Billy Sheehan Recalls David Lee Roth’s Offer After Leaving Van Halen


The bassist Billy Sheehan recently joined an interview with We Go To 11 and recalled a memory featuring David Lee Roth and his offer to collaborate after leaving Van Halen.

Billy Sheehan has worked with several notable names, such as Steve Vai and David Lee Roth, throughout his long-term music career. He initially appeared with Talas as a full-time band member and collaborated with guitarist Dave Constantino and the drummer Paul Varga. He gained his early reputation with this local band which was famous in Buffalo for years.

The band’s popularity increased when they opened for Van Halen thirty times in the ’80s. However, Talas did not achieve the desired success. Sheehan attempted to re-establish the band with new members, and they released one more record. Later, he parted ways with Talas to join David Lee Roth’s band.

Roth was a Van Halen member and contributed to the band’s breakthrough in the ’70s. He successfully delivered lead vocals in the self-titled debut album, and his fame increased with their following records, such as ‘Fair Warning.’ However, he left Van Halen due to internal conflicts in 1985 and focused on his solo career. Following his departure, Roth wanted to form his band and reached out to Steve Vai, Billy Sheehan, and Gregg Bissonette.

In a recent interview, Sheehan recalled how he met the rocker and received an offer from him to join the band. The bassist stated that they met in the middle of his tour, and Roth directly asked him to join the band he was planning to form. Billy Sheehan admitted he used to say that he would leave his band only for Van Halen. Thus, after chatting to Roth, the rocker realized that Diamond Dave was ‘close enough’ and took the offer.

Billy Sheehan recalled the incident as follows:

“I met with David Lee Roth, and I didn’t know what it was about, what the meaning was about. He initially told me it was for a movie; that’s kind of strange. So, he said to me, ‘Hey, there is a movie about what I really want to do. I just quit Van Halen, and I want to start a band. You and I, let’s find a guitar player and drummer.’ I said, ‘Geez!’ I always said to everyone I’d never leave my band Talas except if it was for Van Halen.

So, I thought David Lee Roth was close enough, and that was it. I just had to because we were struggling. Even though we did have some good news there, I just thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to make my move here. I have got to do it even if I felt bad about it.’”

You can watch the interview below.