Billy Sheehan Recalls David Lee Roth’s Phone Call, ‘My Life Has Changed Dramatically’
During his conversation on Rocking With Jam Man, Billy Sheehan has remembered the period when he was performing in the David Lee Roth Band and the time when he received a phone call from David Lee Roth which he claimed has changed his life dramatically.
As you may know, Roth assembled a supergroup in late 1985 with the members of Steve Vai as the guitarist, Billy Sheehan (who left his band Talas to join Roth) as the bassist, and Gregg Bissonette as the drummer. Roth released the debut album ‘Eat ‘Em And Smile’ in July 1986, which sold over 2 million copies internationally and received great criticism. After that, Roth released ‘Skyscraper’ in January 1988, which was a more experimental one that also sold 2 million copies. However, after the release of the track, Billy Sheehan left the band due to their different tastes in music.
On Rocking With Jam Man, Sheehan was asked about the time when he left his band to join Roth’s supergroup. He recalled the time as a great adventure, saying they were doing good as Talas back in those times but they were still playing in the clubs. He then added that he suddenly got a call from David Lee Roth to come to L.A. and start a new band, and considered this phone call as a life-changing event. Sheehan mentioned that he felt sorry for his friends back in Buffalo, NY, but he needed to start a new life moving to L.A. He then remembered the time they have spent as an incredible one and thanked Roth for giving him this opportunity to take a break, revealing his life would not be what it is like today without him.
“It was an amazing adventure. I came from Buffalo, NY – and Talas… We were doing good, but we were still playing clubs, and it was a tough struggle. And suddenly, I got a call from Dave to come out to L.A. and start a band, and my life changed dramatically. I felt bad I left a lot of dear friends back in Buffalo, NY, because there are only so many hours of the day and how you can keep in touch with people. They’re still my friends, and I still have a lot of great connections with wonderful people in Buffalo, but I had to go out to L.A. and start pretty much a whole new life, and it was an incredible thing. Right away, we were rehearsing in a huge place and booking giant stadiums and auditoriums, and hanging out in Hollywood with Diamond Dave.”
He then recalled his time with Roth’s band:
“We had an incredible time- myself, Steve Vai, Gregg Bissonette, Brett Tuggle, our keyboard player who went on tour with us, and Dave, and I’m supremely thankful to Dave for giving me such a great break. My life would not be what it is today without him, and I appreciate that.”
Having won the ‘Best Rock Bass Player‘ poll from Guitar Magazine five times for his distinctive bass-playing style, Billy Sheehan has continued working with other projects including The Winery Dogs and Sons of Apollo. He recorded the self-titled debut album for The Winery Dogs in August 2012 which was released on July 23, 2013. Also on January 17, 2020, Sons of Apollo has released their second album MMXX. Moreover, since 2009, Sheehan has also reunited with the Mr. Big lineup.