Patty Smyth regretted for a long time not joining Van Halen back in 1985
Scandal lead vocalist and solo artist Patty Smyth was recently interviewed by Rachel Brodsky for Stereogum.
Smyth was first in Scandal from 1981 to 1985 before the group dissolved before reforming again in 2004. Following David Lee Roth‘s departure from Van Halen in 1985 and before Sammy Hagar joined the group for the first time, Smyth was asked to join the group.
Smyth was asked why she didn’t end up joining Van Halen to which she replied: “They were heavy drinkers. I don’t drink. I never saw myself living in LA. I was like, “I’m from New York, we don’t move to LA.” It’s all semantics because if [Eddie] had said to me, “Let’s make a record,” then I would have said yes to that. But joining the band — to me then, “Oh god, they fight all the time, him and his brother, and I don’t want to get into a volatile situation.” And I was probably heavily hormoned out because I was eight months pregnant, so there was a state of mind that I was in of how I need to take care of myself. But I regretted turning him down. For a long time I regretted it. When you start to have regrets, I was like, “Oh man I would’ve made so much money.”
I wish I had the right kind of luck. I feel it’s just like I’m in this stream or this river and sometimes it’s just taking you where you need to go. Sometimes you’ve got to paddle and go in certain directions and other times you’re just letting it take you. And for me, like I said, my life has turned out unbelievable. That I’ve been married and with the same man for 25 years is insane.”
When asked whether her prior bad experience in Scandal influenced her decision not to join Van Halen, Smyth indicated: “Yeah, that definitely has something to do with it. I’m sure. And also just the fact that it was like, “I’m going to have to move to LA.” I should have just had the conversation [with Eddie]. It was such a weird conversation. But if he had said to me, “Look, just come out for a few months and make a record. Have the baby, come out and let’s make a record.” That to me would’ve been more doable. And I never said anything about it for years. I got a call from Ed and he was like, “Look, I’m not saying that I asked you to join because I don’t want Sammy Hagar to look like [he was] second choice,” and I was like, “OK.” So I never spoke about it after that. I’m like, all right I don’t need to tell people. If someone asked me, I didn’t lie but I didn’t really talk about it that much.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Patty Smyth by Rachel Brodsky at Stereogum‘s website.
Scandal‘s “Warrior” video: