Producer claims Van Halen III was never going to be an Eddie Van Halen solo album: “It was just gonna be an album Eddie’s way”

“The record was kind of crappy but it’s the way Ed wanted it.”

Eddie Van Halen

Credit: John Medina / WireImage via Getty

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Van Halen III producer Mike Post has claimed that the record was never meant to be an Eddie Van Halen solo album, only a project done in “Eddie’s way”.

Speaking on The Hustle podcast, Post reveals that he was hired by the late guitarist to produce the record due to his clean track record with addiction and substances.

“I know he hired me because he respected me musically and because I was much, much, much more technical than him. [I’m] not even in the same fucking universe in terms of being a genius, ‘cuz I ain’t and he was,” says the producer [via Van Halen News Desk] .

According to Post, Van Halen III was “not ever going to be a solo album. It was just going to be an album Eddie’s way. Without any negotiations with the lead singer… This lead singer [Gary Cherone] grew up on Van Halen and it wasn’t somebody with a big sense of himself the way that Sammy [Hagar] was.”

“Eddie came in and basically said, ‘Look, sing this this way.’ You know, ‘Do this this way.’ So what I did is encapsulated in a conversation I had with [Alex Van Halen].”

Recalling a conversation he shared with the late rocker before the album’s recording, Post says: “We’re going to do the whole thing at Ed’s place and I said, ‘Look, Ed, I’m not gonna to show you how to play a fucking guitar. I’m not gonna show you how to write a song. I’m not gonna show Gary how to sing it. What I’m really going to do is find ways for you to execute your dreams on this and if I don’t think something sounds right, I’m gonna say it. But that’s really it. It’s not gonna emanate from me.”

“The way he got me to do it was, he said, ‘I wanna do one sober. I want to do one without being altered.’ I said, ‘Great. I’m here for you….and I will do that.’”

As recording began, it soon became clear to Eddie that Alex, who was going through a rough patch with his divorce and drinking at the time, wasn’t playing as he should.

“He wasn’t playing like Al. So Ed [said], ‘I don’t know what to do. It’s my brother.’ And I said, ‘Well, what do you want to do?’ He said, ‘Well, I want him to think about himself and his family and to get straight and to figure things out and get his divorce finished, but I don’t, you know, I ought to play drums.’ I said, ‘Okay, no problem. I’ll get it done.’”

True to his word, Post managed to convince Alex to hand over drum duties to the younger Van Halen. And the result, says Post, was a Van Halen III record that sounded “kind of crappy but it’s the way Ed wanted it.”

That said, things eventually took a turn for the better when the band went on the road to promote the album: “And so they start rehearsing, and God, Al just sounds like Al, and it’s just fucking great. It’s fucking great. He’s twice as good as what Ed played on the record.”

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