appearance together in over eleven years. This helped to bring the compilation to No. 1 on the U.S. album charts. However, unknown to Roth, Eddie and Alex were still auditioning other singers, including Mitch Malloy.
The band’s appearance on the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards fueled reunion speculation. But several weeks after the awards show, it was discovered that Roth was out of Van Halen again. Roth released a statement in which he apologized to the media and the fans, stating that he was an unwitting participant in a publicity stunt by Van Halen and manager Ray Danniels. The next day, Eddie and Alex released their own statement, claiming they had been completely honest with Roth and had never suggested he was guaranteed to be the next lead singer.
Eddie Van Halen would later explain (in regard to the MTV Video Music Awards appearance) that he had initially been embarrassed by Roth‘s antics while on camera behind Beck, who was giving an acceptance speech for the award that Van Halen had presented to him. Immediately following this, the band had been taken to a backstage press conference where press queries about a reunion tour were met with Eddie Van Halen saying that he needed a hip replacement and would have to record an entire new studio album before any tour. In private Roth told Eddie to avoid talking about negative things like his hip and the two almost came to blows, thereby shattering any chance of a full-scale reunion.”