Mr Big’s Billy Sheehan explains why he declined to be Van Halen’s bassist

He turned down the offer three times.

Image: Timothy Norris / Getty

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Mr Big and Sons Of Apollo bassist Billy Sheehan recently revealed that he was approached thrice by Van Halen with an offer to play bass for them.

“I was offered the position as bassist three times through the years, and I consider it a great honour,” Sheehan said in a recent interview with The Metal Voice. However, the bassist politely declined the offer out of respect for former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony. “I think he is the best bass player for Van Halen. And as much as I would have loved to do that, I want to see Michael in the band,” he added.

Sheehan was first approached when his band Talas opened for Van Halen in 1981 during the band’s Fair Warning tour, followed a second attempt in 1984. The third incident occured during Sheehan’s visit to Eddie and Alex Van Halen’s house at some point in time. “I’m not sure why they asked me to join the band. Michael is an awesome player and singer and who knows what the situation was,” Sheehan said.

Sons Of Apollo recently released MMXX and the video for the album’s opening track Goodbye Divinity. Watch the video below:

The supergroup, comprising Sheehan on bass, Jeff Scott Soto on vocals, Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal on guitar, Derek Sherinian on keyboards and Mike Portnoy on drums, are currently touring in support of MMXX. Their transcontinental trek picks up 7 February in Pennsylvania before wrapping up 25 March in Budapest, Hungary.

For more tour dates and tickets for Sons Of Apollo, click here.


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