Paying tribute to late Van Halen riffmaster Eddie Van Halen on social media yesterday after the guitarist passed away, Barnes wrote: “I was lucky enough to meet Eddie in the mid 80s when he asked me if I was interested in joining Van Halen. I’d just started my solo career so the timing wasn’t right but still to this day, it’s an honour to have been asked to play with such a legendary rock band.”
I was lucky enough to meet Eddie in the mid 80s when he asked me if I was interested in joining Van Halen.
I’d just started my solo career so the timing wasn't right but still to this day, it's an honour to have been asked to play with such a legendary rock band. RIP Eddie pic.twitter.com/Q2faLXoHie
— Jimmy Barnes (@JimmyBarnes) October 6, 2020
Indeed, following the release of second solo album For the Working Class Man, Barnes began drawing the attention of an array of iconic rock acts while attempting to make a name for himself in the US market. .
“During that period I was asked to join Deep Purple, Van Halen and Little Feat, all within a few months; I was the flavour of the month,” Barnes wrote in 2017 biography Working Class Man.
“I came back from the studio on the final day and [partner Jane Mahoney] was waiting to go to the shops to buy some things on our last day there and told me to look after [children] Mahalia and EJ.
“As she left she says ‘By the way, Eddie Van Halen rang for you’. “So I call him back and he asks me to come over to his house because he wanted to ask me something. I explained I couldn’t leave the house because I was babysitting, and half an hour later, there’s a knock at the door and these two guys come in very worried-looking and Eddie says they’re looking for a singer, David Lee Roth had left the band.”
“I told him I didn’t really want to join another band, I was just starting my solo career and I’d like it see that through. But I was really flattered, I really like Van Halen.
News of Eddie Van Halen’s death following a battle with throat cancer was confirmed yesterday (October 7) by his son Wolfgang. Tributes have since poured in from all corners of the rock world for the influential guitarist.