Ozzy Osbourne recalls how Eddie Van Halen asked him to sing in Van Halen

Van Halen’s later years could have looked a lot different.

Ozzy and Eddie Van Halen

Images: Frazer Harrison / Tim Mosenfelder / Getty

Ozzy Osbourne has revealed that Eddie Van Halen once asked him to join Van Halen – following the departure of frontman Sammy Hagar.

Speaking on the latest episode of his SiriusXM radio show Ozzy’s Boneyard, the Black Sabbath singer was paying tribute to Eddie Van Halen, who died at the beginning of this month. Osbourne said Van Halen had “phoned me up one time, asked me if I wanted to sing in his band”. He didn’t give a specific year for the call – all we know is that it was “way after Sammy [Hagar]” was in Van Halen.

Hagar replaced singer David Lee Roth, who embarked on his own solo endeavours in 1985. Hagar left Van Halen in 1996, with competing priorities, personal differences and creative differences being cited as reasons for his departure. Following this, after a very temporary reunion with David Lee Roth, the band recruited singer Gary Cherone for only 3 years before reuniting with both Hagar and Roth after a short hiatus.

It’s possible that this fast-paced changeup in Van Halen’s singers was what prompted the call to Osbourne. Ozzy also noted that he thought Van Halen might have been “a bit drunk” when he made the phone call. “We’ve all done one of them calls at four o’clock in the morning,” he said. “‘I’ve got a great idea!’”

Osbourne was one of many who paid tribute to the musician following his passing, calling him “a force to be reckoned with”.

“[I] could sit and watch Eddie Van Halen play guitar all day,” he said. “He’s so entertaining as a guitar player. He made it look like it was not difficult. He made it look like it was a natural thing. Everybody else was trying to be Eddie Van Halen, but there is only one Eddie Van Halen. I thought he was brilliant. God only knows, what you have to do to get that good.”

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